LOUISVILLE, Ky. -- University of Oregon running back LaMichael James has been named one of four finalists for the 2011 Paul Hornung Award, the Louisville Sports Commission and Paul Hornung announced Friday.
James, a redshirt junior from Texarkana, Texas, is joined by Joe Adams of Arkansas, Brandon Boykin of Georgia and Eric Page of Toledo, as finalists for the annual award recognizing the most versatile player in major college football.
The nation's leading rusher with an average of 146.9 yards per game, James ranks third in all-purpose yards at 182.9 yards per contest and ninth in scoring at 10.4 points per game. This season he took on the added role as the Ducks' primary punt returner and ranks 20th nationally with an average of 11.25 yards per return and a touchdown.
Despite missing two games due to injury, James leads the FBS with 13 runs of 30 yards or more and has two punt returns of 50-plus yards, which is tied for second-most nationally. James has equaled his career-high with 17 receptions this season, while setting a new personal standard for receiving yards with 210. With 249 all-purpose yards in the inaugural Pac-12 Championship game, he took home MVP honors and became the second player in school history to surpass 2,000 all-purpose yards (2,012) in a single season.
James is the only player in UO history to score touchdowns rushing, receiving and returning in the same game, a feat he accomplished in this season's home opener vs. Nevada.
The 2010 Doak Walker Award winner and Heisman Trophy finalist, who was a unanimous All-America selection last season, has been named to both major 2011 All-America squads released so far, earning first-team honors at the all-purpose position by the AFCA and first-team running back by the Walter Camp Football Foundation.
The Paul Hornung Award winner will be selected from among the four finalists following their participation in bowl games. Fan voting to select the winner, powered by Texas Roadhouse and the Louisville Sports Commission, is now open on Facebook. Fans can vote as often as once a day by going to www.votepaulhornung.com. The winner will be honored on Feb. 2, 2012, at the Galt House in downtown Louisville during the annual Paul Hornung Award banquet, sponsored by Jewish Hospital Sports Medicine.
Other individuals receiving votes were (in alphabetical order): Keenan Allen (California), Kenjon Barner (Oregon), Jyruss Edwards (Louisiana-Lafayette), T.Y. Hilton (FIU), Jayron Hosley (Virginia Tech), Collin Klein (Kansas State), Keshawn Martin (Michigan State), Jamal Miles (Arizona State), Isaiah Pead (Cincinnati), Bobby Rainey (Western Kentucky), Trent Richardson (Alabama), Denard Robinson (Michigan), Jonathan Warzeka (Air Force), Sammy Watkins (Clemson), David Wilson (Virginia Tech) and Robert Woods (USC).
About The Paul Hornung Award: The Louisville Sports Commission successfully launched the Paul Hornung Award in 2010 to honor its namesake and native son and to promote outstanding performances by versatile college football players. Owen Marecic of Stanford, a two-way starter and All Pac-10 performer at fullback and linebacker, was inaugural Paul Hornung Award winner. All three 2010 Paul Hornung Award finalists now are playing in the NFL: Kentucky's Randall Cobb (Green Bay Packers), TCU's Jeremy Kerley (New York Jets) and Marecic (Cleveland Browns).