JMU's Moats Demanding National Attention

By: Damon Dillman Email
By: Damon Dillman Email

Leading the nation in tackles for a loss can wear a player out.

"After the game I'm dead tired, man," says James Madison's Arthur Moats, whose 15 tackles for a loss is the highest total in FCS college football. "I've got to get something to eat and just go to sleep. That's how my Saturday nights usually are."

Six games into his senior season, Moats also leads the Colonial Athletic Association with six sacks, and his 50 total tackles are the best among defensive linemen.

"After the Montana game I was just focused on getting bigger, stronger and faster," says Moats. "Just a lot of my hard work is paying off, especially from the off-season and everything. Practicing hard, and just watching film and everything like that."

"(Defensive line coach J.C. Price) always has this thing with defensive tackles. After three or four plays, we should be 'oozing,'" says junior Ronnell Brown. "Whereas Moats, after three or four plays, he can find another notch. A little extra."

"When we visit with the opposing coaches in our league, he's the only guy they want to talk about," says Moats' head coach, Mickey Matthews.

Matthews says he's coached several standout defensive ends at JMU, mentioning Kevin Winston and Jerame Southern, as well as 1999 Atlantic 10 Defensive Player of the Year Chris Morant.

But Matthews says Moats is probably the best the Dukes have had at the position during his tenure.

"We've never had one get as much attention from the offense," he explains. "We've never had one double-teamed practically on every pass play. And even, against Villanova on Saturday, they actually triple-teamed him."

"He's going to be an All-American kind of guy," says Brown. "Last year he was all-conference, and he was preseason All-American guy. So when you see him in practice everyday, you going to try to be molded like he is. Work as hard as he does, and make plays the way he does."

"Someone's going to have to close really hard in the nation for Arthur not to win the Buck Buchanan award this year in the country, as the top defensive player," says Matthews. "Because he is having that kind of year."


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