IRVING, Texas — Legendary Oregon football running back LaMichael James will be inducted into the College Football Hall of Fame after being announced as one of 22 members in the Class of 2023 on Monday by the National Football Foundation (NFF) and College Hall of Fame.
James is among 18 former first-team all-Americans and four standout coaches included in the 2023 Class, which was selected from the national ballot of 80 players and nine coaches from the FBS level as well as 96 players and 33 coaches from the divisional ranks.
“We are extremely proud to announce the 2023 College Football Hall of Fame Class,” said Archie Manning, NFF Chairman and a 1989 College Football Hall of Famer from Mississippi. “Each of these men has established himself among the absolute best to have ever played or coached the game, and we look forward to immortalizing their incredible accomplishments.”
The 2023 College Football Hall of Fame Class will be officially inducted during the 65th NFF Annual Awards Dinner Presented by Las Vegas on Dec. 5, 2023, at the ARIA Resort & Casino in Las Vegas.
James becomes the sixth Oregon football player to enter the College Football Hall of Fame, joining quarterback Norm Van Brocklin (Class of 1966), running back John Kitzmiller (1969), tackle John Beckett (1972), running back Mel Renfro (1986) and running back Ahmad Rashad (2007). Former Oregon coaches Len Casanova (1977) and Mike Bellotti (2014) are also Hall of Fame inductees.
“Selection to the College Football Hall of Fame is a well-deserved honor for LaMichael,” UO director of athletics Rob Mullens said. “He is a true Duck legend and one of the most electrifying players in the history of college football. The legacy LaMichael left in Eugene is everlasting and a significant reason for the continued success of our football program. He led our team to tremendous heights and produced so many memorable moments while being part of an offense that changed the game of college football. LaMichael’s performance and infectious personality connected him with Oregon fans and gave him a special place in their hearts, and we are extremely proud of him for his election to the Hall of Fame.”
James led Oregon to national prominence during his three seasons in Eugene (2009-11), helping the Ducks win three straight Pac-12 titles and reach three consecutive BCS bowls, including the 2011 Tostitos BCS National Championship game. James capped his collegiate career with 159 yards and a touchdown in a 45-38 win over Wisconsin in the 2012 Rose Bowl.
The first unanimous first-team all-American (2010) and consensus two-time all-American (2010 & 2011) in program history, James ranks second all-time at Oregon in career rushing yards (5,082), all-purpose yards (5,869), rushing touchdowns (53), 100-yard rushing games (26) and total points scored (348). He holds the program record with seven career 200-yard rushing performances, including five of more than 225 yards.
James was a two-time first-team all-conference selection (2010 & 2011) and became just the third non-kicker since 1980 to lead the Pac-12 in scoring in back-to-back years. He is also one of just three players in conference history to rush for at least 1,700 yards in consecutive seasons.
James claimed the Doak Walker Award in 2010 as the nation’s best running back and was a finalist for the Heisman Trophy after leading the nation in rushing yards (1,731), yards from scrimmage (1,939) and touchdowns (24). His 21 rushing touchdowns are tied for the UO single-season record, and his 144 points scored are the most ever in a season by a Duck. James led Oregon to its first-ever 12-win season, culminating in its first national championship game appearance.
A native of Texarkana, Texas, James closed his career at Oregon with 1,805 rushing yards in 2011, second-most in UO single-season history. He averaged a UO record 7.31 yards per rush and erupted for a career-high 288 rushing yards in a win at Arizona, No. 2 in single-game program history. His 363 all-purpose yards in that game are a program record. James was a finalist for the 2011 Doak Walker Award and the Paul Hornung Award, which goes to the most versatile player in the nation.
James burst onto the scene in Eugene in 2009, earning Pac-10 Freshman of the Year honors after setting the conference record for rushing yards by a freshman with 1,546. James set the Oregon record for 100-yard rushing games by a freshman (9) while averaging 6.72 yards per carry, and was selected as a FWAA freshman all-American.
The Ducks went a combined 34-6 during James’ three seasons in Eugene and finished at No. 11 in the national rankings in 2009, No. 3 in 2010 and No. 4 in 2011. With James leading the way, the Ducks rushed for a program record 4,189 yards in 2011, the program’s first season ever surpassing 4,000 yards on the ground.
James was drafted by San Francisco in the second round of the 2012 NFL Draft, and played for both the 49ers (2012-14) and the Miami Dolphins (2014-15). He currently owns and operates Killer Burger franchises in Lake Oswego and Beaverton, with a third location set to open in Eugene later this month.
College Football Hall of Fame – Class of 2023
DB Eric Berry – Tennesee (2007-09)
QB Michael Bishop – Kansas State (1997-98)
RB Reggie Bush – USC (2003-05)
DE Dwight Freeney – Syracuse (1998-01)
OT Robert Gallery – Iowa (2000-03)
RB LaMichael James – Oregon (2009-11)
LB Derrick Johnson – Texas (2001-04)
DT Bill Kollar – DT Montana State (1971-73)
LB Luke Kuechly – Boston College (2009-11)
WR/KR Jeremy Maclin – Missouri (2007-08)
WR Terance Mathis – New Mexico (1985-87, 89)
OT Bryant McKinnie – Miami (Fla.) (2000-01)
DL Corey Moore – Virginia Tech (1997-99)
LB Michael Stonebreaker – Notre Dame (1986, 88, 90)
QB Tim Tebow – Florida (2006-09)
DB Troy Vincent – Winsconsin (1988-91)
RB Brian Westbrook – Villanova (1997-98, 2000-01)
RB DeAngelo Williams – Memphis (2002-05)
Monte Cater (275-117-2 career record, 1981-2017)
Paul Johnson (189-99 career record, 1997-18)
Roy Kramer (83-32-2 career record,1967-77)
Mark Richt (171-64 career record, 2001-18)