CSJ Conference Preview: CAA

The James Madison Dukes have won the last two CAA football championships out right, winning the FCS National Championship following the 2016 season and finishing runner up to North Dakota State following the 2017 season.

In fact, the Dukes have not lost a conference game – regular season or playoff – under Mike Houston.

The Dukes will look to make it three outright titles in a row in 2018 (4 straight overall after sharing the 2015 title), but there are challengers lurking, hoping to close the gap and dethrone JMU.

However, there is no reason to think the Dukes won’t come out of the CAA slugfest with the title again.

Make no mistake, the CAA is not a top heavy league. There are 8-10 teams that enter the season with legitimate playoff hopes and an 11th , William and Mary will be playing inspired football as Coach Jimmye Laycock announced on August 5th that 2018 will be his last on the sideline.

CAA Football placed 4 teams (James Madison, New Hampshire, Stony Brook and Elon) in the 2017 playoffs and has 6 teams (the 4 abovementioned teams plus Villanova and Delaware) ranked in the preseason top 25. So, while JMU sits atop the perch, there is strong competition throughout the league.

The only thing that will keep the CAA from 5 or 6 playoff bids is the attrition within the CAA itself.

CSJ Preseason CAA Predicted Order of Finish:
1: James Madison
2: New Hampshire 
3: Stony Brook
4: Elon
5: Delaware
6: Villanova
7: Richmond
8: Maine
9: Towson
10: Albany (NY)
11: William & Mary
12: Rhode Island

2018 CAA FOOTBALL PRESEASON ALL-CONFERENCE TEAM
(Selected by a vote of Head Coaches and Media Relations Directors)

OFFENSE
Name, School                                                  Cl.           Pos.       Ht.          Wt.        Hometown/High School
Trevor Knight, New Hampshire                  Sr.           QB          6-0          198         Amherst, N.H./Nashua South
Kani Kane, Delaware                                     Sr.           RB           6-0          240         Bridgeville, Del./Sussex Tech
Marcus Marshall, James Madison             Sr.           RB           5-10       207         Raleigh, N.C./Millbrook
Cal Daniels, Stony Brook                               Sr.           FB           6-2          255         Bethel, Conn./Bethel
Dejon Brissett, Richmond                             Sr.           WR         6-2          190         Mississauga, Ontario/Lake Forest Acad.
Neil O’Connor, New Hampshire                    Sr.           WR         5-11       182         Leominster, Mass./Leominster
Aaron Parker, Rhode Island                         Jr.           WR         6-3          191         Brandywine, Md./Gwynn Park
Charles Scarff, Delaware                               Sr.           TE           6-5          270         Lancaster, Pa./Lancaster Catholic
Mario Farinella, Delaware                            Sr.           OL           6-0          300         Bloomfield, N.J./Bergen Catholic
Ethan Greenidge, Villanova                         Sr.           OL           6-4          335         Flanders, N.Y./Riverhead
Jahee Jackson, James Madison                  Jr.           OL           6-3          292         Baltimore, Md./Gilman
CJ Toogood, Elon                                            Sr.           OL           6-2          293         Holly Springs, N.C./Holly Springs
John Yarbrough, Richmond                          Sr.           OL           6-5          285         Homewood, Ala./Homewood

DEFENSE
Name, School                                                    Cl.           Pos.       Ht.          Wt.        Hometown/High School
Darrious Carter, James Madison                    Sr.           DL           6-5          235         Indiana, Pa./Indiana Senior
Andrew Clyde, Richmond                              Sr.           DL           6-3          275         Dallas, Texas/Highland Park
Brandon Ginnetti, Rhode Island                    Jr.           DL           6-3          275         East Haven, Conn./Cheshire Academy
Kayon Whitaker, Maine                                    Jr.           DL           6-3          235         Washington, D.C./Friendship Collegiate
Quinlen Dean, New Hampshire                   Jr.           LB           6-0          227         Greenbelt, Md./Eleanor Roosevelt
Shayne Lawless, Stony Brook                      Sr.           LB           6-1          225         Moorestown, N.J./Moorestown
Warren Messer, Elon                                     Sr.           LB           5-11       227         Garner, N.C./Garner
Troy Reeder, Delaware                                 Sr.           LB           6-2          245         Hockessin, Del/Salesianum
Nasir Adderley, Delaware                            Sr.           S              6-0          190         Philadelphia, Pa./Great Valley
Rob Rolle, Villanova                                        Sr.           S              6-0          185         Newfield, N.J./Delsea
Jimmy Moreland, James Madison              Sr.           CB           5-11       172         Royal Palm Beach, Fla./Royal Palm Beach
Rashad Robinson, James Madison             Sr.           CB           5-11       182         Richmond, Va./Hermitage

SPECIAL TEAMS
Name, School                                                    Cl.           Pos.       Ht.          Wt.        Hometown/High School
Earnest Edwards, Maine                               Jr.           KR           5-10       175         Rochester, N.Y./Aquinas Institute
Donovan McDonald, UAlbany                     Jr.           PR           6-0          175         West Orange, N.J./Montclair
Griffin Trau, Richmond                                  Sr.           PK           5-8          170         Culver, Ind./Western Reserve Acad.
Harry O’Kelly, James Madison                    So.          P             6-1          178         Wynnum, Queensland, Australia/Iona
Mozai Nelson, Maine                                     Sr.           SPEC      6-0          205         Uniondale, N.Y./St. Anthony’s

CAA FOOTBALL PRESEASON OFFENSIVE PLAYER OF THE YEAR: Trevor Knight, QB, New Hampshire
CAA FOOTBALL PRESEASON DEFENSIVE PLAYER OF THE YEAR: Rashad Robinson, CB, James Madisonmes Madison

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