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Pitt running back Chris James finalizes transfer

Charles LeClaire-USA TODAY Sports

Over the weekend, word broke that Pitt running back Chris James was expected to transfer. On Monday, the backup rusher confirmed that, issuing a brief statement:

"I came to Pitt and instantly developed a love for the city, built relationships that have help mold who I am today," James said. "Looking back I wouldn't change a thing. I have to do what's best for me and that is to move on."

As I said at the time, James' loss certainly hurts the team's depth at running back to some degree. However, this still projects as a relatively low-impact transfer. James had fallen to third on the depth chart by season's end and with freshmen Qadree Ollison (redshirt) and Darrin Hall (true freshman) manning the position, Pitt's backfield still looks to be in good hands.

We won't know on the status of James Conner for a while after his Hodgkin's Lymphoma diagnosis, but the Panthers also will get back Rachid Ibrahim, who missed the year due to injury. That gives Pitt a solid trio and while it would be nice to have James around, that would really be a luxury. And given that he can go any number of places and earn more playing time, it's hard to fault him.

It'll be interesting to see where he lands up. Wisconsin and former coach Paul Chryst could be an option, but James will have to compete heavily for time there, too, as the Badgers return their top four running backs. I'm not saying he won't end up there, but that situation just doesn't scream guaranteed time on the field, either.

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