Palmer becoming factor in JMU backfield

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HARRISONBURG, Va. -- True freshman running back Latrele Palmer is becoming an important part of the James Madison backfield.

James Madison freshman running back Latrele Palmer is averaging 9.5 yards per carry in 2019.

Palmer helped the Dukes earn a win over Villanova Saturday in a top-five showdown at Bridgeforth Stadium. He entered the game in the fourth quarter and ran for a 69-yard touchdown that helped the Dukes ice the game. Palmer finished the game with 103 rushing yards on eight carries.

"It gave me a lot of confidence," said Palmer. "Coach (Cignetti) always told me be ready because anything can happen. So I guess it was my turn and I showed him what I could do."

Through the first seven games of the season, Palmer has appeared in four contests for the Dukes. He has run for 248 yards on 26 carries for a team-best average of 9.5 yards per carry. Palmer has added three touchdowns on the ground.

"We bumped him up a few weeks ago," said Cignetti. "He got some end of the game work against Elon. The week before, I think he got a few touches too. We feel like he is one of our four guys."

JMU returns to action Saturday afternoon when the Dukes visit William & Mary. Kickoff is set for 3:30 p.m.