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Linebacker Trio Locks Up CFPA Watch List Recognition

Jun 10, 2013, 11:37 AM EDT

source:  The preseason honors continue to roll in across the conference as Towson’s Monte Gaddis, James Madison’s Stephon Robertson and Delaware’s Jeff Williams were named to College Football Performance Awards’ Linebacker Award Watch List on Monday. The trio joins 18 other CAA Football standouts who have been selected to CFPA positional award watch lists so far this preseason.

After transferring  from Dean Junior College, Gaddis stepped right in to the middle linebacker spot and led the Tigers with 74 tackles, a figure that represented the 10th-most stops in the league last season. The rising junior also led Towson with 12 tackles for loss, which ranked second in CAA Football in 2012. Gaddis also tied for the team lead with five sacks.

A starter in all 34 games in his three-year career in Harrisonburg, Robertson has come to be the core of a dominant James Madison defense that has consistently been among the league leaders in virtually every defensive statistical category. The reigning CAA Football Defensive Player of the Year and Buck Buchanan Award Watch List member wrapped up the regular season ranked third in the league with 101 tackles and finished as his team’s leader with 8.5 tackles for loss. Robertson also recorded a sack, an interception and five pass breakups in his junior campaign.

Williams wasted no time in making an impact in his first year in Newark. The 2012 CAA Football Defensive Rookie of the Year was chosen as a finalist for the Jerry Rice Freshman of the Year Award, and with good reason after he secured a conference-best 6.5 sacks and 14 tackles for a loss of 83 yards for the Blue Hens in the regular season. Williams finished the year ranked fourth in the league among freshmen and fifth on his team with 61 tackles.

The CFPA Watch List serves a rough guide to returning performers for the 2013 season. All CFPA recipients are selected exclusively based upon objective scientific rankings of the extent to which individual players increase the overall effectiveness of their teams. All players are eligible for awards at their respective positions; players are not preemptively eliminated from consideration.

There are currently 111 CFPA recipients listed on official 2013 NFL rosters. More than 130 CFPA recipients have signed professional contracts, and 21 have been first-round NFL Draft selections.

The full list of 2013 recipients, including those CFPA FCS Awards honorees, will be announced on January 8, 2014. For more information, visit the CFPA website at collegefootballperformance.com.