DAVIE (CBSMiami) — It seems like wherever Ja’Wuan James plays football, he’s expected to step in right away.
It happened when he was a freshman at the University of Tennessee and its happening again with the Miami Dolphins.
“Just like college [where] I had to come in and step in and play,” explained James. “I had an opportunity to step in and play, so I just want to come here and work as hard as I can and prepare myself to be able to come in and start to play.”
After making James the 19th overall pick in the draft, the Fins promptly parked the 320 pounder at right tackle.
Veteran left tackle Branden Albert, who the Dolphins spent big money on to sign as a free-agent, has quickly assumed the role of mentor.
“I’ve definitely went under his wing,” James said. “I’m just gonna pick at his brain every day and try to learn something new, whether it’s the technique he uses or how he rationalizes things and plays. He’s definitely been able and more than welcoming to help me and I really appreciate that. ”
In practice, James is getting a quick trial-by-fire by going up against Pro Bowl pass rusher Cameron Wake.
It may not always feel like it, but it might be a blessing in disguise.
“Going against the best every day is going to sharpen me and show me things that I’m going to see on Sunday’s during the season,” said James. “I appreciate [Cam Wake] and I have conversations with him and say ‘thanks for getting me better, I’m gonna need you to get me better’ and he goes ‘Oh I’ve got more to show you.’”
And oh by the way…the Dolphins Ja’Wuan James is named after another athletic Juwan who has ties to South Florida. Former Miami Heat player and current assistant coach, Juwan Howard.
A fabulous name, dating back to Howard’s basketball days with the Fab Five at the University of Michigan.
“My mom, she was a huge fan [of Juwan Howard],” smiled James. “She liked the name a lot and she spelled it a different way that made it unique to me.”
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