When Sampson James committed to Indiana as a member of the class of 2019 he was the Hoosiers’ highest rated recruit of all-time.
Now after one season with IU, James appears to be leaving Bloomington.
According to reports, the running back from Avon, Ind. has entered his name in the transfer portal. Rainer Sabin was the first to report the news on Twitter.
Per source: Indiana running back Sampson James, a four-star recruit in the 2019 class, has entered the NCAA transfer portal. Had offers from schools like Ohio State and Michigan.
— Rainer Sabin (@RainerSabin) March 2, 2020
Playing in a reserve role behind starter Stevie Scott, the 6-foot-1 and 220 pound James carried the ball 81 times for 275 yards (3.4 ypc) and three touchdowns for the 2019 season. James also caught two passes for 21 yards.
James had a breakout game in Indiana’s win over Purdue to close out the regular season. He rushed 22 times for 118 yards and a score against the Boilermakers before suffering an injury. James also started in the Gator Bowl.
There are connections between James and departing strength coach David Ballou. Both came from Avon High School just outside of Indianapolis where Ballou was the strength coach and trained James.
James follows a wave of running backs that have left the Hoosier program over the last six months including Cole Gest during the 2019 season, and Ronnie Walker, Jr. last month. Class of 2019 recruit Ivory Winters also left the program before the season started.
The departures leave a major void in Indiana’s depth at the position. True freshman Tim Baldwin, Jr. is now the presumptive backup to Scott on the depth chart. Ahrod Lloyd received a scholarship during fall camp in 2019 and is the only other running back on the roster with experience beyond Scott. IU has also brought in 2019 Indiana Mr. Football Charlie Spegal as a preferred walk-on.
James had originally committed to Ohio State before flipping to Indiana in the fall of 2018. He was rated the No. 8 running back in the country by 247Sports at the time he committed to IU.
Although he put his name in the transfer portal, James has the option to stay at Indiana.
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