Po James
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Po James
Po James
No. 27, 33
Position:Running back
Personal information
Born: (1949-03-19) March 19, 1949 (age 70)
New Brighton, Pennsylvania
Height:6 ft 1 in (1.85 m)
Weight:202 lb (92 kg)
Career information
College:New Mexico State
NFL Draft:1972 / Round: 4 / Pick: 92
Career history
 * Offseason and/or practice squad member only
Career highlights and awards
  • Eagles rookie record for carries in a season (182, 1972)
  • Honorable mention All-America honors (1968)
Career NFL statistics as of 1975
Rushing yards:1,215
Rushing touchdowns:4
Receiving yards:747
Receiving touchdowns:2
Player stats at NFL.com
Player stats at PFR

Ronald "Po" James (born March 19, 1949) is a former American football running back who played for four seasons in the National Football League for the Philadelphia Eagles from 19721975. He was drafted by the Eagles in the fourth round of the 1972 NFL Draft. He played college football at New Mexico State.

Early years

James attended New Brighton High School in New Brighton, Pennsylvania, where he lettered in football for three years.[1] He started playing football during his sophomore year, rushing for 625 yards. He did not play as a junior, but as a senior, he rushed for 1,422 yards, along with 2,211 yards of total offense.[2] He set the Beaver County scoring record for football with 200 points during his senior season,[3] which stood for 22 years.[4] He was a unanimous all-state selection during his senior season.[1] He played in the Big 33 Football Classic as a senior in 1968.[5]

James was inducted into the Beaver County Sports Hall of Fame in 1982.[6] He was inducted into the Western Pennsylvania Interscholastic Athletic League (WPIAL) Hall of Fame in 2008.[4]

College career

James played college football at New Mexico State. In his debut for the Aggies against Utah State, James rushed for 106 yards on 15 carries and had a 49-yard touchdown run. He rushed for over 100 yards in each of his first eight games during his freshman season, becoming the first freshman to do so.[7] He ran for 185 yards against Lamar Tech.[2] He rushed for 1,291 yards in his first season and earned honorable mention All-America honors.[1] He set an NCAA freshman record for rushing yards with 1,291 yards,[8] which was broken by Tony Dorsett in 1973.[9] In his sophomore season, he ran for 1,182 yards.[3]

Professional career

Philadelphia Eagles

James was drafted by the Philadelphia Eagles in the fourth round of the 1972 NFL Draft. He led the Eagles in rushing as a rookie in 1972 with 565 rushing yards along with 20 receptions for 156 yards. He set a team rookie record for carries with 182.[10] In 1975, he played in all 14 games and rushed for 196 yards on 43 carries and two touchdowns. He also had a team-best 4.6 yards per carry average. He caught 32 receptions for 267 yards and one touchdown. He returned 13 kickoffs for 311 yards and had a 23.9 average. He was waived on August 1, 1976 after the Eagles hired a new head coach, Dick Vermeil.[5]

Seattle Seahawks

James was claimed off waivers from the Eagles by the Seattle Seahawks, which began its inaugural season in 1976.[11] He was released prior to the start of the 1976 season.

After football

After he was released from the Eagles, James became the director of the Baptist Children's Services.[6] He also worked for the Mobil Chemical Company in Stratford, Connecticut.[8]

Shooting incident

James was shot six times on April 7, 1993 while in a sauna of the Bridgeport, Connecticut YMCA, right after an argument following a pickup game of basketball. He was shot twice in the abdomen and four times in the legs.[8]


James' nickname, "Po", comes from the title character in the comic strip Pogo, Pogo Possum. When asked how he got the nickname, he would often joke "because growing up, that's what we were - po!" He now resides in Delaware, where he enjoys fishing and recording with different artist from Philly. Po has 1 daughter, Danielle, who lives in Delaware who he loves to spend time with and he also has a son Todd D. Land who currently resides in Virginia Beach, Virginia.[1][12]


  1. ^ a b c d "Po James Heading For College Rushing Record". Beaver Country Times. Las Cruces, New Mexico. November 19, 1969. Retrieved . New Mexico State University has thrilled Rocky Mountain-Southwest football fans for over a decade with highly publicized NCAA rushing champions.
  2. ^ a b "'Po' James, the 'Mighty Burner'". Beaver Country Times. November 16, 1968. p. 2. Retrieved . Only a freshman, the New Brighton product is ranked as one of the nation's leading rushers. He trails the beaten path of such superstars as Eugene "Mercury" Morris and O.J. Simpson, but has carried far fewer times than either of the two seniors.
  3. ^ a b Boggs, Ron (September 5, 1970). "Po James Tearing Up New Mexico". Beaver Country Times. Retrieved . Not since Billy the Kid was shooting up the Wild West, has a New Mexico cowboy generated as much fear and earned as much respect as Ron "Po" James.
  4. ^ a b "WPIAL inducts second Hall of Fame class". Pittsburgh Post-Gazette. June 21, 2008. Retrieved .
  5. ^ a b "Eagles cut 'Po' James". Beaver Country Times. August 2, 1976. p. B-1. Retrieved . The Philadelphia Eagles trimmed 16 players from their roster today and among them was former New Brighton High School and New Mexico State star running back Ron "Po" James.
  6. ^ a b "Ron "Po" James". Bcshof.org. Retrieved . Italic or bold markup not allowed in: |publisher= (help)
  7. ^ Edwards, Brad (October 31, 2004). "Dark cloud hangs over Sunshine State". ESPN.com. Retrieved . Italic or bold markup not allowed in: |publisher= (help)
  8. ^ a b c "Po James remains in fair condition". Beaver Country Times. Bridgeport, Connecticut. April 19, 1993. p. B2. Retrieved . Former New Brighton High School football star Ron "Po" James remained in fair condition in a Bridgeport hospital this morning.
  9. ^ "'Fresh' Face Leads All-America Teams". St. Petersburg Times. New York. December 4, 1973. Retrieved . Dorsett has proven to be the greatest freshman runner in history. His 1,586 yards erased the previous best by a freshman -- 1,291 yards by New Mexico State's Po James in 1968.
  10. ^ Hofmann, Rich (December 4, 2009). "Rich Hofmann: As rookies go, Eagles' McCoy might make you forget Po James". Philadelphia Daily News. Archived from the original on December 8, 2009. Retrieved .
  11. ^ Bechtel, Sam (August 11, 1976). "Hydroplane was simply Jack at Salem College". Beaver Country Times. p. D-1. Retrieved . New Brighton's Po James got a break when he was let go in the Philadelphia Eagle purge by new coach Dick Vermeil. He was quickly claimed on waivers by the expansion Seattle Seahawks, and should have a dandy chance of cracking the starting lineup.
  12. ^ McHugh, Roy (October 11, 1968). "A Long, Long Way From Pennsylvania". Pittsburgh Press. p. 38. Retrieved . Eugene (Mercury) Morris and Ron (Po) James are outlandishly gifted running backs who developed the art of eluding or knocking down tacklers on the high school fields of Western Pennsylvania.

External links

  This article uses material from the Wikipedia page available here. It is released under the Creative Commons Attribution-Share-Alike License 3.0.



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