Stepping Stones: LaMichael James

After a sensational sophomore season Texarkana Liberty-Eylau RB LaMichael James had a lot of work to do in 2006 to top his varsity debut. Well after leading the Leopards to the Class 3A Division 1 State Championship with 2100 total yards and 19 total touchdowns, many would consider James' work done. However, LaMichael himself may not agree.

"We have a lot more to accomplish this season, I want to leave here with another title," said James. The 5'10 183 pound tailback with 4.35 speed earned first team all 16-3A honors along with second team Class 3A All-State honors after his big junior season. In the biggest of games for the Leopards in 2006, James showed why his is such a talent as he posted 115 yards rushing and also caught one pass for 42 yards in the Leopards thrilling 35-34 win over Robinson in the state title game.

As a sophomore in 2005, James earned first team all-district honors as a safety as he split time at running back and he helped Coach Pat Prady's squad advance to the state semi-finals before a close loss to state runner-up Gainesville. LaMichael besides the blazing speed spots a 275 pound bench press along with a 405 pound squat max and a 34 inch vertical leap.

James is also a member of the Leopards track team where he specializes in the sprints. "My speed, and quickness and my ability to catch the ball out of the backfield are my biggest strengths," said James who posted over 500 yards receiving as a junior. Texas, Oklahoma, Oklahoma State, Arkansas, Houston, Nebraska and Tulsa all look to be in the mix to land LaMichael at this time. The speedster from Liberty-Eylau currently holds offers from Arkansas, Houston, Oklahoma State and Tulsa.

Last summer LaMichael kept busy impressing scouts in mini-camps at TCU and Houston and he played seven on seven for Liberty-Eylau, the Leopards did not compete in any State Qualifying Tournaments only league play. James isn't sure where he'll ply his craft this summer but he will once again participate in seven on seven. "I think the offensive system along with a chance at early playing time and academics are all very important and they'll be things I look at when deciding on a school," said the running back from deep East Texas who plans on majoring in Law.

Don't look for any rush decisions however from the Liberty-Eylau star as he doesn't plan on committing until he takes all of his official visits. "My goal is to repeat, we have the target on our back but I think we can. Personally I want to break the school record for rushing yards and exceed 20 touchdowns." With a solid core of key players back for the Leopard in 2007 a chance at a repeat is a realistic goal for LaMichael James and the rest of his teammates.

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