For the second straight pick in the 2012 NFL Draft the San Francisco 49ers took an offensive play-maker off the board with the selection of running back LaMichael James from the University of Oregon.
Now, with his Stanford ties many felt a player like Coby Fleener would be between the crosshairs, but the 49ers went another route by making a part of Harbaugh's former enemy and make him part of his team. Harbaugh remembers all those times James took it to his Cardinal in the Pac-12, now he wants James to return the favor to the rest of the NFL:
"I have a memory like an elephant," Harbaugh said with a grin. "I never forget."
The 49ers already have a large group of running backs on the team, and like they are doing by stacking up wide receivers and quarterbakcs, they are making the play-maker positions the most competition heavy on the team, forcing the cream to rise to the top so to speak. Harbaugh sees the 5-foot-8, 195 pounder as an every down back, but really love his tenacity at the goal line:
"Just the unstoppable nature of him at the goal line," Harbaugh recalled. "You could not stop that team once they got inside the 5-yard line."
But the 2010 Doak Walker Award and the frist two-time consensus All-American in Oregon football history doesn't care what he's asked to do from his new squad, because he feels like he's a threat on in every aspect of his game:
"I plan to do everything," James said. "Return balls, run down on kickoffs, whatever the team needs me to do that's what I'm going to do. Whatever they need me to do. I feel like I have a variety of skill sets. Returning ability, I can run in between the tackles, I can catch the ball, I can do pretty much everything they ask me to do."
That will certainly come in handy down the line as he will have an uphill battle for playing time heading into the 2012 season.
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