HARRISONBURG, Va. – Led by Colonial Athletic Association Defensive Player of the Year Stephon Robertson earning the the top defensive honor for the second straight year, the James Madison football squad had seven players receive honors from the league’s coaches, announced today by the CAA.
Joining Robertson on the first team was redshirt-senior defensive lineman Jordan Stanton and running back Dae'Quan Scott. Redshirt-senior offensive lineman Josh Wells, redshirt-senior defensive lineman Tyler Snow and junior safety Dean Marlowe were second team selections, with Marlowe being picked on the third team as a punt returner along with redshirt-freshman linebacker Gage Steele.
Robertson finished his senior season with 141 total tackles, including 52 solos, 17.0 tackles for loss, 5.0 sacks, one interception, two forced fumbles, one fumble recovery, and five pass breakups, leading the league in total tackles and tackles for loss. One of the top candidates for the Buck Buchanan Award after finishing second among underclassmen and eighth overall in last year’s ballot, Robertson currently is third in the FCS with 11.8 tackles per game and 17th in tackles for loss (1.4 per game). A three-time CAA Defensive Player of the Week this season, Robertson recorded a league season-high 5.0 tackles for loss at William and Mary and had double-digit stops in nine of 12 games played while leading the Dukes in tackling in eight of them. Before the season he was named a Sports Network First Team Preseason All-American in 2013 and the 2013 Preseason CAA Defensive Player of the Year.
Robertson is a year removed from his 2012 campaign in which he was named the CAA Defensive Player of the Year, a Walter-Camp All-American, Associated Press Second-Team All-American, and a finalist for the Dudley award. Robertson in 2012 recorded a team-high 101 tackles, including 48 solos, 8.5 tackles for loss, 1.0 sack, one interception, one forced fumble and five pass breakups. He finishes his career with 445 tackles, which is fourth at JMU all-time and is currently the FCS active career leader in total tackles, solo tackles and assisted tackles.
Stanton earned All-CAA accolades for the first time in his career after recording 56 tackles with 11.5 for loss and a team-best and tied for fifth in the CAA 8.0 sacks for 44 yards of loss. He also added a pair of quarterback hurries and two breakups on the season. Stanton ranked sixth among defensive linemen with 4.7 tackles per game, which included 27 solo stops on the year. A starter in all 12 games this year, he had his best contest against Saint Francis with eight tackles, 3.0 for loss and a pair of sacks.
Earning first team honors for the first time in his career after being named Second Team All-CAA the last two seasons at running back, Scott finished the year with 1,040 rushing yards, his second 1000-yard season of his collegiate career and 15th in JMU history, along with a team-high eight rushing touchdowns. Scott also contributed 40 receptions for 329 yards and three scores, giving him a team best 1,488 all-purpose yards and 13 touchdowns. He ranked fifth in the CAA at 86.7 rushing yards per game and fifth in scoring at 6.5 points per game. He finished his career at 3,332 rushing yards and the all-time leading scorer with 43 total touchdowns. He is tied for the JMU career lead with 32 rushing scores. Scott became just the third rusher in school history to reach the 3,000-yard mark and posted 16 career 100-yard rushing games. As a punt returner, Scott also showed his danger by returning 10 kicks for 119 yards and two touchdowns, one for 54 yards and the last for 46 yards.
Wells, who was a Second Team All-CAA selection last season, was JMU’s top returning lineman this season and has paved the way for a JMU offense that is averaging 172.6 rushing yards per game and 407.0 total yards per game. Wells has also been the lead blocker for redshirt-senior running back Dae’Quan Scott who has amassed over 3,000 career yards and currently holds JMU’s career rushing touchdown and points scored records running behind Wells.
Snow finished second among JMU defensive linemen and fifth among the CAA defensive linemen at 4.7 tackles per game, including 36 solos, 8.5 tackles for loss for 38 yards and 5.0 sacks for 30 yards. He added seven quarterback hurries, three pass defended and one fumble recovered. He had a season-high nine tackles in the win over Charlotte and has posted four or more tackles in seven of the 10 games played. His best game in conference play was arguably against Villanova with five tackles, including 2.0 sacks in the victory over the Wildcats. Snow was also named a First Team Capitol One/CoSIDA Academic All-District selection this year.
Marlowe has recorded 77 total tackles, including 37 solo stops, one interception, and eight passes defended. He ranks 12th among league defensive backs with 6.4 tackles per game, totaling 77 on the year and was named a 2013 preseason All-CAA selection. Last season, Marlowe Earned First Team All-CAA, as the only sophomore on the CAA defensive first team and was selected as First Team All-State by Roanoke Times and the Virginia Sports Information Directors Association. In 2012 Marlowe recorded 82 tackles on the year including 44 solos, 5.0 for loss, seven passes defended, team-high tying three interceptions, one forced fumble and one safety. As a punt returner, Marlowe proved to be tough, averaging 7.4 yards on 14 returns with a long of 31. His average ranked fifth in the CAA among those with an eligible number of returns, as nominations were also due before the final games.
Steele picks up his first league honor after ranking second on the team and sixth in the conference with 8.8 tackles per game, finishing with 106 total tackles on the year. Starting all 12 contests as a redshirt freshman, he recorded a team season-high 18 tackles, which were second most in the league this year, with 13 solos and 1.0 sacks in the home victory over Albany. His 13 solos tied the most by any JMU player since 1999, and his play this year made him a finalist for the Jerry Rice Award as the national rookie of the year.