Well, it's official: LaMichael James is entering the NFL draft. While it seemed like a foregone conclusion since he decided to come back for his junior year, it was not an easy decision for him. Here is LaMichael's statement from the UO press release:
"My experience at the University of Oregon has been one unlike any other, and one I will never forget," James said. "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," James emphasized. "It has been both an honor and a privilege to be a part of something as great as the UO family."
We've rehashed James' accomplishments over the past month, but he leaves Oregon the best running back in school history, if not the best player. With a Rose Bowl win, and another great performance, he leaves Oregon on an incredibly high note.
Selfishly, I'll miss watching James shred opposing defenses. His speed, power, and agility were a joy to watch. We were lucky to have three relatively healthy seasons from James, leading the Ducks on their best three-year stretch in school history.
Good luck LaMichael. We'll miss you, and thanks for the awesome memories.