Back to Bridgeforth for Homecoming: The James Madison football squad returns to the friendly confines of Bridgeforth Stadium for today's Colonial Athletic Association game against Georgia Stat. The Dukes celebrate Homecoming today, welcoming back all JMU alumni to Harrisonburg for this weekend's festivities.
The Coaches: James Madison Head Coach Mickey Matthews (West Texas State, '76) is in his 14th season at JMU and as a head coach overall with a 101-63 record.
Georgia State Head Coach Bill Curry (Georgia Tech, '65) is in his third year as head coach of the Panthers with a 10-20 record and 20th season as a head coach overall with a 93-125-4 record.
This is an interesting matchup of two coaches with Southeastern Conference ties. Matthews coached linebackers and defensive backs at Georgia from 1996-98, while Curry was the head coach at Alabama (1987-89) and Kentucky (1990-96), as well as the ACC's Georgia Tech (1980-86), during his career.
History With Georgia State: This is the first and probably last time that the Dukes and Panthers will meet on the football field for the foreseeable future. Georgia State is playing its first and only season as a CAA member, as the school makes the move to the Sun Belt Conference (Football Bowl Subdivision) next season. Due to its announcement prior to July 1, GSU was declared ineligible prior to the season for either the CAA championship or a berth in the NCAA Division I playoffs.
Home Is Where the Heart (And the Victories) Are: The Dukes are tough to beat at Bridgeforth Stadium under Head Coach Mickey Matthews. In his 13-plus years at the helm, Matthews has led his squad to a solid 61-19 (.763) record in Harrisonburg. What makes that more impressive is that eight of the losses occurred during a two-year span (2001-02) when the Dukes had a combined overall record of 7-16 (JMU was 2-9 in 2001 and 5-7 in 2002). This year, JMU is 4-0 at home, its 10th-straight .500 or better season at home.
Additionally, Madison has only lost two non-conference games at home, and only one regular-season, out-of-league home tilt, under Matthews in 26 contests. The two losses were in the 2002 home opener against Hampton and the 2008 National Semifinal against Montana.
Dukes After A Loss Under Matthews: In its 13-plus seasons under current Head Coach Mickey Matthews, James Madison has a 29-25 record in games after a loss (other than season finale losses). However, that record takes a better turn starting in the 2004 season, as the Dukes are an improved 17-10 in those games after a loss. Also, JMU has only had four multiple-game losing streaks since 2004, with the longest a four-game skid each in 2009 and 2010.
This season, JMU rebounded from its loss to West Virginia with a 32-7 victory at Rhode Island in the CAA opener for the Dukes.
Last Year's Bridgeforth Crowds Set Records: There is no question that Sept. 10, 2011's crowd for the home opener against Central Connecticut State was the largest in Bridgeforth Stadium history at that time. With an attendance of 25,102, the total surpassed the previous high of 17,163 when JMU posted a dramatic 35-32 come-from-behind win over Appalachian State on Sept. 20, 2008. In fact, all five games last season surpassed the previous high, with the tops coming in the Homecoming victory over Richmond at 25,742. Last year, the Dukes ranked second in the nation in average attendance at 25,002 fans per game, while the 125,010 set a new school record for regular season attendance total, ranking as seventh most nationally.
Currently, JMU is ranked tops among CAA scholls and third among FCS schools in average attendance this year at 22,709 fans per game.
Ranking High In FCS Football: JMU finds itself among the leaders in the nation in various statistical categories in the opening portion of the season. Offensively, the Dukes' average of 214.29 rushing yards ranks 15th among FCS teams and the 421.14 yards of total offense ranks 27th. Defensively, the 18.57 points per game given up is tops in the CAA and ranks 16th nationally while the total defense yardage of 328.00 is 28th. Additionally, Madison's average of 38.07 net punting yards is 15th among FCS teams.
Individually, redshirt-junior linebacker Stephon Robertson is fourth in the CAA and 46th nationally in tackles at 9.29 per game, while redshirt-junior kicker Cameron Starke is second in the league and tied for 15th in FCS football with 1.29 field goals per game, while ranking sixth in the CAA and tied for 51st in scoring at 7.14 points per game.
Doing Work In Overtime: The Dukes had their fourth overtime game in as many seasons in the double-overtime victory over William & Mary, Oct. 13. JMU is now 6-6 all-time in overtime games, with Head Coach Mickey Matthews now holding a 3-4 mark in the extra period contests. The win over the Tribe also snapped a three-game skid for JMU in games going overtime.
Last Time Out - JMU's Furious Rally Falls Short at Richmond: No. 2 James Madison rallied late in the game and fell short in the closing seconds, losing at Richmond, 35-29, in a Colonial Athletic Association battle, on Oct. 20.
Down 35-16 with just under seven minutes to play, Madison started a comeback behind freshman quarterback Michael Birdsong. He got the Dukes into the end zone quickly, as he scrambled for 36 yards on the first play then hit sophomore DeAndre' Smith for a 39-yard touchdown to trim it to 35-22. JMU went for two, but could not convert with 6:04 to go in the game.
After stopping Richmond, Madison got the ball back with 2:53 to go in the contest. The Dukes marched 15 plays and 78 yards in 2:18, with Birdsong going the final eight yards for the score, and redshirt-junior kicker Cameron Starke hit the PAT to make it 35-29 with 35 seconds to play.
Redshirt-senior punter David Skahn lined up for the onside kick, got the ball to take the hops to avoid a fair-catch call, and Smith skied to come down with the ball and give the Dukes one last chance at their own 48-yard line. Madison was able to get it down to the UR 31 and had two shots from there, but could not find the end zone to complete the comeback.
JMU had 526 total offensive yards in the game to Richmond's 441 total yards. Madison, however, collected 11 penalties for 98 yards, including three key penalties to keep drives alive, and turned the ball over twice to the Spiders. Richmond was penalized for 60 yards, did not turn the ball over in the match-up and put points on the board each of the five times the offense entered the red zone.
Birdsong led the Dukes in passing on Saturday afternoon, throwing 11 for 22 for 159 yards and one touchdown while rushing seven times for a career-best 73 yards and a score. Smith was on the receiving end of many of the days' passes, collecting a career-best 122 yards and two touchdowns. He became the second Duke to accomplish the 100-yard mark this season, both in the last two games. Redshirt-junior Dae'Quan Scott rushed for 110 yards and a touchdown against the Spiders, his second 100-yard rushing game of the year and 10th of his career. Redshirt-junior linebacker Stephon Robertson led the Dukes with 13 tackles, eight solos and 2.5 tackles for loss. (Full recap on page 20.)
Scott Chewing Up Ground:James Madison running back Dae'Quan Scott has been eating up yardage this season, playing in just five quarters of the first two games due to the significant lead for JMU in each and an injury that held him out of two games. In his five contests, Scott leads the team with 444 yards on 77 carries (5.8 yards per carry) and six touchdowns. He has also has 15 receptions for 137 yards (9.1 yards per catch) and a pair of scores. After missing the West Virginia and Rhode Island contests, Scott returned to the Towson game and had 22 carries for 85 yards and two catches for 12 yards to help the Dukes to the win over the No. 12 Tigers. Most recently, he posted his second 100-yard rushing game of the year and 10th of his career when he had 17 carries for 110 yards and one touchdown at Richmond, Oct. 20.
Scott was named the CAA Offensive Player of the Week for his play in the Alcorn State game. It is the third time in his career he has garnered the league's weekly offensive honor, having picked it up twice last year, and the fourth time he has earned a league weekly award overall. Scott played just 27 minutes in a 42-3 win over Alcorn State, but it was enough time to account for 108 rushing yards, his ninth career 100-yard game, and two touchdowns on just eight carries for the Dukes. The junior also hauled in five catches for 39 yards and a touchdown. He opened the scoring for JMU with a 1-yard run and then followed up with a season-long 67-yard scamper to put the Dukes up 14-0 in the first quarter. He then added a 10-yard touchdown reception from quarterback Justin Thorpe late in the first half that gave Madison a 28-0 halftime lead.
Smith Coming Into His Own As a Wide Receiver: Sophomore DeAndre' Smith is continuing to show his growth with Madison, tallying his best game of his career at Richmond, Oct. 20. Smith had six receptions for career highs of 122 yards and two touchdowns. For the season, Smith leads the Dukes with 21 receptions for 242 yards and a pair of scores.
Birdsong To Start at Quarterback: True freshman Michael Birdsong is slated to make his first collegiate start in the Georgia State game. This would make him the first true freshman to start at the JMU signal caller slot since Head Coach Mickey Matthews' fourth season as head man of the Dukes in 2002. That year, Jayson Cooke started the season finale at Northeastern on Nov. 23, 2002, a game won by the Huskies 41-10. Other true freshman starters during Matthews' tenure have been current wide receivers coach Clayton Matthews (9/22/11) and Mike Connelly (10/23/99).
Jakarie Not Afraid to "Jak" Opponents Up: Senior safety Jakarie Jackson has shown his ability to make an impact defensively during his time at JMU. On Sept. 15, Jackson put together a career-high 14 tackles against West Virginia in what Head Coach Mickey Matthews said was his best collegiate game. Most recently, he had six tackles, including four solos, in the thrilling home victory over then-No. 12 Towson. Jackson had 10 solo shots and also added one pass breakup. Against Richmond Oct. 20, he recorded nine tackles, six of the solos, and a pass breakup. He is now nine tackles away from the career 200-tackle mark.
Robertson Getting In On the Play: Redshirt-junior linebacker Stephon Robertson has shown a nose for the football throughout his collegiate career. A Sports Network Third-Team Preseason All-American and Preseason All-CAA linebacker in 2012, Robertson led the Dukes in tackles in five of the seven games, including a career-high 15 in the win over No. 12 Towson. He is averaging 9.3 tackles per game (65 total, 26 solos), which is fourth in the CAA. He also has five pass breakups on the season, along with 4.0 tackles for loss. He has recorded double-digit tackles in four games this season, including the last three straight.
For his career, Robertson has started all 30 games he has played and has posted 268 career tackles.
Harvey Has a Breakthrough Against William & Mary: Redshirt junior wide receiver Arlandis Harvey made his presence felt in the double-overtime victory over William & Mary, Oct. 13. Against the Tribe, Harvey had career bests of six receptions, 113 receiving yards and his first collegiate touchdown. The 113 yards were the first 100-yard game by a receiver this season and the first since Kerby Long had 103 versus Villanova last October. With the 113 yards versus the Tribe, he surpassed his entire previous career total of yardage of 96 yards on 12 receptions.
National Rankings: JMU has come into the 2012 season with high expectations from both the coaches and the media, according to their respective polls. The Dukes were ranked eighth in the FCS Coaches Preseason Poll, while being in the No. 5 slot in The Sports Network Poll, which is voted on by sports information, media members, broadcasters and other dignitaries. Following the eighth week of play, Madison is now No. 10 in the FCS Coaches Poll and No. 9 in the The Sports Network poll.
The Dukes also earned significant recognition in several national preseason publications, with four of the five putting JMU in the top five. Phil Steele's Annual picked JMU second in its preseason rankings, while USA Today had Madison fourth. Athlon College Football and College Sporting News both had James Madison in the fifth spot, while Lindy's College Football picked the squad 13th nationally.
Matthews Reaches the Century Mark: JMU Head Coach Mickey Matthews recently accomplished a historic milestone in his coaching career. In his 14th season at the helm of the Dukes, Matthews earned his 100th career victory with a 13-10 win over then-No. 12 Towson, Oct. 6. He is currently 25th on the FCS career active victories list with 101 victories, just behind New Hampshire's Sean McDonnell with 102 wins.
Starke Is Solid With the Foot But Splits The Uprights Even Better at Home: Redshirt-junior kicker Cameron Starke has shown his ability to hit clutch kicks for the Dukes, having connected on two final-play, game-winning field goals last year. Overall in his career, he is now 24-of-29 (.828) on field goals and 55-of-56 (.982) on extra points. However at Bridgeforth Stadium, he has hit all nine of his 10 field goal attempts, including a career-long 49-yarder earlier this season against Towson and is 35-of-36 (.972) on PATs. His only missed kicks ever in Bridgeforth was a point after attempt against Villanova last year and a 48-yard field goal attempt in swirling winds against William & Mary, Oct. 13.
Spreading the Love (And the Ball) Around: The Dukes' quarterbacks been utilizing a variety of receivers this year. So far this season, 13 different Dukes have had receptions, with 12 of them having multiple receptions and eight of them with six or more in the first six games. Redshirt-senior tight end Brian Barlow is the leading target with 16 receptions for a team-high 237 yards and one score. Sophomore DeAndre' Smith, redshirt-junior Jordan Anderson and redshirt-sophomore Ryan Dixon are next with 15, 12 and 12 receptions, respectively.
Skahn Making His Punts Count: Redshirt-senior David Skahn has been making sure his punting attempts have counted for the Dukes this season. Skahn has 29 punts this season for an average of 38.8 yards per punt with nine inside the 20, one touchback and a career-long of 65. What is even more impressive is that just a single punt this year has been returned for three yards, making his net punting average 38.07, which ranks first in the CAA and 16th in FCS football currently.
Thorpe Receives Sixth Year From NCAA: Quarterback Justin Thorpe has been granted a sixth year of eligibility by the NCAA, announced recently. He will now be listed as a redshirt junior for JMU for the remainder of the season. Thorpe had a season-ending injury as a true freshman in 2008 and then was injured also in the first half of the 2010 season opener against Morehead State, which ended that season. In cases where there have been two season ending injuries early in the year, application can be made for a sixth year, though not always granted.
Thorpe Successful Under Center Leading the Dukes: Redshirt-junior quarterback Justin Thorpe has been a very solid starter for Madison when he has been in the game. Overall, he has a 16-7 record as a starting quarterback as well as being 16-5 against Football Championship Subdivision (FCS) opponents. Even more impressive is that Thorpe had led JMU to wins in his previous 14 regular season FCS starts prior to the loss at Richmond Oct. 20 and 15 of his last 17 FCS games overall.
Matthews Coming Off the Bye Week: Head Coach Mickey Matthews has proven that he knows how to manage the Dukes through a bye week in his tenure. He is currently 10-4 in games after a bye, with two of those losses coming in the 2001 season, a 17-16 heartbreaking loss to Richmond in 2007 and last season's 23-20 defeat at Old Dominion.
JMU Against Ranked Teams: In its FCS history, Madison has a 54-68-1 record against ranked opponents. Since taking over in 1999, Head Coach Mickey Matthews has coached in a majority of those games, posting a 36-32 record against ranked teams.
JMU had three straight wins during the 2011 season over top-25 teams on consecutive weekends for the first time since the 2004 season, when the Dukes won four straight road games to win the National Championship. It also was the first time in school history during the regular season that JMU had posted three straight wins in consecutive weeks over ranked opponents. However, Madison fell just short last season against the last four ranked foes, the first on Oct. 8 when it dropped a heartbreaking 25-24 loss to #19 Maine, followed by Oct. 29 defeat at #15 Old Dominion, 23-20 and a 28-10 loss at #9 New Hampshire, Nov. 5. The last came in the second round of the NCAA Division I Championship, losing 26-14 at No. 4 and eventual national champion North Dakota State.
Precursor to Something Greater This Year?: All college football fans want to look for something that gives them an indication of possible success for their teams. Interestingly for Dukes' fans, that may be the opening week's win over Saint Francis and playing West Virginia as their precursors for this year. Last year, the Red Flash traveled for its second game of the season to a nationally-ranked opponent -- North Dakota State -- and dropped a 56-3 decision to the Bison, who went on to last year's FCS National Championship. The 2004 season was the only time that JMU has taken on West Virginia, as the Dukes won the next six games and eventually went on to a 13-2 record and the I-AA National Championship. So the JMU Nation hopes the same end result occurs for its squad this season.
Oh Captain, My Captains: James Madison's Justin Thorpe, Brian Barlow, Earl Watford, Jakarie Jackson, Stephon Robertson and Tyler Snow have been selected by their teammates as captains for the 2012 football season. Thorpe and Barlow are captains for the second straight season, while this is the first time for the remaining four.
James Madison Football On TV: James Madison is no stranger to being televised and it holds true this year, as the Dukes are on the tube six times, with a pair of nationally-televised contests as part of the CAA's package. JMU were first on television on Sept. 15 from FedEx Field as the West Virginia Game was televised on Root Sports Pittsburgh. Following that, Madison made its first of two appearances on NBC Sports Network when it defeated defending CAA champion Towson on Oct. 6, followed by a win on Comcast Sports Network against William & Mary game on Oct. 13. The Oct. 20 loss at Richmond was televised on Comcast as will the Nov. 3 game at Maine. The regular-season finale against Old Dominion Nov. 17 is on NBC Sports Network. The last time JMU was on national TV prior to the Towson contest was last year's NCAA Second Round game at North Dakota State, with the one prior to that the 2008 National Semifinal against Montana. Currently the Dukes are 2-2 on television this season.
Thorpe Through the Air: Redshirt-junior quarterback Justin Thorpe got it going through the airwaves in the win at Rhode Island, Sept. 22. Thorpe had career highs of 26 completions, 40 attempts and 340 yards while adding two touchdowns and two interceptions to the effort. His 340 yards was the 12th 300-yard passing game in school history and ranks fifth all time. The last 300-yard passing game for the Dukes was on Sept. 29, 2007, as Rodney Landers threw for exactly 300 yards against Villanova. The last time Madison had 300 yards passing overall was on Sept. 19, 2009, when the squad posted 341 versus VMI.
For the season, Thorpe is 94-for-150 (62.7 percent) for 1,143 yards, seven touchdowns and seven interceptions. He also is second on the team in rushing with 92 carries for 430 yards and four scores.
Playoffs Expanding Again in 2013: Last year, JMU took advantage of the playoff expansion to 20 teams by grabbing one of the last slots in the 2011 FCS Playoffs and advancing to the second round after defeating Eastern Kentucky. Next year, the playoffs increase in participation again, as 24 teams will be selected for the field, 11 via auto bids as the Pioneer League's champion will now be automatically invited to the postseason. The top eight teams will be seeded, receive first-round byes and host second-round games. The 16 other teams will bid to host first-round games.
Home Is Where the Heart (And the Victories) Are: The Dukes are tough to beat at Bridgeforth Stadium under Head Coach Mickey Matthews. In his 13-plus years at the helm, Matthews has led his squad to a solid 62-19 (.765) record in Harrisonburg. What makes that more impressive is that eight of the losses occurred during a two-year span (2001-02) when the Dukes had a combined overall record of 7-16 (JMU was 2-9 in 2001 and 5-7 in 2002). This year, JMU is 4-0 at home, its 10th-straight .500 or better season at home.
Additionally, Madison has only lost two non-conference games at home, and only one regular-season, out-of-league home tilt, under Matthews in 26 contests. The two losses were in the 2002 home opener against Hampton and the 2008 National Semifinal against Montana.
Matthews' JMU Home Mark
Year Overall Conf.
1999 5-0 4-0
2000 6-0 4-0
2001 1-4 0-4
2002 3-4 2-3
2003 5-1 3-1
2004 5-1 3-1
2005 5-1 3-1
2006 5-0 4-0
2007 5-1 3-1
2008 8-1 4-0
2009 3-2 2-2
2010 3-3 1-3
2011 4-1 3-1
2012 4-0 2-0
Totals 62-19 38-17
Matthews The Winningest: Mickey Matthews (1999-Pres.) became the all-time leader in victories among JMU football coaches Sept. 27, 2008 in a 24-10 victory at Maine. The win gave the then-10th-year Dukes coach a 68-45 JMU record. It is now at 101-63 overall, which currently ranks 22nd among all active coaches in terms of winning percentage and 25th in victories.
Challace McMillin (1972-84), JMU's first football coach, had a 67-56-1 record during 13 JMU seasons and held the program's previous coaching victories record. McMillin has retired as a JMU kinesiology teaching staff member, but he continues to work with JMU athletic teams in a sports psychology role.
JMU'S COACHING RECORDS
Coach (Years) W-L Pct. NCAA
Mickey Matthews (1999-Pres.) 101-63 .616 6
Challace McMillin (1972-84) 67-56-1 .544 0
Joe Purzycki (1985-90) 34-30-2 .530 1
Rip Scherer (1991-94) 29-19 .604 2
Alex Wood (1995-98) 23-22 .511 1
* Challace McMillin's listed coaching record at JMU does not include the program's inaugural football season of 1972 when the team's schedule did not include the minimum number of games to constitute an NCAA-recognized varsity football season. JMU's 1972 team played five games against a mixture of college varsity, junior varsity and prep-school teams.
Dukes in the Show: JMU is well represented in the NFL on the 2012 rosters entering the season. The Dukes have two former players that were on opening day rosters for the 2012 season. Linebacker Akeem Jordan has spent his first five years in the NFL with the Philadelphia Eagles and is starting this season at weakside linebacker. Starting his third season in the NFL is former defensive end turned linebacker Arthur Moats (Buffalo Bills), who is currently the starter at outside linebacker. Former tight end Mike Caussin (Buffalo Bills) is on the physically unable to perform list currently after being signed last year off Jacksonville's practice squad. Most recently, former defensive end D.J. Bryant was signed to the practice squad of the Tampa Bay Buccaneers on Sept. 18.
All-Time Versus the CAA: For the last eight-plus seasons, there has not been a better team in league action in the Colonial Athletic Association than James Madison. During that time span, the Dukes have put together a 47-19 conference mark and trail New Hampshire by half a game. Overall JMU is 73-31 in that span, surpassed only by New Hampshire's 77-31 mark. Additionally, Madison is the only school in this group to have at least a .500 overall record in each year since 2003.
CAA Records 2004-Pres. Conf. Overall
New Hampshire 49-20 79-31
James Madison 48-20 74-32
Richmond 39-29 67-40
Villanova 38-30 63-44
Delaware 37-30 65-40
William & Mary 34-34 55-46
Maine 33-34 48-50
Towson 19-48 37-58
Rhode Island 15-51 27-66
NOTE: During this time period until the 2010 season, CAA teams each season played five other teams in their division and three of the six teams in the other division for an eight-game league slate. With the dropping of football by two CAA schools prior to 2010, the league eliminated the divisions and are one unified standings. After the 2011 season, Massachusetts moved up to the FBS level.
JMU vs. CAA Teams (* Former league teams, Includes when not CAA members) JMU Last
Opponent Overall Met
Boston University* 5-1-0 1997
Connecticut* 4-1-0 1999
Delaware 8-12-0 2010
Hofstra* 6-3-0 2009
Maine 10-5-0 2011
Massachusetts* 7-8-1 2011
New Hampshire 7-7-0 2011
Northeastern* 12-8-0 2007
Old Dominion 0-1-0 2011
Rhode Island 8-3-0 2012
Richmond 13-17-0 2012
Towson 18-5-1 2012
Villanova 11-9-0 2011
William & Mary 20-15-0 2012
Totals 128-95-2 (.575)
Robertson Earns National Weekly Honor: Redshirt junior linebacker Stephon Robertson has been named National FCS Defensive Player of the Week by College Sports Madness. Robertson had a career-high 15 tackles, including 0.5 tackles for loss, in the dramatic win over then-No. 12 Towson. He had three solo tackles as well as two tackles and one pass breakup that ended Towson drives.
JMU Football History: The 2012 season is JMU's 41st season of football, its 39th varsity football season, its 34th season with football scholarship players and its 33rd season competing at what is now the NCAA's Football Championship Subdivision (FCS) level, formerly Division I-AA.
JMU began football in 1972, moved to a recognized varsity schedule in 1974, first awarded scholarships for the 1979 season and moved to Division I-AA in 1980. JMU moved from Division III to Division II in 1979 and to then-Division I-AA for the 1980 season.
JMU's top seasons in addition to winning the 2004 NCAA Division I-AA championship (13-2) have been in 2008 when the Dukes reached the FCS semifinals as the playoffs' top-seeded team and compiled a 12-2 record, 2007 (8-4, NCAA playoffs), 2006 (9-3, NCAA playoffs), 1999 (8-4, NCAA playoffs), 1995 (8-4, NCAA playoffs), 1994 (10-3, NCAA playoffs, second round), 1991 (9-4, NCAA playoffs, second round), 1987 (9-3, NCAA playoffs), 1982 (8-3), 1978 (8-2, No. 9, Division III), and 1975 (9-0-1, College Division).
JMU UNDER MATTHEWS
Year Overall Conf.
1999 8-4 7-1 NCAA
2000 6-5 4-4
2001 2-9 0-9
2002 5-7 3-6
2003 6-6 4-5
2004 13-2 7-1 NCAA Title
2005 7-4 5-3
2006 9-3 7-1 NCAA
2007 8-4 6-2 NCAA
2008 12-2 8-0 NCAA
2009 6-5 4-4
2010 6-5 3-5
2011 8-5 5-3 NCAA
2012 5-2 3-1
Totals 101-63 66-45
Preseason All-America Honors: James Madison's Earl Watford, Stephon Robertson and Dae'Quan Scott were named Preseason All-Americans by The Sports Network, the organization announced. Watford was a first-team selection at offensive guard, while Robertson and Scott were on the third team at linebacker and all-purpose, respectively.
Preseason All-CAA Awards: Redshirt-senior offensive lineman Earl Watford, redshirt-senior h-back/tight end Brian Barlow, redshirt-junior linebacker Stephon Robertson and redshirt-junior return specialist/running back Dae'Quan Scott were selected to the CAA's 25-man preseason squad.
Former Duke Haley Enshrined in College Football Hall of Fame: Former James Madison football All-American Charles Haley was enshrined in the College Football Hall Of Fame, July 15-16, 2011 in South Bend, Ind. He was the first ever player from a CAA school and sixth person overall (five previous were coaches) to be elected to the Hall.
Haley was a four year starter at JMU from 1982-85. He was a two-time All-American and a three-time Defensive MVP at Madison. As a senior at JMU, Haley was voted a 1985 Associated Press First-Team I-AA All-American and both the Richmond Touchdown Club and Roanoke Times & World News' State Defensive Player of the Year. He leads JMU's all-time tackles list with 506, including three seasons of more than 100 tackles, and his 22 tackles at Shippensburg during the 1983 season still ranks as the eighth-highest single-game total in JMU history. He also added three interceptions and 17 quarterback sacks to his total.
In 1986, after his senior season Haley was selected in the fourth round of the NFL Draft by the San Francisco 49ers, as he was the No. 96 pick overall, the highest ever in school history. The first ever JMU player to be drafted into the NFL, Haley went on to become the only player in the league's history to win five Super Bowls, two with the 49ers and three with the Dallas Cowboys. He was also selected to five Pro Bowls during his career, as well as being a two-time First-Team All-Pro and 1990 NFC Defensive Player of the Year. He finished his professional career with 100.5 sacks, including a career-high 16 in 1990. He had eight fumble recoveries and scored one touchdown in the NFL. He retired in 1999 before becoming an assistant coach for the Detroit Lions.
Former JMU Standouts: In addition to the former Dukes currently active with professional football organizations, JMU's leading all-time performers include several other players who have enjoyed success in the NFL - placekicker Scott Norwood (1978-81), wide receiver Gary Clark (1980-83), defensive end Charles Haley (1982-85), linebacker Dion Foxx (1990-93), wide receiver Macey Brooks (1993-96), running back Curtis Keaton (1998-99), tight end Ed Perry (1993-96) and return specialist Delvin Joyce (1997-2000).
Norwood received All-Pro honors as a placekicker with the Buffalo Bills. Clark was All-Pro with the Washington Redskins and a member of two Super Bowl title teams and later played with the Arizona Cardinals and Miami Dolphins. He was selected in the first round of the first United States Football League draft in 1984.
Haley was the first player to be a member of five Super Bowl title teams while playing with the San Francisco 49ers and the Dallas Cowboys. He was the first Duke to be a first-team Division I-AA All-America and the first Duke chosen in the NFL draft (San Francisco, 1986, fourth round). He is JMU's career tackles leader.
Foxx played with the Miami Dolphins. Brooks was with the Dallas Cowboys and Chicago Bears.
Keaton was with the Cincinnati Bengals and New Orleans Saints after being the 1999 Atlantic 10 offensive player of the year when he ran for 1,719 yards and 20 touchdowns.
Perry was a tight end and long snapper with the Miami Dolphins and Kansas City Chiefs after being Miami's sixth-round 1997 draft pick and first-team All-Yankee Football Conference during each of his final three collegiate seasons.
Joyce was a return specialist for the New York Giants and New York Jets. He ended his career at JMU as the only player in Division I-AA history with 1,000 yards in each of the career statistical categories of rushing, receiving, punt returns and kickoff returns and as the all-time Division I-AA leader in punt return yards and combined kick return yards. He holds many of JMU's career kick return marks and is the program's all-time leader in all-purpose yards with 5,659.
Two other former Dukes saw extensive time during the 2007 preseason with NFL teams, including tailback Alvin Banks (2003-06) with the New York Jets and offensive lineman Corey Davis (2003-06) with the Buffalo Bills. Justin Rascati, JMU's starting quarterback from 2004-06, briefly was with the Chicago Bears.