MORGANTOWN, W.Va.–As a redshirt freshman Sam James showed glimpses of promise but West Virginia will expect big things from him during his sophomore year.
During the Mountaineers’ first full day in pads on Saturday, the 6-foot, 184-pound wide out was turning it up.
“He made several big plays, and he’s a guy that we’re counting on,” WVU head coach Neal Brown said. “That’s the expectation for him and he delivered today.”
Heading into the season, James was named to the preseason All-Big 12 Second Team All-Purpose (Athlon Sports), preseason All-Big 12 First Team Wide Receiver (Phil Steele) and the Wuerffel Trophy Watch List.
This comes after he led the Mountaineers in receptions (69) and receiving yards (677), had two touchdowns and had a long catch of 51 yards.
Against Texas Tech, the Richmond Hill, Ga. native had a promising game, catching a career-high 14 passes for 223 yards. His 14 catches versus the Red Raiders are tied for second in a single game in program history.
WVU will need more consistent performances out of James this season. Dropping passes was an area that plagued the wide receiver last season.
He spent much of the summer home in Georgia catching the football and establishing a bond with junior quarterback Jarrett Doege.
“I caught 200 passes a day,” James told the Bryan County Now. “I could have had a better season if I could have held on to the ball.”
James has only begun to scratch the surface with his potential. He just has to put it all together and on a weekly basis.
“I’ve spent a lot of time of time studying (watching film) and learning routes,” he said. “I’ve gotten better at running routes. I have to go out and be technically sound and show I’m an overall receiver who is not just a fast guy.”
Cover Photo Credit: Caleb Saunders-WVU Football