Redshirt junior wide receiver Sam James is the latest mountaineer to appear in the Big 12 Champions for Life campaign.
Big 12 released this video In a video on James Thursday’s social media, James talks about his identity as a football player and how college athletics can open doors off the field.
James hopes to use his platform as a student-athlete to inspire other athletes and young people to make mental health a priority.
“There is a prejudice, especially around male athletes, that you shouldn’t ask for help or open up about what you’re going through. I’ve been through it,” James said. “You have to be open about these things so you can get the right help so you don’t end up in the dark places some of these athletes are in today.”
Fourth-year head coach Neil Brown applauded James’ development on and off the field.
“I’ve seen Sam become a real man, someone who’s very confident in his ability to articulate what he thinks and what he wants to say,” Brown said. is about coaching, you know, everybody talks about winning and losing, but that’s the point, that’s what we signed up for, but when we talk about personal development, and young people grow, Sam James is one of those people when it comes to getting out and seeing that great things can be accomplished beyond the football field.
A native of Richmond Hill, Georgia, James was one of the first in his family to earn a college degree. He credits his mother, Shirley Ann, with the inspiration to make her dreams come true.
James was named a Big 12 Champion for Life this summer and was one of WVU’s representatives at the Big 12 Football Media Days in July.
The Big 12 Champions for Life recognizes student-athletes who embody champion traits such as leadership, perseverance, community service and discipline. The campaign provides a platform for athletes to stand up for their beliefs and inspire their teammates and community.
Fans can find out more about James and his Big 12 Champions for Life on ESPN+’s Big 12 Now.