EUGENE, OR - Former Oregon running back and San Francisco 49ers rookie LaMichael James was in Eugene on Thursday to give support to a Willamette High School senior who was recently diagnosed with stage three Hodgkin's Lymphoma.
James attended a fund raiser at Papa's Pizza Parlor on Coburg Road for Blake Nichols.
Nichols has played football for three years at Willamette and would have competed for the starting quarterback job this August.
However, due to his cancer treatment, Nichols will not play or even practice this season.
Despite the discouraging diagonsis, Nichols is encouraged by James' support.
"It's crazy," said NIchols. "The first time he started talking to me I was so surprised. I was like thinking someone was messing with me. It's really great to have someone like that help you out."
James has a simple message for Blake:
"I always tell Blake, 'You can't quit on me. As long as I don't quit on you. Don't quit on me.' When I go out there on a new field for the 49ers, I'll be playing for Blake. He can't play this year. I have to take it upon myself to play for both of us."