Football: James foregoes final year of eligibility, declares for NFL Draft

Richie James celebrates his touchdown against Marshall on October 20, 2017 in Murfreesboro, TN (Devin P. Grimes/MTSU Sidelines).

Photo by Devin P. Grimes / MTSU Sidelines

Just 15 hours removed from their Camellia Bowl victory, the Middle Tennessee Blue Raiders learned that their prolific wide reciever Richie James would forego his senior season and enter the 2018 National Football League Draft via James’ twitter.

After dealing with injuries to both his ankle and collerbone this season, James saw limited action. The Florida native caught 31 passes for 290 yards and three touchdowns in five games.

In what turned out to be his final game, James hauled in five receptions for 37 yards and a touchdown.

Despite only suiting up a total of 31 times in his collegiate career, James set the school’s all-time record in receptions (244), recieving yards (3,261) and touchdown catches (23). Those three statistics also rank first nationally among active receivers.

Known for being a dynamic threat, James also added 542 career rushing yards and five rushing touchdowns. In the return game, the former all-conference wideout averaged 20.9 yards per kick return and 6.9 yards per punt return.

“These last four years have been a long journey with twists and turns that have helped me grow and develop into a player ready to compete at the next level,” James said. “It’s a privilege to have left my mark on a program and in college record books. Middle Tennessee State will always have a part of me.”

Follow MTSU sports reporter Anthony Fiorella on Twitter at @A_Fiorella74 for more coverage.

To contact Sports Editor Rusty Ellis (@RustyEllis13), email

For more sports stories, follow us on Facebook at MTSU Sidelines and on Twitter and Periscope at @Sidelines_Sport.

Previous Men's Basketball: Comeback attempt falls short, Blue Raiders lose to Auburn
Next Football: Blue Raiders defeat Arkansas State 35-30 to claim Camellia Bowl title