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In honor of the Pro Football Hall of Fame Class of 2020, we are turning back the clocks and looking at the collegiate careers that set the foundation for these future Hall of Famers.
Next up is Indianapolis Colts star Edgerrin James, who burst onto the national scene after three successful seasons in the University of Miami backfield from 1996-98.
A native of Immokalee, Florida, James’ decision to play college ball at the University of Miami wasn’t a difficult one.
He joined the team before the 1996 season and quickly became a factor in the Hurricanes offense, rushing for 446 yards and two touchdowns on 71 carries in seven games. James was a part of a loaded backfield during his freshman season, but still produced enough to make it obvious that he was the future of Miami’s offense.
After going 9-3 in James’ first year, the Canes regressed to a poor 5-6 in his sophomore season, but James became the team’s main back.
He rushed for a team leading 1,098 yards and 13 touchdowns on 184 carries in his sophomore season, a tally that not only made him paramount to the Hurricanes’ offensive production but also started to shine a national spotlight on him. His rushing yards and touchdowns total both ranked second in the Big East in 1997.
James’ junior season saw another natural progression as he exploded for a Big East-best 1,416 rushing yards and 17 touchdowns on 242 carries. He also became a big player in the Canes passing game, catching 17 balls for 255 yards and 2 touchdowns. For his successes, James was named First-Team All-Big East for the 1998 season.
His production helped Miami return to its winning ways, as the Hurricanes went 9-3 and finished the season ranked 20th in the AP Poll.
James decided to forego his senior season in Coral Gables and headed to the 1999 NFL Draft, where he was touted as one of the top tailbacks in the class alongside Texas’ Ricky Williams.
While many thought Williams would be the first of the two to be taken off the board, the Indianapolis Colts chose to draft James with the No.4 overall pick, one pick before Williams was selected by the New Orleans Saints.
James spent the first seven seasons of his Hall of Fame career in Indianapolis.
Witness history as Miami Hurricanes and Indianapolis Colts legend Edgerrin James enters the Hall of Fame at 2020 Enshrinement Week Powered by Johnson Controls.
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