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BALTIMORE -- James Madison University's football team was picked to finish eighth by the Colonial Athletic Association's head coaches and football media relations personnel. The poll and preseason all-conference team was announced during Wednesday's CAA Football Media Day.
JMU did garner one first-place vote. New Hampshire, who finished third in the conference last season, topped the poll with 15 of the 24 first-place votes, while Villanova (two first-place votes) and Richmond (three) checked in at second and third, respectively. William and Mary received the other three first-place votes as the fourth-place pick, followed by 2013 national runner-up Towson, Delaware and Maine, last year's CAA champion, in fifth, sixth and seventh. Rounding out the poll (in order) were Stony Brook, Albany Rhode Island and Elon.
JMU's Dean Marlowe was named to the Preseason All-Colonial Athletic Association team. This is the second consecutive year that Marlowe has been on the team.
A rising senior from Queens, New York, Marlowe is the top returning player for the Dukes, having earned second team all-CAA honors last season as a safety and third team honors as a punt returner. Selected as an all-CAA safety in each of his first three years, Marlowe recorded 77 total tackles, including 37 solo stops, one interception and eight passes defended last season. He ranked 12th among league defensive backs with 6.4 tackles per game, including a career-high 13 against Stony Brook, and was named to The Sports Network Preseason All-America Third Team this past week.
In 2012, 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 both the Roanoke Times Virginia Sports Information Directors Association. As a sophomore, Marlowe recorded 82 tackles on the year including 44 solos, 5.0 for loss, seven passes defended, a team-high tying three interceptions, one forced fumble and one safety.
As a punt returner in 2013, 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.
JMU's season kicks off on the road at Football Bowl Subdivision opponent Maryland on Aug. 30 at 3:30 p.m., on the Big Ten Network. The Dukes start the five-game home slate hosting Saint Francis on Sept. 13 at Bridgeforth Stadium. Kickoff is scheduled for 4 p.m. Tickets for the opener, as well as the entire 2013 season, can be purchased through www.JMUSports.com/tickets or via phone at 540-568-DUKE (3853).