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The Rocky Mountain Collegian

The Student News Site of Colorado State University

The Rocky Mountain Collegian

The Student News Site of Colorado State University

The Rocky Mountain Collegian

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Former CSU linebacker Cory James selected by Raiders in sixth round of NFL Draft

Colorado State linebacker Cory James brings down San Diego State running back Donnell Pumphrey in a game last season. (Christina Vessa/Collegian)
Colorado State linebacker Cory James brings down San Diego State running back Donnell Pumphrey in a game last season. (Christina Vessa/Collegian)

Cory James didn’t usually have much to say, he was just about business.

Now James is taking his business to Oakland.

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The former Colorado State linebacker and team captain was selected by the Oakland Raiders in the sixth round of this weekend’s NFL Draft. James becomes the second CSU player selected this year after wide receiver Rashard Higgins was taken by the Cleveland Browns in the fifth round. 

James and Higgins also give the CSU program multiple draft picks in three consecutive seasons for the first time since 1999-2001. Center Weston Richburg and tight end Crockett Gilmore heard their names called in the 2014 draft, while quarterback Ty Sambrailo and quarterback Garrett Grayson heard their names called last year. 

A native of Del Rio, Texas, James was a freshman All-American by the Football Writers Association of America and national football writer Phil Steele in 2012 after recording a freshman program-record 7.5 sacks while also totaling 54 total tackles, including 10.5 for loss. James started 37 games over the next three years, totaling 46 starts in his career, while recording 16.5 more sacks, 176 more tackles and helping the Rams to three consecutive bowl games and a 25-15 record between 2013 and 2015. 

James likely projects as a special teams player, at least initially, but did impress scouts with his 4.59-second 40-yard dash time at CSU’s pro day in March. He is the first Colorado State defensive player to be selected in the draft since 2004 when cornerback Dexter Wynn was selected by the Philadelphia Eagles and linebacker Andre Sommersell was also selected by the Raiders with the final pick in that year’s draft. 

Collegian Senior Sports Reporter Keegan Pope can be reached at kpope@collegian.com and on Twitter @ByKeeganPope. 

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