Five Dukes earn STATS FCS All-America honors

Senior defensive end John Daka earned First Team STATS FCS All-America honors.
Senior defensive end John Daka earned First Team STATS FCS All-America honors.(WHSV)
Published: Dec. 19, 2019 at 3:47 PM EST
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Five James Madison football student-athletes were honored on the 2019 STATS FCS All-America Team, including three earning spots on the First Team. The All-America Team was determined in a vote from over 150 sports information and media relations directors, broadcasters, writers and other dignitaries.

First Team All-Americans included redshirt senior defensive end Ron’Dell Carter, senior defensive end John Daka and junior offensive lineman Liam Fornadel, while redshirt senior linebacker Dimitri Holloway and senior safety Adam Smith earned Third Team All-America laurels.

Carter was voted CAA Defensive Player of the Year and is a top-three finalist for the Buck Buchanan Award. He has tallied 25.0 tackles for loss and 11.5 sacks, which ranks second and tied for 10th nationally, respectively. Carter has produced 57 total tackles, to go with a forced fumble and 13 quarterback hurries. The Touchdown Club of Richmond Division I Defensive Lineman of the Year has at least 2.0 TFL in seven games and has at least 1.0 sack in nine games, including seven of the past eight outings.

Daka, who finished seventh in the Buck Buchanan Award voting, leads the nation with a JMU single-season record 16.5 sacks and 26.5 tackles for loss. He's tallied 58 total tackles, to go with four forced fumbles, one recovery, three pass breakups and 10 quarterback hurries. Daka registered at least 2.0 TFL in eight games and 2.0 or more sacks six times.

Fornadel is part of JMU's offensive line that has helped the Dukes lead the country in completion percentage (71%) while also ranking second nationally in scoring (42.1%) and third-down conversions (55.5%), third in pass efficiency (172.64), sixth in red-zone scoring (91.8%), seventh in total offense (472.9) and 10th in rushing (250.9). He was also named the TD Club of Richmond DI Offensive Lineman of the Year.

Holloway leads the defense with 111 total tackles this season, which ranks third by a CAA player. He's also contributed 10.5 tackles for loss, including a career-high 3.5 in the FCS quarterfinal win, and has 2.0 sacks, one forced fumble, three recoveries and five pass breakups. Holloway turned in double-digit tackles four times and had at least seven stops in 10 outings.

Smith has been solid in the secondary, becoming a pro taking the ball away from the opposition, as he registered six interceptions. That mark ranks second in the CAA and 11th nationally. Smith is JMU's second-leading tackler with 60 tackles, to go with a tackle for loss, one fumble recovery and a team-high eight pass breakups. He had five of his six picks during conference play, including a stretch of one in four straight games.

JMU was second-best in the FCS in terms of STATS FCS All-Americans. North Dakota State led the way with six selections, and Austin Peay had four picks.

2019 JMU All-Americans

Ron’Dell Carter – HERO Sports (1st), AP (1st), FCS ADA (1st), STATS (1st)

Liam Fornadel – HERO Sports (1st), AP (2nd), STATS (1st)

John Daka – HERO Sports (2nd), AP (2nd), STATS (1st)

Dimitri Holloway – HERO Sports (2nd), AP (2nd), STATS (3rd)

Ben DiNucci – HERO Sports (2nd)

D’Angelo Amos - HERO Sports (2nd)

Ethan Ratke – HERO Sports (3rd), AP (3rd)

Adam Smith – HERO Sports (3rd), AP (3rd), STATS (3rd)

Percy Agyei-Obese – HERO Sports (3rd)

Mac Patrick – HERO Sports (3rd)