Welcome to the first official practice of the Dennis Erickson era, and no player is more excited to get a fresh beginning than James. "My head is good, no more concussions and I'm ready to go get started on the right foot," he said.
James last season was plagued by numerous issues on and off the field, that included concussions that he continually played through and various personal family reasons. "I wasn't able to play and that was my main thing to come in here and play football," he commented. "I had a concussion and just kept of playing and my concussion got to the point where I couldn't bare the pain." James did play in eight total games and finished with 26 tackles including one sack. Nonetheless, it was a major disappointment for a player who had risen from the scout team to become the most experienced player in the linebacker core in only two short years of play.
Once again James plans to play the weak side (Will) position at linebacker and sees numerous similarities between former defensive coordinator Bill Miller and new defensive coordinator Craig Bray. This year's defensive is also set up not to scare opponents in physical size but to use the element of speed as their forte. "We're going to be a fighting group we have a lot of fast guys," he explained. "Travis Goethel, Mike Nixon and Morris Wooten…we fly around and we're going to have a good defense."
It's once again the same story for James who enters the season being the most experienced linebacker in a young group, who feels obligated to help and teach the younger guys. "I'm going to go out there give my all for practice everyday," he stated. It's my last season and I have to give it all up. I don't say a lot so I lead by example and try to get everyone ready."
And now in his senior season James has a lot to prove and puts a lot of pressure on himself. His passion for football and to succeed in life in general, is an idea and example that all players should follow and any player with the motto ‘play everyday like it's your last' is the perfect example of a team leader.
Sun Devil Senior LB Feels Sense of Urgency
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