It's what he cousin, former UM running back and current Arizona Cardinal Edgerrin James bread into him as he was growing up in Immokalee, Florida.
It's what made him run at 3 o'clock in the morning when he was in high school with his friends when he was simply bored. It's what made him hit the weight room at all hours of the night.
And it's clearly paid off and is showing immediately as he's now the starting running back and still, but a wet behind the ears freshman. But a freshman at the same time that is levels above his freshman mates because of the
Javarris James rushed for 148 yards in his first start and was pretty much solely responsible for the fact that Miami pulled off the 14-13 win over Houston last Saturday, and he did it like a warrior does, with deep bruises in both quadriceps muscles that he sustained early in the first quarter.
But the words of fellow running back Tyrone Moss hit just as hard as anything EJ has said to him.
"(Moss) always keeps a positive attitude. When I first came here and, he said to keep working hard," James said. "When I got injured (in the first quarter) and was sitting out, he told me get back in there. He had to play with a bad shoulder all last year. He always gives me good advice."
However, his attitude is attributed to Edge. What makes him great is attributed to Edge. What has him playing at this level is attributed to Edge because what better teacher than seeing your family go through it and bring you along for the ride?
"The best thing he did for me is let me follow the kind of life he lived. He showed me how to make his mom proud, his family proud. It's hard work," James said. "Most people wouldn't think it's much hard work, but I'd go to Indianapolis and he'd leave at five in morning and come back at eleven at night and he'd tell me what he did.
I think that helped me mature a lot cause most freshman come in, not too many kids are used to being on their own," James said. "Me being able to hang out with him got me used to it. Now I am on my own and feel like I with him again."
But JJ doesn't particularly like the attention he's received being such a young player who really hasn't done a lot yet beyond the Houston game. Low key is what he seemingly wants to remain, but quarterback Kyle Wright isn't helping the matter any by nicknaming him "Prime Time".
"He always calls me that. He called me that since the FAMU game. I really don't like it, but he's Kyle Wright, but I really can't complain about it then."
But more games like the one he had where he finished just five yards short of tying Frank Gore's freshman record of 153 yards will have not only Hurricanes fans buzzing, but the nation wanting to find about JJ.
First, he has to get over the two deep bruises, but he's been able to get some workouts in during the week and expects to be ready to go when the ‘Canes hit the field against North Carolina at noon.
"It's my right and left quads, a deep bruise in both quads," James said. "I've been doing a lot of treatment and icing. It's still hurting a little bit, but not as much as it was Sunday. I'll be ready to go though."
Just like a warrior should.
Rudy Rodriguez-Chomat can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org
James Ready for Encore Performance
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