Running back Sampson James is back with IU football

Former IU running back Sampson James is making a return to Bloomington.

James made an Instagram post on Sunday evening with a photo of him wearing an IU uniform and helmet.  He simply said “committed” in the post.

The 22-year-old James has been admitted to IU and will be a walk-on with the football program.  Zach Osterman of the Indianapolis Star appeared to be the first to report the specifics of James’ return.

James played two seasons at Indiana as a freshman and sophomore in 2019 and 2020.

He played in all 13 games with two starts in 2019 and rushed 81 times for 275 yards with three touchdowns as a freshman.  In the best game of his career to this point, James posted 118 yards on 22 carries (5.4 average) with one score in the IU win at Purdue that season.

James entered the transfer portal following the 2019 campaign but decided to return to IU.  In 2020 he rushed for just 96 yards on 32 carries, and entered the portal again during fall camp prior to the 2021 campaign.

The 6-foot-1 and 220-pound James transferred to Purdue but never saw the field there in two seasons.  He was deemed ineligible for the 2021 campaign.

It’s been a wild journey for James, who originally committed to Ohio State as a 4-star running back out of Avon H.S.  In 2018 he flipped his commitment to play for Indiana.

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