"Russell is a backup guard," he said. "He's our eighth lineman, but he's athletic enough to where he can handle that on the edge, and he did a decent job."
H-James played four snaps and was given a grade of 75 because he did his job on three out of his four plays.
"I was kind of bullying No.
19," he said. "He was a smaller guy, but once I got my hands on him, I was OK."
No. 19 is Oklahoma's speedy outside linebacker, Eric Striker. He had five tackles and one tackle for a loss against WVU. On the one play where the coaches feel like H-James didn't do his job, Striker sped around the corner.
"He didn't do anything on that play," H-James said.
H-James didn't do much in the game, truth be told. He was on the sideline for 61 plays, but he took pride and solace in the knowledge he'd been practicing with a purpose during the week.
He might not be used again in Saturday's noon Root Sports game against Georgia State at Mountaineer Field, but a lowly opponent like the Panthers (0-2) might be the perfect proving ground for a player like H-James and all the other players the Mountaineers (1-1) hope to see take control of a role or a position.
"That's what it's all about," he said. "I'm going to do whatever I can to help the team. I know I'm a little bit lighter than most of the linemen. I might not be ready to be inside right now in the coaches' eyes, but I feel like I can get on the field and do my job to the best of my ability."
Playing beats watching. H-James played a little in the first four games last season, but tore the MCL and retinaculum in his right knee and sat out the remainder of the season. He fell behind his teammates, and he knew it, which was what made him grateful for the opportunity at tight end.
He learned quickly life is much different packed inside at guard.
"I felt like I was on an island out there (Saturday)," he said. "As soon as I took my first step, though, I felt like I was good. I engaged. The jitters went away. I feel a little bit more comfortable doing this because I know he can only beat me with speed. They're kind of one-dimensional."
For the time being, so, too, is James. There are no pass plays for the tight end in the packages he's in -- for now.
"I don't know if they're planning on doing it," he said, "but if the opportunity comes to me, I'm going to catch the ball."