Football, Sports, WVU Sports

WVU’s Sam James declares for NFL draft

MORGANTOWN — Both of WVU’s top receivers will turn their attention to the pros next season as Sam James announced on Twitter Wednesday afternoon that he will forgo his final year of college eligibility and declare for the NFL draft.

James joins fellow receiver Bryce Ford-Wheaton, who announced the same decision last week.

James and Ford-Wheaton were the Mountaineers’ top two receivers this season, with James finishing third in receptions (46), first in yards (745) and second in touchdowns (six). The yards and touchdowns were both career highs.

A Georgia native, James redshirted in 2018 and became a four-year starter for the Mountaineers. He finishes his career fifth all-time in career receptions with 190.

“I think that speaks of his longevity and his ability to play,” head coach Neal Brown said during the season. “What he’s grown into, which I’m really proud of, he’s one of our most consistent practice players from an effort and production standpoint. Consistency is a trait that I think is one of the highest compliments you can give.” 

Brown also praised James for growing into a really good “football player,” instead of just being a receiver.

James started on several of WVU’s special teams units and Brown said James’ ability on special teams is what will earn him a chance at the next level.

Due to the blanket eligibility waiver given out by the NCAA in 2020, James had one year of eligibility remaining.

With James’ announcement, WVU has lost three of its top four receivers this offseason. Ford-Wheaton also declared for the NFL draft while Reese Smith (205 yards) entered the transfer portal. Sophomore Kaden Prather (19 catches, 501 yards, 3 touchdowns) remains on the roster.

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