HARRISONBURG, Va. - The James Madison football squad had a pair of players sign free agent contracts with National Football League (NFL) squads for the 2012 season, the league announced. Defensive end D.J. Bryant (Baltimore, Md./Randallstown) has signed with the Houston Texans, while cornerback Mike Allen (Powhatan, Va./Blessed Sacrament Huguenot) signed with the Cleveland Browns.
Starting in 12 of the 13 games he played in 2011, Bryant was a First-Team All-Colonial Athletic Association (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 acareer-high eight tackles, including 1.5 for a loss in 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.
Allen played all 13 games at cornerback for the Dukes in 2011, starting in 11 of them and recording a career-best 43 tackles on the season, including 23 solos, 2.0 sacks, two interceptions and one forced fumble. The four-year letterwinner recorded a season-high seven tackles, with four solos, in the NCAA Division I Playoffs Second Round at eventual national champion North Dakota State. He had three tackles and a key interception return for a touchdown in the regular-season finale at Massachusetts that propelled JMU into the playoffs. He also had six tackles at North Carolina, while posting three or more tackles in eight contests. After playing wide receiver his first two years and moving to defense prior to his junior year, Allen finished his career with 63 total tackles, 2.0 tackles for loss, 10 passes defended, three interceptions, one forced fumble and one fumble recovery.