The two-time consensus All-American, 2010 and 2011 national leader in rushing yards per game, 2010 Heisman runner-up and 2010 Doak Walker award winner confirmed today that ongoing rumors of his plans to forego his senior season and declare for the NFL draft are true.
From his official statement:
My experience at the University of Oregon has been one unlike any other, and one I will never forget. I am grateful for the people I have met, the things I have learned, and the amazing community I have had the privilege of being a part of over the last three-and-a-half years. The community of Eugene welcomed me with open arms and has supported me since the day I arrived. I am lucky to have been a part of such an amazing place. I can truly say Eugene is my home away from home and a place I will always hold in high regards.
As for my coaches and teammates — they are my family. I love each and every one of them and am eternally grateful for having each of them be a part of my life. It has been both an honor and a privilege to be a part of something as great as the UO family.
The Ducks are still projected as a top-10 team headed into the 2012 season off their Rose Bowl win over Wisconsin. With James gone the Ducks running back corps will be led by senior to be Kenjon Barner and rising sophomore De’Anthony Thomas.
Here’s the video of James’ press conference after his announcement. Incredibly honest answers to questions about his health, his decision process and his feelings for the program. Interesting to hear him say that had the Ducks lost the Rose Bowl he was 100% coming back: