HARRISONBURG, Va. - James Madison had three players on the first team and four on the second team of the 2011 All-Virginia University Division Football squads, as announced by the Virginia Sports Information Director (VaSID). The teams were selected by Sports Information Directors in Virginia at every level of collegiate athletics.
Named to the first team were redshirt-junior offensive guard Earl Watford (Philadelphia, Pa./Simon Gratz), redshirt-senior defensive end D.J. Bryant (Baltimore, Md./Randallstown) and redshirt-sophomore linebacker Stephon Robertson (Alexandria, Va./Edison). The Dukes' four representatives on the second team were redshirt-sophomore running back Dae'Quan Scott (Staunton, Va. /Robert E. Lee), redshirt-junior tight end Brian Barlow (Stephens City, Va./Sherando), redshirt-senior offensive center Roane Babington (Staunton, Va./Robert E. Lee) and redshirt-freshman safety Dean Marlowe (Queens, N.Y./Holy Cross).
Watford, a First Team All-Colonial Athletic Association (CAA) and Roanoke Times Division I Second Team All-State honoree, and Babington, a Second Team All-CAA selection, each 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 duo helped the Dukes average 222.5 yards per game rushing, which ranked 12th nationally, and 4.7 yards per carry.
Starting in 12 of the 13 games he played in 2011, Bryant was a First Team All-CAA selection this past season after leading Madison back to the playoffs for the first time in three years. JMU's Defensive Lineman of the Year finished sixth on the team with 48 total tackles, 27 of them solos, ranking 15th in the league among defensive linemen at 3.7 per game. He led the team and tied for sixth in the CAA in 7.0 sacks for 70 yards of loss and 10th in tackles for loss 13.0 for 85 yards of loss. He also added one fumble recovery and one blocked kick on the year. The Baltimore native had a career-high eight tackles, including 1.5 for a loss in the home-opening win against Central Connecticut State. He chipped in at least three tackles in nine games this past season.
A four-year letterwinner, Bryant finished his career playing in 41 games, including every possible game the last three seasons, and recording 123 total tackles, with 61 of them solos. He had 28.5 total tackles for 156 yards of loss, 14.0 sacks, 10 passes defended, two forced fumbles, one fumble recovery, one interception and two blocked kicks.
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. 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.
Barlow was a Second Team All-CAA selection at H-Back this past season after leading JMU in receptions with 33 catches for 316 yards and a touchdown. He had five catches for 31 yards in the season opener at North Carolina. He later recorded a career-high eight receptions for 79 yards, including a season-long reception of 30 yards, at Old Dominion. He also had four receptions for 34 yards in the NCAA Second Round at North Dakota State.
Named Third Team
All-CAA as a safety, one of just three freshmen to earn All-CAA honors on the
defensive side of the ball, Marlowe started 12 of the 13 games he played at
safety. He ranked fourth on the team and tops among defensive backs in tackles with
71, including 2.5 for loss. He led the squad with four interceptions, including
one in his first career start at North Carolina. Marlowe had a season-high 12
tackles, one tackle for a loss and a
pass breakup against New Hampshire, while recording eight tackles and an
interception in the home win over Rhode Island.
Virginia Tech junior running back David Wislon was selected as the State Offensive Player of the Year, while senior cornerback Chase Minnifield of Virginia was named the Defensive Player of the Year. Virginia's Mike London earned Coach of the Year honors, while Old Dominion freshman quarterback Taylor Heinicke was the Virginia Rookie of the Year.