Edge Talks About Baby J: Part II

In the second part of a two-part series, Edgerrin James talks about his younger cousin Javarris James, UM's starting running back.

Edgerrin James Profile | Javarris James Profile

How is he different from in personality?

"He's quieter. Me, I go back and forth with the guys a lot, but he keeps quiet and doesn't say much, but he'll punish you and real competitive. He's still trying to race me to this day."

What advice have you given him?

"Just to keep working hard. You have to work harder now because he has a target on his chest. For a while, you are the third-string, then the second-string, and then you become the first string. But now you have to maintain the position and outwork everyone and there is no question that anyone can take your job and nobody else should be playing in the starting role besides him unless he does something out of the ordinary to lose it. He just has to work harder because it will only get harder."

What about the recognition he gets because of your name?

"It goes with the territory, but as you can see the beginning it was all about my name, but he is showing people he can actually play. It's not like he is grandfathered in because I played at UM. A lot of people might have thought that he was there because a lot of hype. But believe the hype, he's the real deal and he's going to walk out of the shadow sooner than later. We'll always have ties, but you'll see that his game is a whole lot better than mine when I was at the University of Miami."

How tough was it growing up on the south side of Immokalee?

"It's tough because options are limited. I think that's the reason why it is super tough. It was not as tough for Baby J because I've always been around and always been right there for him. That made it a little bit easier and I never wanted Baby J to be in the situation to attempt to do something crazy or something out of the ordinary. It wasn't as tough once I got into the league and got to rolling because I have always been right there. If he was having problems, he knows I was just a phone call a way as long as he did right in school and with football. One thing you will always be judged on is are you going to practice, are you out there dominating people, that's what we are trying to judge in our family and he's done all of that."

Javarris talked about growing up working in the watermelon fields with you, do you remember that?

"Oh yeah. He was little, but he would always try to do everything we did. He probably started driving when he was 10-11 years old. He was doing everything younger than us because out there all you can do is learn stuff by sitting around older people all day and just work. His dad did a good job making sure he was around older people all of the time."

Can you talk about the work ethic you've instilled in him including running in the streets at 3 in the morning?

"You have got to work. I always told him that you have to outwork everybody no matter what time of day it is, you have got to be working because this is your livelihood, pretty much. You have to do what the other people are not doing. Everybody is going to do what Coach Swasey is going to do and that's going to be good enough, but if you want to be better than them you have to do a whole lot more. How much more you do, that is how much better you have the potential to be. He knows what it takes and knows the game is so easy when you outwork everybody."

Did you always think he was going to be a ‘Cane?

"He was always a Hurricane. We never entertained other offers seriously. We might go just to take the trip and go to have fun to see something different, but at the end of the day I don't think his father would have allowed him to leave plus you want to have people come see you play. He's only an hour and 15 minutes from UM. That's where all of us try to go."

You've had a lot of personal success in the NFL and in college, but where does being a mentor rank with your successes?

"Oh man, it is one of the top things. Everybody in this locker room knows about Baby J. I'm talking about the whole facility. Everybody knows about him because that is who I talk about every day. You feel like you are a father or something and he's one of your kids because it's been that many years. Even though we are cousins and we can do all of those things like hanging out, but that is what it feels like at times because you helped this person out so much, been right there, and its family also. That's super big and that ranks amongst the top things. I always tell people that if one of my kids can be like Baby J, then I have nothing to worry about."

Christopher Stock can be reached at stock@canestime.com

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