Landers Returns for JMU Homecoming

By: Damon Dillman Email
By: Damon Dillman Email

Rodney Landers' football career at James Madison was highlighted by feats no one else at James Madison had ever accomplished.

But on Saturday, Landers got to try something new.

"I actually got to experience the tailgate," the former JMU quarterback said with a wide smile. "Find out what that officially is, because I was a stranger to that."

Landers, who graduated following the 2008 season, was among the JMU football alumni on the sideline for Saturday's Homecoming game with Villanova.

Landers left JMU as the school's all-time passing efficiency and quarterback rushing yards leader. As a senior, he broke the school records for touchdown passes and rushing yards in a season, and won both CAA Offensive Player of the Year and the Dudley Award, given to the best Division I football player in Virginia.

Saturday was his first time back to Bridgeforth Stadium as a spectator.

"You know, just walking through the tunnel a minute ago. You get goosebumps," he said prior to JMU's 27-0 loss. "You see the guys out here. Guys that you work so hard with. And I'm just proud of the guys, and I'm eager to be a spectator today."

Landers' college career ended with an ankle injury in JMU's FCS Semifinal loss to Montana last December. The injury limited his ability to audition to pro scouts last spring, and he went undrafted in April's NFL Draft.

Landers was invited to the Tampa Bay Buccaneers' rookie tryout camp following the draft, but wasn't offered a contract.

He says someone asks him what his next move will be "just about everyday."

Landers says he's been getting advice from former JMU teammates Justin Rascati, who was also at Saturday's game, and Corey Davis about a possible career in indoor football. He mentioned the new Richmond Raiders of the American Indoor Football Association as a possibility.

"Hopefully keep my options open," Landers said. "And if I'm able to play in the NFL, if I'm able to play somewhere else, hopefully I can go ahead and do that."


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