Stephon Robertson (Alexandria, Va./Edison) was named the Colonial Athletic Association Defensive Rookie of the Year with five other Dukes earning All-CAA honors, as announced today by the CAA office. The awards were voted on by the conference's head coaches.HARRISONBURG, Va. -- James Madison's redshirt-freshman linebacker
Senior defensive lineman Ronnell Brown (Chesapeake, Va./Hickory) picked up First-Team honors, while redshirt-senior tailback Jamal Sullivan (Ruther Glen, Va./Caroline), redshirt-senior offensive tackle Theo Sherman (Danville, Va./Chatham) and redshirt-junior center Roane Babington (Staunton, Va./Robert E. Lee) earned second team accolades. Roberterson also earned a place on the All-CAA Third Team with redshirt-freshman Dae'Quan Scott (Staunton, Va./Robert E. Lee) garnering a spot on the third team as well as a punt returner.
Robertson started 10 games at linebacker and ranked second for JMU in both total tackles with 90 and tackles for loss with 9.5. Leading a defense that ranked in the top 10 nationally in scoring defense and total defense, Robertson was the top league freshman defensively, ranking ninth in the CAA and tied for 50th nationally at 9.0 tackles per game and tied for 10th in the league at 0.95 tackles for loss per contest. He also led the team with three forced fumbles. A two-time CAA Freshman of the Week award winner, Robertson earned his first weekly honor after posting a personal-best 13 tackles and a key forced fumble late in the game in the dramatic victory over then-No. 13 Virginia Tech. He then followed it up with 13 tackles in the 10-3 victory over then-No. 21 Liberty to garner his second weekly honor. He had six or more tackles in nine straight games, including five with at least 10.
Brown fought through injuries during the year, starting in eight of the nine games he played in and making a career-high 28 total tackles, including 3.5 tackles for loss, ranking among the top-20 linemen in the league in tackles per game. A two-year starter and two-time All-CAA selection, Brown tied his season high with six tackles, four of them solo, in the last-second victory at Maine to wrap up the season. He also recorded six total tackles against Delaware.
Sullivan led the Dukes and ranks fourth in the league at 71.6 yards per game and tying for a team best with five touchdowns. The tailback finished out his career strong, rushing for at least 60 yards in the last four games, including a career-high 137 yards and one touchdown on 25 carries at Richmond. He then made it back-to-back 100-yard rushing games by going for 121 yards on just 17 rushes in the win over then-No. 1 William & Mary. He ended his career with a 19-carry, 60-yard performance with one score in the victory at Maine. He concluded his career ranked 16th on JMU's all-time rushing chart with 1,556 yards and 15 touchdowns.
Sherman and Babington both started all 11 games on the offensive line at their respective positions, providing the anchors for the Dukes. A four-year starter, Sherman played in 45 games his career, earning Third Team All-CAA honors as a sophomore and junior. Babington, the starting center this year after spending last year as a starter at guard, picks up his first postseason league honor.
Scott had six returns for 79 yards on the year, averaging 13.2 yards per return, which was third best in the conference among all returners. He had a team season-long 53-yard return against New Hampshire, setting up a second-quarter touchdown. He also came in as a quarterback in the last two games, earning CAA Freshman of the Week honors after rushing for a game-high 125 yards and three touchdowns to lead the Dukes to the win over then-No. 1 William & Mary. He finished the year with 48 carries for 207 yards and four touchdowns, including two game-winners, while adding 16 receptions for 206 yards and one touchdown.
JMU wrapped up its seventh-straight winning season with a 14-10 victory at Maine, Nov. 20, giving the Dukes a 6-5 overall record.