HARRISONBURG, Va. - James Madison's Earl Watford (Philadelphia, Pa./Simon Gratz), Stephon Robertson (Alexandria, Va./Edison) and Dae'Quan Scott (Staunton, Va. /Robert E. Lee) were named Preseason All-Americans by The Sports Network, the organization announced today. Watford was a first-team selection at offensive guard, while Robertson and Scott were on the third team at linebacker and all-purpose, respectively.
A First Team All-CAA pick in 2011, Watford started all 13 games for the Dukes, helping propel the squad into the NCAA Division I Playoffs for the first time in three years. The redshirt senior helped the Dukes average 222.5 yards per game rushing, which ranked 12th nationally, and 4.7 yards per carry.
A rising redshirt junior, Robertson was a 2011 First Team All-CAA and Roanoke Times First Team Division I All-State selection after leading the team and ranking 10th in the CAA with 113 tackles, including 61 solo tackles, 9.0 tackles for a loss and two sacks. He added one interception, one forced fumble, one fumble recovery and nine passes defended, while recording seven or more tackles in 10 of 13 games, with 10 or more in six of them. He earned a career-high 14 tackles, including two for a loss, in the home opener against Central Connecticut State. He was named CAA Defensive Player of the Week after recording six tackles, one tackle for a loss, two pass breakups and a forced fumble in win at William & Mary. He also tallied 11 total tackles with 0.5 tackle for loss and one pass breakup in the NCAA Second Round game at North Dakota State.
A native of Staunton, Va., Scott was the Dean Ehlers Award winner for the football program as the Most Valuable Performer in 2011. Also named Second Team All-CAA as both a running back and punt returner, Scott rushed for 1,241 yards and 12 touchdowns on 220 carries, while adding 10 catches for 83 yards and a touchdown. A key part of JMU's run to the NCAA Playoff Second Round, Scott ranks fifth in school history for single-season rushing yards with 1,241 and fourth for rushing touchdowns in a season with 12. Scott rushed for a career-high and team season-high 251 rushing yards and 11th 200-yard game in school history, which was the second-most single-game rushing yards in school history.
The Sports Network FCS Preseason All-America Team consists of 93 players over three teams. CAA Football lead all conferences with 15 selections each from nine member schools.
The Big Sky and Southland conferences have 14 selections each and the Southern Conference follows with 13. All 13 FCS conference have at least two selections and 11 conferences have at least one player on the first team.