James is ready to finish in style

When he arrived on campus, then Husky head coach Rick Neuheisel called RB Kenny James the best running back in California. After a solid season as a redshirt freshman in 2002, hopes were high for the talented runner from the Central Valley. However, the injury bug has bitten him hard the past two seasons, stymieing his progress.

This year James is healthy and he's ready to finish his career as a Husky on high note.

"I feel a lot better," James said at the opening press conference of the season. "I'm feeling healthy and stronger and ready to go.

"Coming into camp, I have to stay healthy. I've just gotta stay healthy, go out there and play and let God take care of the rest."

He also invoked the name of the almighty when talking about his offensive line and how they are going to be better than the media or fans think they will be.

"I've got faith in my offensive line," James noted. "Everyone's been talking about how we have an inexperienced line or it isn't that good, but I think that's a false statement. We have guys who played a lot last year and a couple of them have started before. I think we're going to be a lot better up there than everyone thinks we are.

"They have faith in me and I have faith in them and that's a good thing. God will take care of the rest if we do our jobs and that is to work hard and get that killer instinct when he have teams down."

That killer instinct, or winning attitude, as head coach Tyrone Willingham likes to call it is something that has been missing from the program over the past few seasons. James said, it isn't just on the field that the team develops that – it's also in their everyday life.

"It's in everything we do," James said emphatically. "In the locker room, when we're eating dinner, when we're working out on our own. It's like what coach Willingham said, it's about desire and wanting to win that championship.

"You have to have it on every play and in everything you do in the offseason as well as when you're in camp and in practice and in a game. Whatever you do, go all-out on everything and you will be successful."

Now heading into his fifth year with the program, James doesn't look back at the setbacks, the losing records or the tough times. He's looking ahead and he knows what he expects from himself and his teammates.

"I still haven't reached the level I can play at," James said. "Last year I was hurt a lot, but last year was last year. I'm looking forward to this year.

"For me, it's just about going out there and playing and letting every thing go and being a playmaker."

James heads into fall camp as the starter at tailback and the expectations are that, if he stays healthy, he will be the back to lead the Husky resurgence.

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