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August 7, 2012
In 2010, TCU running back Waymon James got his first taste of real playing time when Ed Wesley left the game against SMU with a concussion.
Two years later, with Welsey's exit from the program, James again becomes part of a backfield one-two punch with senior Matthew Tucker.
Much can be attributed in the rise of the TCU football program to the success of TCU star LaDainian Tomlinson and James' emergence as an offensive impact player is included.
James grew up idolizing Tomlinson as he dominated the rushing game in the NFL with the San Diego Chargers. He definitively said his admiration for LT is the reason he wears purple for TCU today.
"That's who I watched when I was growing up. I did a little article on him in high school and I wore No. 21 in high school," James said.
James had no other connection with TCU, he said, and most likely wouldn't have known about the school if it weren't for Tomlinson.
While at Sherman High School, James focused in on how Tomlinson ran, as he felt he had a similar style to the recently retired Charger.
"I liked the way he played," James said. "I liked his running style. I think I run similar to him in certain ways and everyone always tries to say we look alike. I started checking him out and said, 'Alright, he's a good running back.'"
If it weren't for an older Johnny Fobbs claiming the No. 21 before James arrived at TCU, he said he would be wearing the number today instead of his current No. 32.
What remains to be seen in 2012 is if James will be a part of a two-back or three-back rotation as was the case last season. A three-back rotation seems very likely with capable senior Aundre Dean waiting behind James on the depth chart. Freshman B.J. Catalon could even make an impact, coming into the season highly touted by teammates and coaches alike.
"I'm really not sure if it's going to be two or three," James said. "Whichever one it is fine with me as long as we win games."
What does seem already in the works is bringing back formations in which TCU's strength in running back depth can be utilized, according to offensive lineman Blaize Foltz.
"I think we're trying to find a third guy," Foltz said. "Our system works better with three guys and we have a diamond set where we put our three best running backs in the backfield and we have a triple threat. We put Josh [Boyce] on the side and we're pretty stacked."