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Big 12 Recognizes WVU WR Sam James as School’s ‘Champions for Life’ Player

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Sam James

Even more important than being a champion on the football field is being a champion in life. The Big 12 conference recognizes that fact and is awarding “Champions for Life” recipients from each of the current members of the conference.

Wide receiver Sam James holds the honor as West Virginia’s choice to hold the “Champions for Life” title. Each school picked a player to claim this distinction. The conference used a Twitter thread to recognize these players on Friday, incorporating a quote on an image of James for WVU.

“Chase after your dreams and be who you want to be” is a motivational message from James to kids everywhere. The idea of this campaign is to highlight players who are believed to use their platform to incite positive change within the community.

Below is a statement previously released by the Big 12 about the “Champions for Life” campaign.

“Now in its seventh season, Big 12 Champions for Life has featured the life-changing stories of over 350 student-athletes and university alumni. The young men and women who have earned a scholarship to compete in their chosen sports embody the defining characteristics of a champion: leadership, perseverance, community service, and discipline. These leaders have used their platforms and voices to stand up for what they believe in, inspiring their teammates and communities – and creating change. New stories from student-athletes representing each of the conference’s ten universities will be shared throughout the 2021-22 academic year.

On the field, James has 20 receptions for 305 yards and 2 touchdowns so far this season. Overall in his career as a Mountaineer, he’s been with West Virginia since 2018, but only appeared in four games that year and was redshirted. He broke out in 2019, his redshirt freshman season, when he was named as a All-Big 12 Team honorable mention. In 12 games that year he caught 69 passes for 677 years and two touchdowns.

He hasn’t replicated that season since, with his yards per game average (33.3 in 2020, 39.0 in 2021) dropping by nearly 20 yards per game in the past two years from his peak 56.4 yards per game average in 2019.

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