EUGENE, Ore. -- Sophomore running back LaMichael James announced he will return to the University of Oregon for his junior season in 2011.

The consensus All-American and Heisman Trophy finalist said his decision was consistent with previous statements that his education was just as important to him as any individual on-field recognition.

“I came to the University of Oregon to get a quality education as well as to play football, and feel I have yet to complete that goal,” James said.

The first-team Pacific-10 Conference academic all-league choice and nation’s rushing and scoring leader heads into next month’s BCS National Championship game averaging 152.9 yards and 12.0 points per game. His 1,682 rushing yards stand 40 yards shy of Jonathan Stewart’s single-season school record (1,722 in 2007), while his 3,228 career yards on the ground looms 68 yards short of the Ducks’ all-time rushing mark (3,296, Derek Loville, 1986-89).

The Texarkana, Texas standout finished third in the voting for the Heisman Trophy, which represents the school’s highest finisher for the award ever.