James Ready to Change his Role

On a Florida offense filled with dynamic playmakers, it would be easy to overlook Brandon James. He's an all-SEC first teamer as a kick returner but posted just 202 yards of combined offense from scrimmage last season.

That could be about to change. A recent switch in positions from running back to wide receiver may put James in play more often when the Gators have the ball this season.

James is justifiably proud of his accomplishments in the return game, but hopes to show he can add to Florida's attack.

"I just want to be involved more in the offense," James said. "Receiver, running the ball, however I can help the team by touching the ball a little bit more and making plays."

Adapting to wide receiver has been an enjoyable new challenge for James.

"It's been a lot of fun learning the routes and being around the receivers learning techniques to get open," he said.

Florida's wide receivers are asked to do a lot of blocking on perimeter runs, which the diminutive James acknowledges has been a challenge to master. His smaller size does help against cornerbacks in man coverage, as it's difficult for them to jam James at the line of scrimmage because he's not a big target.

James is making a positive impression on his new position group. Senior Louis Murphy singled James out as someone who has upgraded his performance in a big way.

"This is his third year, and he's stepped up vocally plus he's made a lot of big plays in practice," Murphy said. "He's very good. A lot of guys look up to him."

James hopes to help Florida fill a potential void at the receiver position stemming from Percy Harvin's ongoing injury recovery. While there's been no official word on how many games Harvin might miss, James said it's possible the junior might not be available for the matchups with Hawaii and Miami.

James is confident he's ready to pick up the slack.

"I think I've established myself as a big time playmaker in this offense. I feel I can be used in the right situations to do what's best for the team right now."


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