BREAKING: DQ James Dismissed From Wyoming Football Program
LARAMIE -- Running back DQ James is no longer a member of the Wyoming football program.
The speedy sophomore was dismissed from the team Monday, according to a source familiar with the situation. James, along with his father, Byron Sparks, confirmed the news Tuesday morning.
“DQ James is no longer part of the University of Wyoming football team," Wyoming head coach Craig Bohl said in a statement. "We wish D.Q. all the best in his future."
James took to social media Tuesday afternoon, denying he was dismissed, instead claiming he entered the NCAA Transfer Portal.
"I entered the portal," James said in an Instagram Live video. "I didn’t get dismissed. I entered the portal. For everybody, I did not get kicked off. I entered the portal. I did not get kicked off."
James, who came to Laramie in the 2021 recruiting class, originally committed to Hawaii out of Lancaster High School in the Dallas area. Fellow Mountain West foe New Mexico also showed interest in the 5-foot-7, 170-pound back.
Tied for the team-lead in carries through four games with 35, James' workload dwindled over the past two weeks. He rushed for four yards on one carry in last Saturday's 22-19 victory over visiting Appalachian State.
James was also targeted once in the passing game. The fourth-quarter swing pass from Andrew Peasley was bobbled and eventually intercepted by cornerback Tyrek Funderburk, who returned the pick 18 yards for a touchdown.
James has rushed for 106 yards on 35 carries through four games this fall. He also lost a fumble in a season-opening win over Texas Tech.
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Known for his larger-than-life personality, the charismatic James was a popular player in the UW locker room. He was also a fan favorite thanks to his break-neck speed and elusive running style.
During his two-plus seasons in Laramie, James amassed 452 yards on the ground. That's an average of six yards per carry. He never scored a touchdown.
His most productive season came in 2022 when the then-redshirt freshman rolled up 346 rushing yards on just 40 attempts. James gashed Hawaii for a career-best 179 yards on 14 carries in a 27-20 road victory over the Rainbow Warriors. He broke a 74-yard run that night on the islands and averaged an eye-popping 12.8 yards per carry.
James suffered a torn right ACL a week later in a road win at Colorado State.
"It's a hurdle I'm getting over," James said in early August. "After dealing with my ACL and the depression, to be able to get back on the field and feeling like my normal self, it felt good to make those moves, especially in my brace. My brace feels good. I felt more stable when I made my moves."
Named a three-star recruit by numerous recruiting outlets, James averaged 9.5 yards an outing during his junior season at LHS. He rushed for 837 yards and found the end zone 10 times. He was named to the First Team All-District Team.
James also helped lead his high school track team to a third-place finish in the Class 5A State Championships. A member of the 4x100 team, he ran a 40.65. That was the fastest time in the nation at that time. He also ran the 100 meters in just 10.83.
Harrison Waylee, a junior transfer from Northern Illinois, was named the full-time starter out of the Cowboys' backfield after rushing for 110 yards -- 62 of which came on one touchdown run in the first quarter -- in his Wyoming debut against 4th-ranked Texas. He responded with a 156-yard performance, including a career-high 75-yard sprint to the end zone, in the win over App State.
Wyoming's running back room is already without projected starter Dawaiian McNeely, who was lost for the season during camp with a torn ACL. Sam Scott (18 carries, 114 yards, TD), Jamari Ferrell (13 carries, 46 yards, TD) and Jeremy Hollingsworth (1 carry, 1 yard) have also seen the field this fall.
LJ Richardson, Mitchell Anderson, Tyler Jacklich are the other backs listed on UW's roster.
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