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Top 10 returning players at James Madison are led by 1,000-yard WR Kris Thornton

With the primary 12 months of FBS motion on the horizon, the James Madison Dukes are hoping for a particular school soccer season due to some terrific returning players. JMU boasts one of many Sun Belt’s prime receivers in addition to a troublesome EDGE duo as they enter a full FBS schedule this fall. While transfers will assist out, who are the highest returners for JMU in 2022?

For each different convention’s prime returning players: AAC | ACC | B1G | Big 12 | Conference USA | Independents | MAC | Mountain West | Pac-12 | SEC | Sun Belt

Top 10 returning players at James Madison

The countdown to the common season continues right here throughout Pro Football Network’s Top 10 Returning Players sequence. We’ve crossed the nation to the Sun Belt and are firmly entrenching ourselves throughout the southeastern portion of the nation with our look into every FBS crew. Looking solely at players returning to their identical crew from a season in the past — we’ll take care of transfers later –, we’re counting down all the highest 10 players returning to motion on each crew. Here are the highest returners from James Madison.

10) Cole Potts, G

With various returning items on the offensive line, Cole Potts anchors a robust inside unit in Harrisonburg this 12 months. Potts mans the appropriate guard spot along with his abilities in move safety and on the bottom. He’s a giant man at 6’3″ and 306 kilos however strikes very properly in each sides.

9) Sam Kidd, S

Having to choose simply considered one of their prime returning safeties right here, Sam Kidd will get the sting due to his all-around capability. Kidd ought to climate the incoming transfers within the secondary and stick at his security spot due to his capability to come back downhill in run protection, cowl on the backend, and finally trigger strain off the sting with well-timed blitzes.

8) Abi Nwabuoku-Okonji, EDGE

There are a whole lot of vacated snaps on the surface for JMU in 2022. One of the anticipated key contributors is Abi Nwabuoku-Okonji, who was dominant final 12 months however on a small pattern dimension. Still, Nwabuoku-Okonji put forth 2.5 whole sacks and one other 5 tackles for loss regardless of a situational pass-rush function. With extra of a proper spot within the lineup, he can stand up these rankings and lift his manufacturing large time.

7) Solomon Vanhorse, RB

Solomon Vanhorse’s capability within the receiving realm sees him land on the highest returning players. The shifty working again completed third in every receiving class final season, ripping off 33 receptions for 338 yards, with most of his catches coming behind the road of scrimmage. He recorded 5 receiving touchdowns and was an ideal complement to Palmer within the backfield.

6) Nick Kidwell, OT

The proper facet of the Dukes’ offensive line is in good arms with Nick Kidwell returning. He’s a stout move protector, however Kidwell gives a ton of upside along with his capability to get in entrance of his working backs and pave large holes on the surface. Kidwell will even come throughout the formation with nice pace and a fast step when referred to as upon. He’s anchoring the appropriate facet with Potts for an additional 12 months, and that can be a welcome sight for his or her new quarterback.

5) Tony Thurston, DT

Interior strain will be fully overwhelming for offenses to beat. That’s what Tony Thurston does very properly. The title of his sport is inflicting havoc as he will get after it in every aspect however excels when dashing the passer. He’s a giant man with a terrific set of pass-rush strikes on the within.

4) Latrele Palmer, RB

Leading the Dukes in carries and yards from a season in the past, Latrele Palmer must be on everybody’s checklist for potential incoming affect rushers. Palmer has a giant body that he maximizes with muscle and energy behind his carries. Yet, he’s a dynamic rusher within the open discipline. Palmer received’t lose the ball, nor will he lose yards, frequently preventing for each inch. His touchdowns received’t be vultured by his quarterback this season (most certainly), so his manufacturing numbers may very well be even increased in 2022.

3) Jordan Swann, CB

Next up for JMU at cornerback is Jordan Swann, who nonetheless managed an interception and three move breakups final 12 months. He’ll step into the function of CB1 after Greg Ross’ departure and must fill the void of a staunch protection defender on the surface. Swann was sound final 12 months and gave motive to suppose the Dukes may have a terrific probability of even bettering final season’s success on the backend.

2) Isaac Ukwu, EDGE

It can be crucial for Isaac Ukwu to dominate this season after the Dukes misplaced a number of key elements on protection, particularly at the second degree. Ukwu can get after the passer with quickness, which, if utilized correctly, pays dividends for this protection in the long term. He’s fast and powerful, lengthy and imply, and Ukwu is a terror for many offensive tackles that must attempt to contend along with his uncommon mixture of energy and pace.

1) Kris Thornton, WR

A 12 months after hauling in 1,097 receiving yards and 13 touchdowns, Kris Thornton returns to present incoming QB Todd Centeio his prime goal. Thornton wins on the within, the place he makes use of a fast first step to get off the ball and separate naturally from defenders. He’s a hazard with the ball after the catch and has robust arms at the catch level. Thornton might burst onto the scene as one of many prime Sun Belt receivers simply.

Honorable point out players returning to James Madison in 2022

  • Que Reid, S
  • Reggie Brown, WR
  • Tanner Morris, G/C
  • Tyler Stephens, OT

Cam Mellor is the Senior Director of the College Football/NFL Draft vertical for Pro Football Network. You can discover his writing right here and follow him on Twitter: @CamMellor.

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