Barner emerges from James' shadow

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EUGENE, Ore. (AP) -- For the past two seasons Oregon coach Chip Kelly has described Kenjon Barner as option "1A" behind starter LaMichael James because both running backs were so equally talented and integral to the Ducks' success that it was unfair to differentiate them in any broader terms.

With James off to the NFL, Barner is poised to become Oregon's No. 1 for the upcoming season.

The Ducks, coming off a 12-2 season capped by a Rose Bowl victory over Wisconsin, opened spring practice this week. The opener at home against Arkansas on Sept. 1 is still a long way off, but Barner says he's ready to be the spotlighted back.

Barner was the Ducks' second-leading rusher behind James, his good friend, for the past two seasons.