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JMU roundup: Watford, Robertson honored


Daily Staff Report - sports@nvdaily.com

James Madison football's Earl Watford and Stephon Robertson continued to garner national recognition as the pair have been named Walter Camp Football Foundation Football Championship Subdivision All-Americans, announced by the Walter Camp Foundation.

This is one of the most prestigious All-America honors as the ballot is a write-in selection only with no names on the ballot. The pair had recently also been named Associated Press and Sports Network All-Americans.

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 AFCA All-American and First Team Associated Press and Sports Network All-American as well as 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.

Robertson was previously selected as both a Second Team Associated Press and Sports Network All-American and the Colonial Athletic Association Defensive Player of the Year over several top candidates, including reigning Buck Buchanan Award winner Matt Evans of New Hampshire, as well as earning First Team All-CAA honors. A starter in all 11 games this year and 34 played in his career, Robertson was a force for Madison's defense, which ranked second in the CAA and 24th in FCS football in scoring, first in the league and 19th nationally in rushing defense and fifth in the CAA in pass defense. Also a finalist for the Buck Buchanan Award as the nation's top defensive player, Robertson finished with a team-high 101 tackles, including 48 solos, 8.5 tackles for loss, 1.0 sacks, one interception, one forced fumble and five pass breakups, earning him First Team All-CAA honors for the second straight year after being named CAA Defensive Rookie of the Year in 2010. Also a finalist for the Dudley Award as the state's top Division I player, he was third in the league and tied for 43rd in the nation with 9.18 tackles per game. He led JMU in tackles in seven of the 11 games played this year and recorded double-digit tackles in six games, five of them CAA contests.

Volleyball

James Madison volleyball head coach Lauren Steinbrecher announced the addition of four student-athletes to the program with each signing a national letter of intent during the NCAA's fall signing period.

Joining the Dukes' roster for the 2013-14 school year are middle blocker Conner Beightol (Richmond, Va./Deep Run), right side hitter Janey Goodman (Powhatan, Va./Powhatan), middle blocker Hanna Radhi (Gainesville, Va./Battlefield) and outside hitter Kate Whitmire (Alexandria, Va./T.C. Williams).

"I am thrilled to welcome the 2013 signing class to our volleyball family here at JMU," Steinbrecher said in a news release. "This group is going to be a fantastic complement to our current roster. They have demonstrated exceptional ball control and passing over the past several years. Overall, this is the most physical class we have signed at JMU. Each of these four women brings a combination of power, quickness, and tremendous jumping ability. I can't wait to see what this class contributes over the next four years."



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