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JMU's Robertson Working For Conference Crown - NBC29 WVIR Charlottesville, VA News, Sports and Weather

JMU's Robertson Working For Conference Crown

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Stephon Robertson was the CAA Defensive Player of the Year in 2012 Stephon Robertson was the CAA Defensive Player of the Year in 2012

James Madison senior linebacker Stephon Robertson is the preseason pick to be the CAA defense Player of the Year.  

Robertson won the award at the end of last season.

He was named first-team All CAA after leading the Dukes with 101-tackles last year, including 8.5 tackles for a loss.  

Robertson says, "(The awards mean) nothing, if I don't get a ring.  It's a tremendous honor, but I really can care less.  My main concern is getting better as a player.  One thing coach Matthews does stress is even when you think you've reached your pinnacle, you haven't.  I would trade all my personal accomplishments for one ring."

Head coach Mickey Matthews says, "Stephon is the best player in the country.  He just is.  The word to describe Stephon is 'Explosive.'  He's explosive when he makes a move to tackle people.  Stephon is a big time player."  

JMU was first in the league in rushing defense last season, and second in scoring defense.  

The Dukes have been picked to finish fifth in the preseason CAA poll.

James Madison last won the conference title in 2008, and Robertson is hoping to bring home a championship in his final chance.

"We have to win the conference championship," says Robertson.  "I don't care about the national championship right now.  Of course I'd like to go, but I don't care.  I want to win the conference ring.  That's my thing, that's our thing, a conference championship."

Matthews says, "I know there's some dadgum good football teams in our league that we have to play every Saturday.  We've had two good years, we haven't had two great years.  You gotta have great years to make the tournament."

JMU will play open its season at home against Central Connecticut on August 31st.

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