Sep 14, 2013; Piscataway, NJ, USA; Rutgers Scarlet Knights running back Paul James (34) runs for a touchdown in the third quarter against the Eastern Michigan Eagles at High Points Solutions Stadium. Rutgers won 28-10. Mandatory Credit: Jim O
Ray Rice put the Rutgers football program–and Greg Schiano, now an NFL head coach–on the national map.
Rutgers then sent a back to the NFL this past year in Jawan Jamison, who led the team in rushing for two straight seasons. With Jamison gone, however, it’s time for someone else to step up for the team, and it just so happens to be a walk-on.
Redshirt sophomore Paul James currently leads the nation with 493 yards rushing through three games, and he’s racked up six touchdowns over the last two games. He’s averaging over eight yards per carry, and he has the look of a top college running back if he keeps this kind of pace.
James is 6’0″ 210 pounds and has some breakaway ability. He already won the starting job over a former five-star recruit in Savon Huggins, who was second on the team behind Jamison in rushing last season.
I’m always intrigued by these kinds of situations around the country, and when you look at the leading rushers in the nation, you’re looking at a couple of Cinderella stories. James has posted 493 yards, just 68 yards more than Iowa running back Mark Weisman, a former fullback and transfer from Air Force who wasn’t supposed to be anything but a special teams player and situational fullback at best.
Those two are first and third in the nation in rushing respectively, and I think it’s fantastic.
Keep an eye out for this guy, who still has two years of eligibility remaining after this season but he’s certainly got the attention of everyone out there.