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LaMichael James on KNBR

Posted by Alex Espinoza on April 30, 2012 – 5:07 PM

Consider LaMichael James a fan of the NFL’s new Nike uniforms.

Coming from a school like Oregon, which became something of a Nike showcase due to its ties with Nike founder Phil Knight, James loves sporting a swoosh on his uniform. In fact, he even crossed off the names of a few potential colleges because they were outfitted by the wrong apparel company.

“I would not go to two or three colleges, just because they were Adidas,” James said in an interview with KNBR on Monday. “Weirdest thing ever.  I wouldn’t go to Arkansas and I wouldn’t go to Mississippi State because they were Adidas schools. No three stripes for me. All Nike.”

On draft day, James didn’t know where he was going to end up. He was surprised once he got the call from 49ers head coach Jim Harbaugh, and said he’s eager to get to work once he finishes up his final semester in Eugene, Ore.

“I had no idea that they were going to draft me,” James said. “I was thinking I might slip into the third round, which was OK, but then all of the sudden I get a phone call from Coach Harbaugh and they told me they were going to take me.”

James already has a bit of history with Harbaugh, as the two did battle at the college level when Harbaugh coached at Stanford. The speedy Oregon running back went 1-1 against his new boss and said he always wanted to elevate his game when playing against Harbaugh.

“He’s a very, very, very intense coach,” James said. “I just wanted to play him and I wanted to beat him, all the time. Every time we played them, there was just an extra passion to beat him. That’s how I felt all the time because they were so aggressive. They took pride in that aggressive nature and being more physical than everybody else, so when we played them I was extra aggressive.”

The 22-year-old Texarkana, Texas, native also revealed he considered transferring away from Oregon after his first two seasons because of the immense cultural differences between his hometown and Eugene. Ultimately, James stuck with it and played an instrumental role in elevating Oregon to a national powerhouse during his three-year career.

“I’m proud to say I was a part of that,” James said.

For now, he will be busy with his studies as he wraps up his college degree. James won’t be able to join the 49ers until mid-June, as Oregon will hold finals from June 11-15 and commencement on June 18. Listening to the soon-to-be graduate, it’s clear education is still a priority.

“It’s always good to have that degree,” James said. “We’re always one snap away, and that’s true for everybody. You can’t play football forever.”

Click here to listen to James’ interview


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Posted in Announcements | 23 Comments »


23 Responses to “LaMichael James on KNBR”

  1. By Ted C on Apr 30, 2012 | Reply

    Just seen you last month at a Blazers game, and now your on my squad. Love it.

  2. By missouri 9er on Apr 30, 2012 | Reply

    WELCOME to the 49ers LaMichael James. Looking forward to wathing you do your thing and hope you are very succesful.. NINERS FOREVER!

  3. By missouri 9er on Apr 30, 2012 | Reply

    Thats “watching” sorry i type toung tied. haha

  4. By Goodword24 on Apr 30, 2012 | Reply

    Might want to check the stats on that record. Go ducks. They won the year of our first rose bowl in 09.. We beat them on the way to the national championship game, and we beat them last year.

  5. By We Cut Who? on Apr 30, 2012 | Reply

    2nd round running backs never produce, right? hmm… AMAZING PICK! Hard to believe he was there for us.

  6. By ftgambit on Apr 30, 2012 | Reply

    Well lucky for us, the 9ers have Nike, or he may not have picked up the phone on draft day :-)

  7. By roodles111 on Apr 30, 2012 | Reply

    glad to see you on the niners lamichael you willl be a major weapon

  8. By toplesscorvette on Apr 30, 2012 | Reply

    I love this guys attitude. Solid pick. Go Niners!

  9. By toplesscorvette on Apr 30, 2012 | Reply

    I love this guys attitude. Great pick. Go Niners!

  10. By CHRIS on May 1, 2012 | Reply

    From Rivals to allies. hopefully James shows that same extra aggression with harbaugh as he did against him.

  11. By John on May 1, 2012 | Reply

    We are fortunate to have this kid on our side. Watching Oregon play quite a few times, he can beat you on one snap. So I think it’s best to have him on our side. He is a game changer. Welcome to the league Mr James.

  12. By bub49ers on May 1, 2012 | Reply

    great pick! now we gotta homerun threat!

  13. By Mike on May 1, 2012 | Reply

    Welcome aboard! Looking forward to the big run in the superbowl I’m from Washington never liked you until now.

  14. By JasonXFlash on May 1, 2012 | Reply

    Me LSU, the Noles, & USC. So I hates the Ducks and especially LaM. James. I hope what he was with the Ducks as he is with our Mighty-Niners. Can’t wait to see him play. Gonna try to go to the pre-season game in Houston.

    Love my Niners…Baton Rouge, L.A.

  15. By DJWW on May 1, 2012 | Reply

    re: “No three stripes for me. All Nike.”

    Is he lucky that Nike got the NFL contract, or what?
    Maybe he could have gone CFL? Does anyone know if Nike does their apparel line?

  16. By BM57 on May 1, 2012 | Reply

    LMJ, Welcome to the bay area! I might just have to cancel my season tickets in Autzen to watch you play in a Niners uni!! I can’t wait to see Gore open a hole in the line and see you pop out on the other side!! GO DUCKS!

  17. By niner miner on May 1, 2012 | Reply

    Does anyone have any thoughts about the Niners picking up CB Cliff Harris in free agency. I would like to know what Lamichael James would think about having his old teamate on board as a kick return specialist or CB. Forgiving his off the field problems which are now all cleaned up……this kid needs a second chance. Harris is one of the most exciting players in the draft.

  18. By niner miner on May 1, 2012 | Reply

    Cal Bears fan 1st and Oregon Ducks 2nd. My family is split on both schools. Welcome Lamichael James to the SF Niners….San Francisco 49ers to the End!!!!!!

  19. By 9er fan on May 1, 2012 | Reply

    I love this team. Go 9ers

  20. By bigearl on May 1, 2012 | Reply

    All I have to say is that the 49ers has done a fabulous job to have drafted great young talent for the up coming season along with free agency.WHOs GOT IT BETTER THEN US…. “NO BODY”

  21. By Adrian on May 1, 2012 | Reply

    From my favorite college team to my favorite NFL team, this is awesome
    Lets go LaMichael James. We have one of the, if not the best backfield in the NFL.

  22. By niner miner on May 2, 2012 | Reply

    This is to address the thumbs down guys regarding the Niners drafting Cliff Harris ….too bad too sad…the Eagles got him but you watch and see how talented this kid is at punt returns and corner. Named all American Pac 10 and averaging 18.8 yds per return. We should have picked him at least in free draft. Subject closed!

  23. By Brady C Fournier on May 2, 2012 | Reply

    My uncle was LaMichaels H.S. coach in Texarkana and I had the privilege to see him play then and win a TX State title. Now he’s goin to be on the 49ers, who I’ve had season tix my whole life. This couldnt get any better.

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