Looking beyond “noticeable obstacles as far as height and weight,” James Noble, a 5 foot 6 inch and 180 lb. Barstow local and now redshirt freshman running back, said Cal Poly was one of the only universities to look beyond the charts, and some may now see that as a chance well taken. Noble is currently fourth in the NCAA I-AA Division backed by an average of 134.14 yards rushing per game.
“(James’ success) is first and foremost a reflection of how well the whole offensive unit is playing,” coach Rick Ellerson said.
When hopes for competing in the playoffs were still shaky, Noble was the first Mustang runner in seven years to rush for 200 yards.
In the next four years Ellerson said he sees Noble becoming well known for his productivity. He is intense, conscious and respectful of the play and of his teammates. “James is a remarkable young man,” he said. “(I see him as) a leader of a great football program and someone this community and institution will point to with pride for many years to come.”
Q & A with James
Mustang Daily: Cal Poly is quite a ways from Barstow. Between practices, games and classes, have you found anytime to go home this fall?
Noble: Well the last time I was in Barstow was Aug. 9. I love to go back to Barstow as much as possible because I have a lot of family and friends there.
MD: As the fourth leading rusher in Division I-AA, do you feel any pressure about becoming Poly's next rising star?
Noble: I feel no pressure about being viewed as the next star because of all the positive people I have behind me. I always know that if I try my best and give my all positive things will follow. There’s no way I can feel pressure about being a star because I always know I’m a star in my family's eyes no matter what happens.
MD: What obstacles do you face?
Noble: In football I have always had noticeable obstacles as far as height and weight on paper but I always felt that all I needed was a chance to show what I could do. I almost didn’t have any college to go to because all the colleges looked at my height and weight first. Cal Poly was really the only school that took a chance on me and I am very thankful for that.
MD: Is there a sense of pride attached to your name with all that you have achieved thus far?
Noble: My last name is something I think people like to say a lot because of my personality.
MD: On Nov. 6 you told a Tribune reporter that you felt you "carried the burden" for the team's loss that week due to your injury. How do you manage feelings of responsibility toward football and other teammates in such a situation?
Noble: I guess that's my mentality. I always feel that on every play there is always something I can do to change the game in our benefit. I believe anything I give that is less than scoring a touchdown is something I need to fix. In that game I knew it was the right choice not to play but I just felt that there was probably some word I could have said to the team or something I could have done to make my team work harder and come out with a victory.
MD: Being the first Mustang runner to rush for 200 yards in seven years – would you say that's one of your strong points in the game?
Noble: Yes, that is one of the strong points but I say time and time again that it's because of the hard work of the other 10 men on the field battling with me. I guess the strengths that I am most proud of are being able to feed off of the energy of my offensive line and also being prepared for each game by the hard work of my scout team (green machine).
MD: Football is probably all you're hearing about right now – as a newcomer to San Luis Obispo what spots do you like to hang out at when you're
not thinking about school or the game?
Noble: I really don't go out to much while I’m in the football season. I guess you could say I’m kind of boring. I believe there is nothing better than sitting down and watching movies (Jim Carey movies for that matter) and talking on the phone with family. When I do go out, I like to hang out at other teammates’ houses and eat at Firestone. When I want to get away from things, I like to go to my favorite spot, and that's Denny’s.