Cumberland Times-News

Local Sports

January 25, 2013

James goes from spectator to contributor for 49ers

SANTA CLARA, Calif. — LaMichael James has transformed himself from a rookie spectator forced to watch the first three months of the season to a key contributor to a Super Bowl team in a matter of weeks for the San Francisco 49ers.

After being inactive the first 12 games of the season, James has become an impact player for the 49ers in their run to the Super Bowl next week against Baltimore.

His long kickoff return set up the go-ahead score in a late-season win in New England. His experience running the zone read helped Colin Kaepernick rush for 181 yards in a win to open the playoffs against Green Bay. Then James got into the scoring act himself last week, starting San Francisco’s comeback in a 28-24 win over Atlanta in the NFC championship.

“I had a lot to learn,” James said. “I’m still learning. I’m very blessed to be in the situation I’m in.”

Fresh off scoring his first professional touchdown in last week’s win over the Falcons, James is finally fulfilling the expectations the Niners had for him after drafting him in the second round last April following a stellar college career at Oregon.

“From the first time he stepped on the field, he’s been dynamic,” coach Jim Harbaugh said.

Getting on the field was the hard part. James was inactive the first 12 games as he had to adjust to playing from a huddle after being part of Oregon’s fast-paced offense for three years and to learn a much more extensive playbook than he was used to with the Ducks.

James dutifully worked at learning his craft, making his contributions as a scout team running back and receiver and soaking in whatever tips he could get from starter Frank Gore and running backs coach Tom Rathman.

Text Only
Local Sports
  • Leydig lifts Casselman Valley over Moose, 6-5

    Lance Leydig scored on a bases loaded suicide squeeze attempt in the bottom of the eighth inning to give Casselman Valley the early advantage over the Moose by winning game one of the best-of-three series 6-5 Monday evening.

    July 22, 2014

  • Sports Calendar - 07/23/2014

    July 22, 2014

  • CEO: Rivers to quit Clippers if Sterling stays CEO: Rivers to quit Clippers if Sterling stays

    The interim CEO of the Los Angeles Clippers testified Tuesday that coach Doc Rivers told him he will quit if Donald Sterling remains the owner of the team.

    July 22, 2014 1 Photo

  • Rory McIlroy is poised to be golf’s next big thing Rory McIlroy is poised to be golf’s next big thing

    Golf has been looking for the next big star the last five years, and Rory McIlroy is the most obvious candidate.

    July 22, 2014 1 Photo

  • Pyrenees please Nibali, Rogers in Tour Stage 16 Pyrenees please Nibali, Rogers in Tour Stage 16

    The Pyrenees on Tuesday lived up to their reputation for causing ups and downs at the Tour de France: A French rider climbed in the standings, an American went down, and an Australian rebounding from an ordeal of doping suspicions won Stage 16 in a downhill breakaway.

    July 22, 2014 1 Photo

  • Sam excited about next phase of career Sam excited about next phase of career

    Now it starts to get intense for Michael Sam and the rest of the St. Louis Rams rookies.

    July 22, 2014 1 Photo

  • Lohr helps Cork’s Cars to 4-0 win

    Broc Lohr allowed one hit on the mound and had his team’s only hit at the plate as Cork’s Cars scrapped together four runs to shut out Madigan’s Auto Parts 4-0 on Monday at the Hot Stove Complex.

    July 22, 2014

  • Northside blanks Hite in opener

    Evan Rodeheaver tossed five innings of two-hit, shutout ball to allow the Northside Diamond Dogs to gain a 1-0 lead in its opening round playoff series by beating Hite Roofing 10-0 Monday at Northern High School.

    July 22, 2014

  • Titans sweep on shutouts

    Cody Ellsworth and Jacob Foreman both pitched complete-game shutouts to keep the Tri-State Titans undefeated in the Pen-Mar-WV League after sweeping the Cumberland Orioles Sunday afternoon at Bel Air Field.

    July 22, 2014

  • Sports Roundup - 07/22/2014

    July 21, 2014