JMU's Aaron Stinnie Has Good Shot at NFL after All-American Career
2-Time All-American Aaron Stinnie
JMU head football coach Mike Houston says Aaron Stinnie is probably the best left tackle in the FCS ranks.
Stinnie will finish his career at JMU as a 2-time All-American. Stinnie has started every game at left tackle for the Dukes over the past two seasons helping anchor one of the most prolific offenses in the FCS ranks.
"I like to think I've improved a lot in understanding the game some more," says Stinnie. "Improving on my pass set, and having the ankle injury definitely helped improve on my strength, upper body wise."
Coach Houston says about Stinnie, "His athleticism for a guy that big, the way he moves, quick feet, lose hips, he's a great player."
Stinnie, a Charlottesville native and former St. Anne's Belfield standout is playing one of the most important positions, protecting the quarterback's blind side.
"I'm never feeling any heat from the left side," says JMU quarterback Bryan Schor, "I'm always confident that Aaron is going to take care of his guy and as a quarterback, that's your blind side, it's very important that you feel that way."
At 6-foot-5, 310 pounds, Stinnie will get a shot to play in the NFL. He'll have a good chance to be selected in the late rounds of April's draft.
"I've definitely had some feedback, I've heard it's a good shot but I have to go out there and give it my all," says Stinnie. "It's not going to be an easy run, but I'm prepared to go on that journey and I'm excited for it."
Stinnie says he never really thought about playing in the NFL until three years ago when he switched from the defensive line to the offensive line, where he would be ideally better suited in the pros.
"He is one of our true leaders in the lockeroom," says Mike Houston. "He's a guy I go to a lot to get to see how the team feels about a certain subject, he's one I go to get messages out through the team. He has all the character traits that you want to have for your team."
Saturday will be a final chance for Stinnie to shine in a game for NFL scouts on a national stage.
Stinnie says, "Right now the way I attack the season and these games, right now I'm just focused on the team and just trying to do my best ability for this team and then once it gets to that road will be after the season and then I'll focus on that."
JMU plays North Dakota State in the FCS championship game in Frisco, Texas on Saturday, January 6th.
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Marty Hudtloff is the Sports Director at WVIR-TV. He joined the NBC29 sports team in October of 2003. He has a degree in broadcast journalism from Bradley University. You can reach out to Marty via Email or Twitter.