Pitt Panthers: Top 5 players NOT named Conner, Boyd, Voytik

6 of 7

Nov 22, 2014; Pittsburgh, PA, USA; Pittsburgh Panthers running back Chris James (5) carries the ball against the Syracuse Orange during the second quarter at Heinz Field. Pittsburgh won 30-7. Mandatory Credit: Charles LeClaire-USA TODAY Sports

As I stated before in the running backs preview piece, I am a huge stock holder in what James is capable of during his career at Pitt.

Chris James is a key piece to the thousand-piece puzzle of Pitt success. Do we expect for Conner to get ninety-percent of the carries? Yes. But the final ten percent is what could propel the Pittsburgh Panthers to the next level.

More from Pitt Panthers

Known for being fast and physical, James should improve on his 2014 campaign where we saw him scamper 87 times for 437 yards and a modest 4 touchdowns.

What sets him apart from others is his desire to learn first and perform second behind his immediate mentors. What I am trying to get at is that he utilizes the tools presented to him by coaches and other players to develop into the most efficient player he can be as an individual, but better yet has a burning desire to be that consumate team-player!

A single aspect that bodes particularly well for Chris is his strength of pass-blocking. That ability alone could earn him additional playing time, time that could allow for game-changing moments.

Simply put, he is the most likely candidate on the active roster to bust a game wide open on a single play.

I hate poaching from a column I previously wrote regarding the running backs, but found myself constantly reaching the same conclusions to make a case for Chris James at number one.

Next: Narrowly Missing The Cut?