ESPN college football analyst Craig James, who was also one of the most celebrated running backs in the history of the Southern Methodist University Mustangs, will run for the U.S. Senate. He will reportedly file in Texas for the Republican U.S. Senate primary by Thursday.
The news broke in a tweet from political reporter Gromer M. Jeffers, who writes for The Dallas Morning News.
Craig James was one of the premier high school running backs in the state of Texas before he was recruited by coach Ron Meyer in 1976 to play for Southern Methodist. The Mustangs put together one of the top recruiting classes that year, and the combination of he and future NFL Hall of Fame running back Eric Dickerson was nicknamed the Pony Express. The two backs were unstoppable, helping their team claim a share of the 1981 college football Division 1-A national championship.
After James and Dickerson left, SMU was discovered to have violated multiple NCAA rules for accepting booster payments and creating a slush fund as a way to pay its players. No allegations or violations were filed against James.
James went on to be drafted by the Washington Federals in the USFL with the fourth overall pick, but after a rough rookie season that only gave his team a 4-14 record, he suffered a knee injury and was eventually released by the team. He later played for the New England Patriots, and played in both the 1985 Pro Bowl and Super Bowl XX.
James retired from the NFL after the 1988 season, finishing his career with 2,469 yards and 11 touchdowns in five seasons with the Pats.
James currently acts as an anchor, commentator and analyst for ESPN's college football games.
James' political aspirations were not known until an interview with WFAA-TV in Dallas in January 2010, who did not rule out running for Senate if and when Kay Bailey Hutchinson decided to resign.
I'm a Texan. I'm concerned for our country, James said at the time. I disagree with the approach that we're having, things that are taking place, and so whatever door opens up, I'll look at it, if and when it opens up.
James said his key concerns are government intervention in business, as well as health care. James is also a founder of a few organizations, including Emerging Land Markets, a company that focuses on ranch acquisitions and development, and conservative political group Texans For A Better America.