'Baby J' Reports to UM

CORAL GABLES, Fla. - Freshman running back Javarris James is expected to contribute this season. Earlier today he officially reported to the University of Miami and will participate in his first UM practice tomorrow.

Javarris James comes in at 6-foot and 209 pounds after playing his senior season at Immokalee High at 215 pounds.

James rushed for more than 1,000 yards and 14 touchdowns in his senior season in which he missed five games because of a knee injury.

James, the cousin of former UM great and NFL superstar Edgerrin James, is excited to be a Hurricane.

"I used to come to practice all the time, but it is different now," James said. "It is a dream come true."

Javarris talks to Edgerrin, now with the Arizona Cardinals, every day.

"He is a mentor to me," he said. "He told me that every time I take the ball to try to fill his shoes and I'll be able to pay the bills one day."

Javarris will wear the number five jersey at Miami just like Edgerrin did and has made popular since.

"I feel like I can continue the tradition," said James who orginially wanted to wear number one. "I didn't want to do it at first. I wanted to get out of his shadow, but I decided to give (number five) a try."

Edgerrin is one of the best players to ever play at Miami and is currently one of the best running backs in the NFL.

Javarris understands he will have expectations placed on himself because he is related to Edgerrin.

"That is something that is going to follow me for the rest of my life," Javarris said.

Edgerrin ran for a UM record 299 yards against UCLA in 1998.

Javarris told his dad that day that he was going to be on that field one day.

In the summer he had been participating in workouts with the team and squatted 500 pounds--an impressive number for a freshman.

Fall practices begin tomorrow and James will begin his quest to reach his goals.

"I just hope one day to have the Javarris James Room," he said in reference to the Edgerrin James Room where the players have meetings and where press conferences are held.

He knows things won't be easy for him.

"Just because Edgerrin made it to the NFL doesn't mean that I don't know how to work hard."

Christopher Stock can be reached at stock@canestime.com

Canes Time Top Stories