Craig James talk sports with KLTV - KLTV.com - Tyler, Longview, Jacksonville |ETX News

Craig James talks sports with KLTV

TYLER, TEXAS (KLTV) - One of the best college football players in the past 30 years and a former NFL running back paid a visit to the KLTV studios on Monday.

Former SMU and New England Patriots running back Craig James stopped by to talk shop with the KLTV Sports team.

James, also a former ESPN analyst, is now running for the United States Senate.

James is actually a native East Texan, having been born in Jacksonville and living much of his early life in Alto.

"This is where I learned about backbone and work ethic and character," said James, "East Texas is where my roots are from."

But rather than talk politics, James eagerly spoke about sports and his career in broadcasting.

Including a trip he took to KLTV in 1989.

"I'd gotten out of the NFL and I was working my way in broadcasting and I was going every where I could to try and find a job," said James, "I brought these tapes by and tried to get a job at this station and the guy said 'No way dude!"

James would then host a TV show for Jerry Jones before being picked up by ESPN.

James spent nearly 10 years at ESPN, becoming one of their main college football analysts.

He was a member of the early SMU teams of the 1980's, teaming with Eric Dickerson to form one of the best running back tandems in college football history.

The 51-year-old played four years in the NFL during the 1980's, considered one of the most violent era's in NFL history.

When asked what he thought about the New Orleans Saints and the nationwide news they had made with their bounty program, James weighed in:

"I never heard of it. I know one time I missed a block on Lawrence Taylor. I shouldn't have even had a chance to block the guy. He could have killed our QB Steve Grogan, but he didn't. I told him thanks as he walked by and he 'No way, I couldn't have blown him up like that.'"

"There was a respect for players back then. I can't believe even if there were a bounty that the players in the locker room wouldn't say no that's insane. I'm not going to do that because it's a short career as it is. Respect each others bodies. Stiff penalties have come down and rightfully so."

James also weighed in on his former sport of choice, college football, saying he fully expects that eventually there will be a playoff system to determine a college football champion.

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