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James was succinct about wanting to put his past in the past.

“I’m never going to live that day again in my life,” he said. “I’ve just got to move on.”

Amid the drama, James worked on his game by joining Oregon’s track and field team, albeit on a limited basis, as a sprinter. James, a Texas state champion in the 100 meters when he was in high school, came in fifth in the event at this year’s Pac-10 championships.

When fall camp opened, James said that before the events that transpired in the offseason, he simply didn’t fully understand the responsibility of his position.

“You’re in a fishbowl. Either you’re at the top and everybody’s waiting for you to fall, or you’re at the bottom and everybody’s waiting for you to screw up,” he said.

James will finally get to play in Oregon’s game at Tennessee on Sept. 11, sharing the bulk of the rushing duties with fellow sophomore Kenjon Barner. Both James and Barner thrive in Kelly’s spread-option offense, which will likely feature frequent two-back sets this season.

Barner will start in James‘ place on Saturday.

As a result of his success last season, James said he’s ready for the fact that he’s no longer a surprise.

“I know a lot of great players around the conference and a lot of great players around the nation, and they’re great players but if they don’t win games it really doesn’t mean anything,” he said. “I want to go out and win games.”