Big Back A Prospect To Watch For 2011 Class

Standout Damarcus James closed out his junior year in style with a big performance to help Demopolis win the 5A title.

Demopolis, Ala.--Entering Thursday's 5A state title game, Demopolis High School junior running back Damarcus James was already a player on watch lists around the state for next season, but his performance against Russellville likely put him squarely on the map for 2011 for many schools.

Carrying the ball 42 times for 293 yards and one touchdown while also adding a two-point conversion, he led the Tigers to the state championship while earning MVP honors. He says for him it was all about doing what he had to do for his team to win.

"It was a big game," James tells Inside The Auburn Tigers. "It's a dream to come out and play for a state championship. For me to come out and lead the team to the win is something."

James runs in the title game.

People familiar with Demopolis football say it wasn't an unusual sight and looking at the numbers from the 2009 season that is definitely the case. Finishing the year with 380 carries for 2,512 yards and 19 touchdowns, James was the workhorse all season long. That became even more apparent in the biggest of situations as he carried the ball an average of 40 times a game in the playoffs.

"If they want to ride me then they can ride me," James says about being the key weapon for Demopolis. "I just want to lead the team. For me repetitions make be better. The line got better as the season went along and we all came together. It just worked out."

Not a back that is going to wow you with blinding speed, the 5-10, 201 James instead uses his vision, power, and quickness in the hole to get downhill on a defense. His combination of those has already attracted attention from several colleges and he said he's just waiting for some offers to come in.

"I'm hearing from Alabama, Vanderbilt, Ole Miss, Notre Dame, Florida State, LSU and a few others," James says. "I'm not hearing much from Auburn right now, but I always wanted to be a Tiger when I was little. They've always had great backs. It seemed like the place for me."

As a sophomore James rushed for 1,652 yards and 23 touchdowns on 199 carries. He added more than 1,100 yards as a freshman for the Tigers.

Inside The AU Tigers Top Stories