DiNucci named to watch list for national award

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CHARLESTON, S.C. – James Madison redshirt senior quarterback Ben DiNucci has been named to the preseason watch list for the CFPA FCS National Performer of the Year Trophy, the College Football Performance Awards announced on Tuesday.

Last season, DiNucci was a Third Team All-CAA honoree after passing for 2,275 yards and 16 touchdowns while ranking third nationally with a 68.3% completion percentage. He also rushed for 433 yards and a team-high nine touchdowns, which was tied for second in the Colonial Athletic Association.

DiNucci threw for a career-high 316 yards against Elon and tossed a career-best four touchdowns against Rhode Island. He also threw for three touchdowns against both Robert Morris and Richmond and totaled five touchdowns twice, adding two rushing scores in the RMU win and tallying one rushing touchdown versus URI. In the 2018 regular-season finale, DiNucci rushed for career highs of 104 yards and three touchdowns at Towson.

The Wexford, Pa., native tallied at least 200 passing yards four times and rushed for over 60 yards in four outings. On six occasions, he completed better than 70% of his pass attempts, including 85.2% in the season opener at NC State (23-of-27).

The watch list includes 40 returning players from the Football Championship Subdivision, and 2019 marks the fifth consecutive season at least one JMU player has been recognized. It’s the second straight year DiNucci has been honored, as he earned a spot on the 2018 midseason watch list.

Former JMU quarterback Bryan Schor won the 2016 CFPA National Performer of the Year and linebacker Stephon Robertson was co-winner of the 2013 CFPA Linebacker of the Year award.

The goal of the CFPA awards is to provide the most scientifically rigorous conferments in college football. Recipients are selected exclusively based upon objective scientific rankings of the extent to which individual players increase the overall effectiveness of their teams.