Stellar, Standard & Subpar: Sam James in 2020

Schuyler Callihan

As we inch closer and closer to the start of the 2020 season, we take an in-depth look at each player on the Mountaineer roster. In these breakdowns, we discuss what a stellar, standard, and subpar season would look like for them. We are going in numerical order, so today we turn to wide receiver Sam James.

Folks around Morgantown became quickly accustomed to hearing Sam James' name in Milan Puskar Stadium in 2019 as the redshirt freshman burst onto the scene with huge playmaking ability. In a season where the Mountaineers were forced to replace David Sills V, Gary Jennings, and Marcus Simms, it only made sense that the guy that stepped it up a notch was the guy that got to be around those three the most. 

It was an up and down kind of season for James. Despite hauling in 69 receptions for 677 yards (both leading the team) and two touchdowns, he had his moments of youth show. There was no statistic found for the number of drops he had, but I'd say he could have comfortably finished in the neighborhood of 80 receptions had he not had a case of the drops.

James has blazing speed and runs pretty clean routes. If he can improve his hands and become more of a downfield threat, the Big 12 will be in for a treat when trying to slow him down. He was named All-Big 12 Honorable Mention at the conclusion of the season and if he continues to improve, he should make his way up to at least the All-Big 12 Second-Team.


A stellar season for James could entail him becoming one of the top two or three receivers in the league. This would likely mean he sits somewhere around 90 receptions and 1,000+ yards. 


The normal season for James would still likely see him as the team's top receiver, but doesn't post the big time numbers that you would expect. He'll have a strong season, but still has some trouble downfield and catching everything thrown his way.


It seems very unlikely, but a below average season for James would be falling off from last year's numbers and not being the team's number one option in the passing game. James' skillset almost makes this scenario impossible.

Previous Players

No. 1 - T.J. Simmons

No. 2 - Jarret Doege

No. 3 - Trent Jackson

No. 4 - Leddie Brown

No. 5 - Dreshun Miller

No. 10 - Dylan Tonkery

No. 11 - Nicktroy Fortune

No. 12 - Austin Kendall

No. 12 - Taijh Alston

What kind of season are you expecting for Sam James in 2020? Let us know your thoughts in the comment section below!

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