HARRISONBURG, Va. - James Madison football's Earl Watford has been named an All-American by the American Football Coaches Association (AFCA), the organization announced today. The AFCA has selected an All-America team since 1945 and currently selects one All-America team in all five of its divisions. What makes these teams so special is that they are the only ones chosen exclusively by the men who know the players the best — the coaches themselves.
A redshirt-senior offensive guard, Watford was the top-rated offensive lineman for the Dukes, starting all 11 games while also serving as a team captain. The First Team All-CAA selection for the second consecutive season allowed just one sack on the season while, under extremely stringent linemen grading, grading out 80 percent or higher six times and 90 percent or better twice. Overall, he graded out at 85 percent for the season and had 25 knockdowns while leading an offense that ranked fourth in rushing offense in the CAA at 209.0 yards per game and 4.6 yards per rush. He blocked for Dae'Quan Scott, who ranked third in the CAA in rushing at 86.8 yards per game and earned Second Team All-CAA honors this year. Watford played in 43 games in his career, starting in 37 of them including the last 35 straight.
He is the 10th Duke to receive AFCA All-America honors, with the most recent being defensive end and now NFL starting linebacker Arthur Moats, who earned the honor in 2009.