Aug 27, 2010, 10:05 AM EDT
CAA Football will chronicle all 10 of its programs each weekday leading up to the 2010 season kickoff Thursday, Sept. 2. Using the league’s preseason poll as a guide we will work our way up to the league favorite. Check back each day for information on your favorite team.
Today’s squad: The James Madison Dukes
The James Madison football program looks to make its presence felt again on the Colonial Athletic Association and national scene. Last year, the Dukes battled injuries and opponents in the early going of the season but rallied to finish with a winning season, including victories in the last four contests. That momentum is something that Head Coach Mickey Matthews looks to build on for the 2010 season, as he returns 13 starters and 43 letterwinners from last year’s squad.
However, the Dukes also graduated a core of players that included a combined five National Football League draft picks and free-agent signees, led by 2010 Buck Buchanan Award winner Arthur Moats.
The offense will be led by quarterback Drew Dudzik and Preseason All-CAA selection offensive tackle Theo Sherman. Dudzik earned the starting nod in the spring drills and has shown the ability to lead the squad on the field. Seniors Griff Yancey and Jamal Sullivan will battle for the bulk of the carries in the running game, while the Dukes work to find a balance with an effective passing game, looking to find who the primary targets will be among the young talent at wide receiver. The offensive line returns three starters and five regulars from last year’s line and worked in the spring to gel into a cohesive unit.
The defense will again be a mainstay for JMU, led by senior Ronnell Brown, a Preseason All-CAA honoree and looked at as one of the top defensive linemen in the nation. The linebackers return a core of experienced players, as returners Jamie Veney, Chase Williams and Pat Williams ranked among the top nine for JMU in tackles in 2009. Last season, the safety position took some hits early on but dealt out more than they got as the season progressed. Vidal Nelson has stepped up as the leader on the defense and has helped in last year’s development of now sophomores Jakarie Jackson and Jon Williams. Taveion Cuffee brings his experience back to one side of the field as a corner, while Mike Allen starts the fall as the starting cornerback on the other.
Here is your chance at winning a mini-helmet of the CAA Football Team corresponding to the day in the 10T/10D series. Follow CAA Football on Twitter and @reply us with your answer or go to CAAFootballblog.com and hit the comment link to file your answer and keep checking back to learn if you’re the winner. Prize packs will be awarded to the first correct response!
10T/10D TRIVIA FOR TODAY: How many times under head coach Mickey Matthews has James Madison won the conference title?
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