Suffering a stress fracture in his right foot in the first half of the 2009 SEC Championship against the Alabama Crimson Tide, Florida Gators senior kick returner Brandon James did not return to the field after halftime. On Monday, head coach Urban Meyer said James had surgery on his foot and will miss the 2010 Sugar Bowl, effectively ending his Gators career. Running backs Jeff Demps and Chris Rainey, and possibly even cornerback Joe Haden, will take over the return duties in James’ stead.
One of the most decorated players in school history, James holds Florida records for total kickoff returns (career, season), kickoff return yardage (career, season), kickoff average yards per return (career, season), punt returns (career), punt return yardage (career, season, game), punt return touchdowns (career, season) and total kick return touchdowns (career, season). He also holds the top three spots in season kickoff return yardage, has the longest punt return in school history (83 yards) and is No. 2 all-time for the Gators in total yards gained (rushing, receiving, returning). In addition to his UF accolades, James holds all-time SEC records in total kick return yardage (combined kickoff and punt returns) and kickoff return yardage.