Oregon received a verbal commitment from 4-star running back Tony James this morning, according to ESPN. The news was quickly confirmed by multiple recruiting outlets via Twitter:
Gainesville RB Tony James has committed to #Oregon. #Ducks— Derek Tyson (@DerekTysonESPN) September 29, 2013
Gainesville High School running back Tony James committed to the Oregon Ducks. #GoDucks— Cedderick Daniels (@datdude58) September 29, 2013
James was one of several recruits on hand this weekend for what turned out to be one of the wettest football games ever played in the state of Oregon. The news is welcome for a Ducks team that hadn't seen a commitment in over a month. A Gainesville, Florida native, James chose Oregon over Auburn, Florida, Kentucky, and Ohio State.
Tony James is a smaller, speedy back in the mold of Kenjon Barner and LaMichael James. SBNation recruiting editor Bud Elliott (@SBNRecruiting) had this to say about James this morning:
"He's very quick, has homerun speed, and is a tougher runner than you'd think given his size. Great back for the spread. "
Like so many skill position players at Oregon, James possesses legitimate track star speed: he runs a 4.37 40-yard dash and a 10.52 100-meter time. He figures to be the perfect compliment to 5-star bruiser and Oregon commit, Royce Freeman, from Imperial, California. Although Oregon is currently loaded at running back, James could see action soon after arriving on campus, either on punt returns, or as a change of pace back should De'Anthony Thomas leave early for the NFL.
With James' commitment, Oregon figures to be done at running back, despite interest from 5-star back, Joe Mixon. With a potential depth chart of De'Anthony Thomas, Byron Marshall, Thomas Tyner, Royce Freeman, and Tony James, Oregon is in great shape to continue dominating on the ground.