JMU roundup: Robertson, Steele among Dukes’ CAA honorees

Daily Staff Reports – sports@nvdaily.com

HARRISONBURG — Led by Colonial Athletic Association Defensive Player of the Year Stephon Robertson earning the the top defensive honor for the second straight year, the James Madison University football squad had seven players receive honors from the league’s coaches, announced Tuesday by the CAA.

Joining Robertson on the first team was redshirt-senior defensive lineman Jordan Stanton and running back Dae’Quan Scott. Redshirt-senior offensive lineman Josh Wells, redshirt-senior defensive lineman Tyler Snow and junior safety Dean Marlowe were second-team selections, with Marlowe being picked on the third team as a punt returner along with redshirt-freshman linebacker Gage Steele, a Warren County High School graduate.

Robertson finished his senior season with 141 total tackles, including 52 solos, 17 tackles for loss, five sacks, one interception, two forced fumbles, one fumble recovery, and five pass breakups, leading the league in total tackles and tackles for loss. One of the top candidates for the Buck Buchanan Award after finishing second among underclassmen and eighth overall in last year’s ballot, Robertson currently is third in the FCS with 11.8 tackles per game and 17th in tackles for loss (1.4 per game). A three-time CAA Defensive Player of the Week this season, Robertson recorded a league season-high five tackles for loss at William and Mary and had double-digit stops in nine of 12 games played while leading the Dukes in tackling in eight of them. Before the season he was named a Sports Network First Team Preseason All-American in 2013 and the 2013 Preseason CAA Defensive Player of the Year.

Robertson is a year removed from his 2012 campaign in which he was named the CAA Defensive Player of the Year, a Walter-Camp All-American, Associated Press Second-Team All-American, and a finalist for the Dudley award. Robertson in 2012 recorded a team-high 101 tackles, including 48 solos, 8.5 tackles for loss, one sack, one interception, one forced fumble and five pass breakups. He finishes his career with 445 tackles, which is fourth at JMU all-time and is currently the FCS active career leader in total tackles, solo tackles and assisted tackles.

Stanton earned All-CAA accolades for the first time in his career after recording 56 tackles with 11.5 for loss and a team-best and tied for fifth in the CAA with eight sacks for 44 yards of loss. He also added a pair of quarterback hurries and two breakups on the season. Stanton ranked sixth among defensive linemen with 4.7 tackles per game, which included 27 solo stops on the year. A starter in all 12 games this year, he had his best contest against Saint Francis with eight tackles, three for loss and a pair of sacks.

Earning first-team honors for the first time in his career after being named second team All-CAA the last two seasons at running back, Scott finished the year with 1,040 rushing yards, his second 1,000-yard season of his collegiate career and 15th in JMU history, along with a team-high eight rushing touchdowns. Scott also contributed 40 receptions for 329 yards and three scores, giving him a team best 1,488 all-purpose yards and 13 touchdowns. He ranked fifth in the CAA at 86.7 rushing yards per game and fifth in scoring at 6.5 points per game. He finished his career at 3,332 rushing yards and the all-time leading scorer with 43 total touchdowns. He is tied for the JMU career lead with 32 rushing scores. Scott became just the third rusher in school history to reach the 3,000-yard mark and posted 16 career 100-yard rushing games. As a punt returner, Scott also showed his ability by returning 10 kicks for 119 yards and two touchdowns, one for 54 yards and the last for 46 yards.

Wells, who was a second team All-CAA selection last season, was JMU’s top returning lineman this season and has paved the way for a JMU offense that is averaging 172.6 rushing yards per game and 407.0 total yards per game. Wells has also been the lead blocker for redshirt-senior running back Dae’Quan Scott, who has amassed over 3,000 career yards and currently holds JMU’s career rushing touchdown and points scored records running behind Wells.

Snow finished second among JMU defensive linemen and fifth among the CAA defensive linemen at 4.7 tackles per game, including 36 solos, 8.5 tackles for loss for 38 yards and five sacks for 30 yards. He added seven quarterback hurries, three pass defended and one fumble recovered. He had a season-high nine tackles in the win over Charlotte and has posted four or more tackles in seven of the 10 games played. His best game in conference play was arguably against Villanova with five tackles, including two sacks in the victory over the Wildcats. Snow was also named a First Team Capitol One/CoSIDA Academic All-District selection this year.

Marlowe has recorded 77 total tackles, including 37 solo stops, one interception, and eight passes defended. He ranks 12th among league defensive backs with 6.4 tackles per game, totaling 77 on the year and was named a 2013 preseason All-CAA selection. Last season, Marlowe Earned First Team All-CAA, as the only sophomore on the CAA defensive first team and was selected as First Team All-State by Roanoke Times and the Virginia Sports Information Directors Association. In 2012 Marlowe recorded 82 tackles on the year including 44 solos, five for loss, seven passes defended, team-high tying three interceptions, one forced fumble and one safety. As a punt returner, Marlowe proved to be tough, averaging 7.4 yards on 14 returns with a long of 31. His average ranked fifth in the CAA among those with an eligible number of returns, as nominations were also due before the final games.

Steele picks up his first league honor after ranking second on the team and sixth in the conference with 8.8 tackles per game, finishing with 106 total tackles on the year. Starting all 12 contests as a redshirt freshman, he recorded a team season-high 18 tackles, which were second most in the league this year, with 13 solos and a sack in the home victory over Albany. His 13 solos tied the most by any JMU player since 1999, and his play this year made him a finalist for the Jerry Rice Award as the national rookie of the year.


RICHMOND — James Madison junior swimmer Sin Hye Won was named the Colonial Athletic Association co-Swimmer of the Week while redshirt freshman diver Taryn McLaughlin claimed Diver of the Week accolades as announced by the league on Tuesday.

For Won, it is her first career CAA Swimmer of the Week accolade. She helped lead JMU to a fifth-place showing out of nine teams at last weekend’s Georgia Tech Invitational. The junior turned in NCAA “B” cut times in both breaststroke events. She placed first in the 100-yard breaststroke with a time of 1:01.24 while claiming second in the 200-yard event at a time of 2:14.90.

Won also swam in two relays for the Dukes, including helped the 200-yard medley relay team place first with a school-record time of 1:40.26. She swam the second leg of the 400-yard medley relay team that finished second with a time of 3:42.33.

McLaughlin picks up her third Diver of the Week accolade with two fourth-place showings in the Georgia Tech Invitational. On the one-meter board, McLaughlin scored a 272.55 while adding a score of 298.60 on the three-meter board.

Won shared the Swimmer of the Week honor with William & Mary’s Meghan Howard.

The Dukes are off from competition until Jan 3 when they face Miami (Ohio) in a dual meet in Boca Raton, Fla. The diving team is also in action that day as they participate in the Georgia Diving Invitational on Jan. 3-4.


HARRISONBURG — James Madison volleyball head coach Lauren Steinbrecher announced the signing of outside hitter Sydney Morris to a national letter of intent to join the program for the 2014 season on Tuesday.

Morris comes to Madison out of Altavista High School. She was recently named the Conference 44 Player of the Year for 2013 as well as the Region 1A East Player of the Year. In addition she is a First Team All-Conference selection and In 2012 she was the Dogwood District Player of the Year. This season the Colonels went 21-2, winning Dogwood District, Conference 44 and Region 1A East championships on their way to its third-straight appearance in the state semifinals.

Morris is a three-sport start for the Colonels, playing basketball and running track as well.

JMU finished the 2013 season at 13-15 and 8-6 in the Colonial Athletic Association. They finished tied for third in the CAA and advanced to the CAA Championship for the fourth straight year. In 2014, the Dukes bring back all six starters and its libero from this season’s squad.