Waymon James ready to return to Horned Frogs after ACL injury

James: "I feel like I got a little left out last year"

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TCU running back Waymon James (32) shoves past Kansas cornerback Greg Brown (5) as he rushes for a gain against the Jayhawks in Memorial Stadium on Sept. 15, 2012. (AP Photo/Charlie Riedel)

TCU running back Waymon James (32) shoves past Kansas cornerback Greg Brown (5) as he rushes for a gain against the Jayhawks in Memorial Stadium on Sept. 15, 2012. (AP Photo/Charlie Riedel)

After missing the majority of TCU’s debut in the Big 12, running back Waymon James is back and ready to be an offensive leader for the Horned Frogs in 2013.

“I feel healthier than I did before,” James said. “I’m ready.”

James, who tore his ACL against Kansas in the second week of the 2012 season, is the last remaining starter from TCU's 2010 Rose Bowl team. He said he’s ready to return and is seeking recognition in a new season for the Frogs.

“I feel like I got a little left out last year,” James said.

In a year off the field, James said he has bulked up to 200 pounds. He has noticeably gained muscle girth in his biceps, torso and neck and although the senior did not go into details about his weightlifting numbers, he said he feels a considerable body difference.

The return of James gives head coach Gary Patterson not just a valuable addition to his running back corps, but a fortified leader in the offense. Patterson repeatedly referred to James as a leader on the team in spring practice, noting his role as a senior and a multiple year letterman.

He will share rushing duties with sophomore B.J. Catalon, transfer Aaron Green, sophomore Jordan Moore and possibly incoming freshmen Kyle Hicks and Trevorris Johnson. Head coach Gary Patterson did not have a set depth chart at tailback yet, nor will he until the end of fall camp.

“For us, it’s about finding out who the best players are, finding their abilities and using it,” Patterson said.

James, who is expected to be the leading every-down tailback, said he is confident in his fellow running backs and is willing to contribute in any way he possibly can. He did not practice in full-contact drills during the spring, as he was in recovery from his ACL injury. James was taking the majority of first-team reps by the end of spring practices.

Former Heisman winner and NFL Pro Bowl running back Eddie George said the return of Waymon James is a reason why he considers TCU’s running back corps to be one of the deepest in school history.

In addition to his role as a running back, James could see time as a special teams returner. Patterson said James and cornerback Jason Verrett could see time at the position in 2013.

“Those are guys who have caught balls and made plays before,” Patterson said after a March 21 practice.

Receivers Brandon Carter and Deante’ Gray are expected to be the main returners for kickoffs and punts, according to the most recent TCU depth chart.

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