Mike James signed with the Hurricanes in the Class of 2009 after a successful prep career at Ridge High in Davenport, Fla. At 5-foot-11 and 215 pounds, James was a three-star recruit.
It didn't take him long before he began logging playing time as a reserve running back as a freshman in 2009. He finished that first season with 46 yards and one touchdown on 15 carries but also caught 15 passes for 105 yards.
A sophomore in 2010, James was still playing behind starter Graig Cooper at the time. He saw an increase in playing time and took 70 carries for 398 yards and three scores. He added 13 more receptions for 56 yards and one score.
As a junior last season, James carried it 72 times for 275 yards and seven scores. He became Miami's best short yardage back for most of the season and saw more action down by the goal line, resulting in more touchdowns. He was, however, used less often as a pass-catcher in Jedd Fisch's offense, finishing with just nine catches for 80 yards and one score.
Now a rising senior, James is now Miami's top running back. Lamar Miller now plays with the Miami Dolphins so his 227 carries will have to get replaced. Eduardo Clements will see a huge increase in carries and freshman sensation Duke Johnson will also see a lot of playing time. However, James is now the main guy in this backfield.
His workload will likely double this season and with his career 4.6 yards per carry he should have, by far, his best season to date.
James joins North Carolina's Gio Bernard, Clemson's Andre Ellington, and Georgia Tech's Orwin Smith as the running backs from the ACC on the list.