JMU football leads FCS with 6 AP All-Americans

NCAA Football

FILE – In this Nov. 16, 2019, file photo, James Madison defensive lineman Ron’Dell Carter (5) enters the field before the start of an NCAA football game, in Harrisonburg, Va. Carter was selected to The Associated Press FCS All-America first team, Tuesday, Dec. 17, 2019. (Daniel Lin/Daily News-Record via AP)

HARRISONBURG, Va. (WAVY) — Senior defensive end Ron’Dell Carter and five other JMU football players have been named FCS All-Americans by the Associated Press, the most for any FCS program in the country.

The team was released Tuesday and selected by a panel of 11 members of the media who cover the Football Championship Subdivision.

Carter, who was named the top defensive lineman in the state of Virginia by the Touchdown Club of Richmond and CAA Defensive Player of the Year, was the only Duke named to the First Team. Carter is also a finalist for the Buck Buchanan Award, given to the top defensive player in FCS.

Junior Liam Fornadel was named to the Second Team despite being named the top offensive lineman in the state.

Senior defensive end John Daka and senior linebacker Dimitri Holloway were also named to the Second Team, with junior kicker Ethan Ratke and senior defensive back Adam Smith being named to the Third Team.

The news comes a day after 10 Dukes were named to the HERO Sports All-American Team, which also led the FCS. Fornadel was named to the First Team by HERO Sports.

The AP selections notably left off senior quarterback Ben DiNucci, who was named to the HERO Sports Second Team.

The No. 2 Dukes face Weber State in the FCS semifinals on Saturday on ESPNU, in a rematch of their 2017 quarterfinal thriller. Then redshirt freshman Ethan Ratke hit a 46-yard field goal as time expired to win the game 31-28 for JMU after a wild fourth quarter in which both teams combined for 35 points.

Defending national champion North Dakota State placed two players on The Associated Press FCS All-America first team and five players overall on the three teams.

The top-ranked Bison, who will face Montana State in the playoff semifinals Saturday, were represented on the All-America first team by defensive lineman Derrek Tuszka and offensive lineman Dillon Radunz.

Northern Arizona’s Case Cookus was the first-team All-America quarterback.

FIRST TEAM

OFFENSE

Quarterback — Case Cookus, senior, Northern Arizona.

Running backs — Pete Guerriero, junior, Monmouth; James Robinson, senior, Illinois State.

Offensive linemen — Drew Himmelman, junior, Illinois State; Dillon Radunz, junior, North Dakota State; Blake Jeresaty, junior, Wofford; Spencer Blackburn, senior, Eastern Washington; PJ Burkhalter, junior, Nicholls State.

Tight end — Adam Trautman, senior, Dayton.

Wide receivers — Juwan Green, senior, Albany; Cade Johnson, junior, South Dakota State.

All-purpose player — Chris Rowland, senior, Tennessee State.

Kicker — Luis Aguilar, junior, Northern Arizona.

DEFENSE

Linemen — Derrek Tuszka, senior, North Dakota State; Ron’Dell Carter, senior, James Madison; Sully Laiche, senior, Nicholls State; Aaron Patrick, senior, Eastern Kentucky.

Linebackers — Dante Olson, senior, Montana; Willie Eubanks III, junior, The Citadel; Zach Hall, senior, Southeast Missouri State.

Secondary — Kordell Jackson, junior, Austin Peay; Brandon Easterling, junior, Dayton; Greg Liggs Jr., senior, Elon; Anthony Adams, sophomore, Portland State.

Punter — Alex Pechin, senior, Bucknell.

SECOND TEAM

OFFENSE

Quarterback — Trey Lance, redshirt freshman, North Dakota State.

Running backs — Alex Ramsey, junior, VMI; Jah-Maine Martin, junior, North Carolina A&T.

Offensive linemen — Liam Fornadel, junior, James Madison; Marcus Pettiford, senior, North Carolina A&T; Kyle Murphy, senior, Rhode Island; Kyle Anderton, senior, Austin Peay; Zack Johnson, senior, North Dakota State.

Tight end — Charlie Taumoepeau, ,senior Portland State.

Wide receivers — Aaron Parker, senior, Rhode Island; DeAngelo Wilson, junior, Austin Peay.

All-purpose player — Earnest Edwards, senior, Maine.

Kicker — Grayson Atkins, junior, Furman.

DEFENSE

Linemen — John Daka, senior, James Madison; Bryce Sterk, senior, Montana State; Elerson Smith, junior, Northern Iowa; Eli Mencer, ,senior Albany.

Linebackers — Bryson Armstrong, junior, Kennesaw State; Christian Rozeboom, senior, South Dakota State; Dimitri Holloway, senior, James Madison.

Secondary — Artevius Smith, senior, East Tennessee State; Jeremy Chinn, senior, Southern Illinois; Joseph McWilliams, senior, Grambling State; Isiah Swann, senior, Dartmouth.

Punter — Matt McRobert, junior, Sam Houston State.

THIRD TEAM

OFFENSE

Quarterback — Kevin Thomson, junior, Sacramento State.

Running backs — Julius Chestnut, sophomore, Sacred Heart; Pierre Strong, sophomore, South Dakota State.

Offensive linemen — Zach Larsen, senior, Southern Utah; Alex Taylor, senior, South Carolina State; AJ Farris, senior, Monmouth; Deiter Eislen, senior, Yale; Mitch Brott, senior, Montana State.

Tight end — Dalton Kincaid, sophomore, San Diego.

Wide receivers — Samori Toure, junior, Montana; Jeff Cotton, senior, Idaho.

All-purpose player — Troy Andersen, junior, Montana State.

Kicker — Ethan Ratke, junior, James Madison.

DEFENSE

Linemen — George Obinna, senior, Sacramento State; Mason Bennett, senior, North Dakota; Nick Salley, senior, Charleston Southern; Nick Wheeler, senior, Colgate.

Linebackers — Keith Woetzel, senior, Lehigh; Jabril Cox, junior, North Dakota State; Cam Gill, senior, Wagner.

Secondary — Adam Smith, senior, James Madison; Omar Brown, freshman, Northern Iowa; Luther Kirk, senior, Illinois State; Fernando Jordan, sophomore, Southeastern Louisiana.

Punter — Chris Faddoul, junior, Florida A&M.

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