Rice Put together a solid junior campaign in 2007 and came into 2008 as the stater at linebacker.
2008: Made his ninth consecutive start at linebacker against Memphis but left the game in the third quarter with an injury that brought his season to an end... Credited with nine tackles in two games before his injury
2007: Third on the team with a career-high 74 tackles, had 41 tackles last year... 65 of his stops came in C-USA action... averaged 8.1 tackles per game in conference games, which ranked 10th in the league.... Racked up a career-high 12 tackles against Memphis, including a pair of tackles for loss... Credited with 10 stops at SMU, including five in the fourth quarter as the Owls shut out the Ponies and rallied for the win... Came back with 11 tackles against Tulane in addition to breaking up a pair of passes.
2006: Made a total of four starts at MLB for the Owls, tying for seventh on the squad with 40 total tackles... Opened the year in the starting lineup against Houston and was credited with four tackles... Also started vs. Florida State, Army and Tulane... Posted his top tackle game of six twice (Army and UCF)... Credited with four or more stops in eight games... Forced fumbles vs. Army and UCF.
2005: Played in all 11 games as a backup linebacker and special teams stalwart... Credited with six tackles (four primary) on the season... Had three stops against UTEP...won the Joe Davis Award as the most improved defensive player during spring drills in 2005... Moved from the defensive line that spring.
High School -- 2004 graduate of Westfield High in suburban north Houston... Two-year starter and letterman for coach Ron Lynch... Named all-District 15-5A at defensive end and was the Mustangs' defensive line MVP... District lineman of the year... Helped the Mustangs to a 7-3 record and a number-nine area ranking in 2003... Had 44 tackles and four sacks as a senior.
Personal -- Full Name: Vernon Levone James... Born: Aug. 10, 1986, at Houston... Parents: Vernon and Shirley James, Houston (three sisters)... Father played at Florida when Ken Hatfield was a Gator assistant; his sister, Starla James, was a four-year letterwinner for the Owls in basketball (2000-03)... Rice Major: economics.