EUGENE, Ore. (AP) — Kenjon Barner is quick to say that he is no LaMichael James.
And he doesn’t want to be.
Barner takes over this season as the top running back for Oregon now that James has moved on to the San Francisco 49ers. He says he’s ready to establish his own legacy with the Ducks — separate from the one-two punch he formed with James the past two seasons.
Often over the last two season, Ducks coach Chip Kelly referred to Barner as option “1A” behind James, inferring that the two were nearly interchangeable. Indeed, the team didn’t appear to lose a step last season when James missed two games with a dislocated right elbow. The Oregon Ducks went 12-2 capped by a Rose Bowl victory over Wisconsin.