James was a semifinalist for the award last year after leading the nation in rushing (144.2 yards per game).
Thomas threw for 2,881 yards, with 30 touchdowns and nine interceptions as a first-year starter in 2010.
• Ted Miller continues his preseason position reviews with a look at the kickers and you will find Oregon in the "good shape" category.
Rob Beard made 10 of 13 field goals last year -- coach Chip Kelly doesn't like field goals -- and was 63 of 64 on PATs.
• KVAL reports that former Oregon QB Nate Costa was swore in as Springfield's newest police officer on July 5, Costa's first day on the job.
Trying on his new uniform, Costa called the position his dream job.
"This is a great job for me," Costa said. "This is what I wanted to do after football all along. I'm just into it a little quicker than I anticipated."
• Dale Newton introduces freshman QB Marcus Mariota out of St. Louis H.S. in Honolulu, HI. 6'4" 194lbs with 4.48 forty speed.
Marcus Mariota may have the best package of skills, running, throwing, leadership, intelligence, coaching, size and speed, of any quarterback the Ducks have recruited for the spread offense.
Marcus was a 3.6 student in high school, and his eye-popping senior stats are even more amazing when you consider that he had to wait until his senior year to become the starter for the Crusaders.