2018: PFWA All-NFC Team (KR), ESPN All-Rookie Team (KR)
NFL players had the opportunity to participate in the NFL’s annual My Cause, My Cleats campaign during a designated home game between Weeks 13-15 of 2018. James Jr. and his teammates represented their respective causes with custom-designed cleats in an effort to raise awareness and funding. Special Olympics Northern California enriches the lives of more than 23,925 children and adults with intellectual disabilities and their communities in Northern California through sports, education, and athlete health.
While in high school, James’ head coach invited him into his office and asked that he convert to QB and become the leader of their team. He responded by becoming more outspoken as a person and leading his school to their first playoff appearance in eight years.
As a youth in Sarasota, FL, James faced a handful of hurdles growing up in a rough environment. James notes that while a majority of his classmates took a different route than he did, he was able to make it out of his tough surroundings by taking the more positive route and maintaining his focus on his craft. “I’ve always had that independent mindset,” James said. “I’ve learned from being out on the streets, and what you really should be doing.”
James Jr. and his fellow rookies participated in the annual 49ers Mentorship Academy on September 18, 2018. The Mentorship Academy, partnering with USA Football, is a three-step program designed to provide high school football players with the opportunity to develop the skills necessary to succeed and be leaders on and off the field. The rookie class invited the high schoolers to the team facility, where they shared opinions and lessons over a meal and fun competitions.