JMU football signs 12 on Early National Signing Day

JMU football signs 12 on Early National Signing Day
James Madison University (Source: JMU Athletics)

CHARLOTTESVILLE, Va. (WVIR) - The James Madison football team signed twelve student-athletes to a National Letter of Intent on the first day of the Early Signing Period on Wednesday.

Eight of the players are from the commonwealth of Virginia.

The class consists of three offensive linemen, three linebackers, two safeties, a quarterback, a wide receiver, a tight end, and a defensive lineman.

Head coach Curt Cignetti says, “We are very pleased with this class, and I would like to thank our assistant coaches and everyone involved in this recruiting process for their efforts. JMU is an incredibly strong brand, and I believe the 2021 class will be a credit to the institution on and off the field.”

Billy Atkins | QB | 6-1 | 200 | Parkton, Md./Mount St. Joseph

  • First Team All-State quarterback as a junior and Second Team as a sophomore
  • Two-time All-MIAA selection
  • Helped Mount St. Joseph to 2019 MIAA championship
  • His team ranked 20th nationally in final high school rankings
  • Accrued 7,252 passing yards and 92 touchdowns in his career
  • In lone game this fall, passed for 284 yards and three touchdowns in a 22-19 overtime win vs. Palloti

Matt Binkowski | LB | 6-1 | 230 | Haymarket, Va./Battlefield

  • Washington Post Honorable Mention All-Metro as a junior
  • First Team All-Region defensive end and Second Team all-purpose as a junior
  • Three-time All-District honoree
  • Had 14 sacks and averaged 10 yards per carry in 2019
  • Helped Battlefield to 2017 6A playoffs

Matei Fitz | DL | 6-2 | 265 | Leesburg, Va./Tuscarora

  • MaxPreps Preseason All-State as a senior and VHSL 4A First Team All-State as a junior
  • 2019 Region 4C Defensive Player of the Year
  • Awarded Dulles District and Loudoun County Defensive Player of the Year honors
  • Tuscarora’s all-time leader in tackles for loss (53) and sacks (30) and third all-time in tackles (210)
  • Set school single-season records with 14.0 sacks and 28.0 TFLs
  • Helped Huskies reach state championship in both 2017 and 2019, winning Region 5C title as a freshman and Region 4C crown as a junior

Kye Holmes | S | 6-0 | 190 | Bowie, Md./Gonzaga College (D.C.)

  • Washington Post Honorable Mention All-Metro as a junior
  • NBC Sports Washington Honorable Mention All-DMV as a junior
  • First Team All-WCAC Capital Conference as a junior and Second Team as a sophomore
  • 2019 Gonzaga Football Special Teams Player of the Year and 2017 Freshman Defensive Player of the Year
  • Part of Gonzaga’s 2018 WCAC Capital Conference championship

Zach Horton | TE | 6-4 | 250 | Roanoke, Va./Lord Botetourt

  • VHSL 3A Second Team All-State defensive end as a junior
  • First Team All-Region defensive end as a sophomore and junior, First Team tight end as a junior and Second Team linebacker as a freshman
  • Blue Ridge District Co-Defensive Player of the Year in 2019 and Defensive Player of the Year in 2018
  • Tallied 94 tackles, with 28.0 for loss and 15 sacks, as well as well as 24 receptions for 252 yards and three touchdowns in 2019
  • Helped Northside to back-to-back Region 3D title games in 2018 and 2019
  • Transferred from Northside to Lord Botetourt prior to 2020-21 season

Scott Hummel | OL | 6-4 | 310 | New Market, Md./Linganore

  • Part of Linganore’s three straight 3A state title berths, including 2017 championship win
  • Helped Lancers to three consecutive region titles between 2017 and 2019
  • Wrestling heavyweight starter who finished third at 3A-4A state meet in 2019
  • Won individual county title in 2018
  • Helped team to 2018 regional wrestling championship

Maxwell James | WR | 6-3 | 190 | Springfield, Va./Lake Braddock

  • Second Team All-Region as a junior
  • First Team All-Patriot District as a junior and Honorable Mention as a sophomore
  • Helped Bruins to 2019 region championship game and region semifinals in 2017
  • Reeled in 31 catches for 694 yards and 10 scores as a junior

Skylar Martin | LB | 6-3 | 230 | Ashburn, Va./Stone Bridge

  • VHSL 6A First Team All-State as a junior
  • First Team All-Region 5C as a junior and All-Potomac District as a junior
  • Helped Stone Bridge to back-to-back region titles and 5A state championship game appearances in 2018 and 2019
  • Tallied 79 tackles with 13.0 for a loss, 4.5 sacks and four fumbles recoveries his junior season
  • Earned Hardest Worker award as member of freshman football team

Jaelin Montgomery | OL | 6-4 | 315 | Petersburg, Va./Prince George

  • Richmond Times-Dispatch Second Team All-Metro in 2019
  • Second Team All-Region 5B offensive lineman as a junior
  • Helped Lions reach 5A playoffs for first time in 25 years in 2019
  • Was a starter at both guard and tackle at Prince George

Messiah Russell | S | 6-2 | 187 | Newport News, Va./Warwick

  • VHSL 4A Second Team All-State receiver and cornerback as a junior
  • First Team All-Region and All-District as a junior
  • 2019 Second Team All-Tidewater cornerback and Third Team receiver
  • Also named a Second Team All-757 receiver his junior season
  • Had 40 tackles six interceptions and 22 pass breakups at corner with 710 receiving yards and seven touchdowns at receiver in 2019
  • Helped Warwick to second round of 2019 4A playoffs

Josh Toner | OL | 6-3 | 320 | Marlton, N.J./Cherokee

  • USA Today First Team All-State as a senior and Second Team as a junior
  • Jersey Sports Zone and NJ.com All-State selection as a junior
  • First Team All-Division lineman as a sophomore and junior and two-time All-County
  • Helped Cherokee to 2019 NJSIAA Central Group 5 championship
  • Two-way starter on both the offensive and defensive lines

Jailin Walker | LB | 6-2 | 194 | Richmond, Va./Varina

  • Helped Varina to 2019 Region 5B championship, advancing to VHSL 5A state semifinals
  • Had 60 tackles, 10 tackles for loss, 4.0 sacks and four passes defended as a junior
  • Also rushed for nine touchdowns, including two in Region 5B title game
  • Named Central Region Championship Player of the Game
  • Played both linebacker and running back for the Blue Devils
  • Dual-sport athlete was a state meet qualifier in the long jump

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