BEAVERTON, OR (KPTV) – From the Ducks to the NFL and back to build a business in Oregon – University of Oregon football great LaMichael James starred at running back for Chip Kelly's Ducks for three years before leaving Eugene for the NFL after his junior season.
FOX 12 first covered the two-time All-American 10 years ago when he won Pac-10 Freshman of the Year. Now, he’s a rookie in another realm.
Last playing a down in the NFL in 2015, No. 21 is now 29 years young. Now, he’s getting a real taste of post-football life.
After stops in San Francisco and Miami, the speedy tailback from Texarkana, Texas is taking a bite out of the burger world as an owner and operator of his own Killer Burger franchise in Beaverton.
'Nobody's taller than the last man standing': @LaMichaelJames takes a bite out of the business world. The #ProDucks Killer new venture after Eagles/Saints @fox12oregon at 5:00 pic.twitter.com/dOf9QgGP9L— Nick Krupke (@NickKrupke) January 13, 2019
Written in chalk is LaMichael James’ favorite quote: “Nobody is taller than the last man standing.”
Written in ink was James’ limited pro career after being selected in the second round out of Oregon by the San Francisco 49ers.
“It ties into so much in life. You get knocked down, you got to get up. I played in the NFL, things didn't go as planned, but you got to keep going,” James said.
He’s hungry for more out of life than just NFL paychecks.
“Everything is individualized and money-driven and I think somewhere along those lines, I lost the passion,” James said. “It wasn’t fun to me. Even though you make all of that money, it’s not fun and I’ve never been one to chase things just because they pay well. That is not how I want to live life.”
Welcome to a cheeseburger in Portland paradise.
“I am going to try to have one a week,” James said.
The ol’ running back is now running something new.
“Just because football is over, bills still need to be paid. Life goes on. Find something that makes you happy. Find something that you are passionate about,” James said.
James’ killer new venture in Cedar Hills is the 13th Killer Burger location for the local fix with all the fixins that first opened the grills in 2010.
“I just looked it up, franchising, how can I get one?” James said. “I am not a restaurant savvy person, but I did my homework on it.”
Order your meal and snap your selfies.
“I ran an errand and someone came in looking for me and I came back. I am big on that. I want my crew to see me doing everything they do. There is no boss. We are all one,” James said.
The anti-boss boss is busing tables and taking out the trash. Just watch out for that tricky, old college injury.
“My elbow always gave, it always popped out. Even if I carry something and it slightly goes a certain way, it will just go,” James said.
He’s seeking pay dirt by calling the shots, one juicy burger at a time.
“I am so used to playing running back and now I kind of understand quarterback,” James said. “I see why they make the big bucks.”
James’ new joint will hold its grand opening on Monday and will be open seven days a week from 11 a.m. to 10 p.m. in Cedar Hills.
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