CORAL GABLES, Fla. -- With the 2011 season fast approaching and an opening match-up with Maryland on the horizon, it's time to learn more about the Miami Hurricanes football team. Every day until Fall camp begins, we'll introduce you to a Hurricane.
Mike James | Running Back | Junior | Hanies City, Fla.
I secretly wish that I was 6-3, 280 and played tight end. I always thought it was a cool position. It's all about the dirty work, and I like that. You play in the league for a long time, but no one really knows about you. You're too big to be a wide receiver, too big to be a running back, but too small to be an offensive lineman.
Everybody can criticize but everybody can't do the same things you do. They can't go through the same things you go through on a day-to-day basis. But everybody can talk about how you do it and how you can do it better.
I'll never forget the last time I saw my mom in the stands at a football game. I'll never forget that. I always looked for her; I couldn't start a game unless I knew where she was.
Legacy is upholding my mom's name, the University of Miami's name, and my last name.
Playing football has given me a sense of humor, a sense of direction, and a work ethic that cannot be compared to anything else.
You never know when it's going to be your last time playing.
The best running back, I hate to say it because he's a Gator, is Emmitt Smith.
A crowded backfield prepares you for life more than anything. The thing that motivates me is competition and failure. I don't want to be bad, and I want to compete to be the best. That's what gets me going, and if anything, it makes me better each and every day. I'm not coming in here, being lazy, and thinking I'll keep my position anyway - I don't think that's how football is supposed to be regardless. I don't mind a crowded backfield, it gives me something to work for. If I had gone somewhere where I could have started all four years, lolly-gagged, gone .500 and rushed for 1,000 yards, that's fine, but it doesn't get any better than knowing you have to come in everyday and fight for what you want. That's life.
The U is a place where impossible happens.
A good offensive line is bigger and faster than anyone else, pound for pound. Bigger, faster, smarter, and tougher. That's what makes an offensive lineman.
Teamwork is something if you don't have, you'll lose.
I didn't think I could make it this far in life, where I'm at, and the way things have happened.
When I was six years old I was overweight. I couldn't play running back, and I always told my mom I wanted to play and she told me I had to lose some weight if I wanted to. When I was maybe 10, we went on a diet plan - it used to kill me. I used to have to jog, push-ups, sit-ups, eat small portions. As I got older, I got a little taller and started to slim down.
Running back is one of those things where you have to take the good with the bad. It's unique. You have to be athletic, you gotta know where you're going, and you're the safety valve on offense. If an offensive lineman misses a block, you have to pick it up. If someone doesn't know something, you're the last one to see it. It's a position where you don't play for long, and you can't find a great one everywhere.
We are all human. And everything happens for a reason. Things might not happen the way you want them to, but you're gonna make mistakes - nobody is perfect. We're all human.
I was raised to be the best I could be on any given day at any given time, and I show that every time I do something.
Make sure to check in for a new Behind the Facemask profile each and everyday in preparation for the Hurricane football season opener. For a review of all past profiles, check out Behind the Facemask Central.