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JMU Football 2025 Recruiting Targets Recount Homecoming Experience

Image courtesy of JMU Athletics Communications

By Ben Hofer

A thrilling JMU football game day experience last weekend marked one of the most important recruiting dates of the year in Harrisonburg, Virginia.

The highly anticipated showdown between JMU and Old Dominion proved to be a magnet for both committed players and prospective recruits, drawing them from near and far along Interstate 81. What made this weekend particularly noteworthy was the fact that it was the first time any recruit had the chance to visit JMU while the Dukes were ranked in the AP Top 25.

In a nail-biting contest, JMU emerged victorious, edging out the Monarchs 30-27. Perhaps the most surprising aspect of the weekend was the sight of Bridgeforth Stadium, which reached an unprecedented 105% capacity for an 8 p.m. kickoff during the all-important “Halloweekend.” The stage was set, complete with perfect weather, a spirited atmosphere, and, most importantly, an unforgettable game.

So, what did the recruits in attendance make of this thrilling experience?

Who was in attendance? 

JMU football welcomed over 20 recruits to campus, with a primary focus on the class of 2025 and a select few who had already committed for the class of 2024.

Head coach Curt Cignetti’s confidence in the 2024 class seems justified, as the prospects for this class are promising. With the 2024 class soon to officially commit in December, it’s time to think about a new hashtag to replace #24VAGESZN for the incoming class of ’25.

Many of the 2025 prospects who visited campus are yet to be ranked by recruiting sites, not due to a lack of talent, but perhaps because they have yet to be discovered. A few visiting prospects, however, stand out and are worth keeping an eye on, including Sadat Grant and Dru Goldsmith. Their perspectives on their visits provide insight into a big recruiting weekend.

Sadat Grant, ATH

Hailing from Charlotte, Sadat Grant is a 6’1″ and 180-pound wide receiver attending North Mecklenburg High School, which competes in the highly competitive 4A division of North Carolina. Grant, without a doubt, is a standout on his high school team.

This season, he has demonstrated his explosive abilities with a pair of electrifying kickoff returns – an 87-yarder and an awe-inspiring 100-yard return. Grant relies on his exceptional speed to stretch defenses and rack up long touchdown receptions this season.

In a conversation about his visit, Grant expressed his deep appreciation for the JMU experience. He was particularly impressed by the university’s top-tier facilities and the beauty of its campus. However, what stood out the most for him was the “consistent winning culture” he observed during his visit.

Grant hasn’t received an official offer from JMU yet, but the rising prospect indicated his likely return to JMU, either this season or the next, for an official visit. He also revealed that after this weekend, JMU sits atop his early list of desired schools. Grant also visited Virginia Tech earlier this season, and he posted that he received an offer from Charlotte in January.

JMU fans should keep an eye on the exciting prospect as a possible addition to the WR room in 2025.

Dru Goldsmith

Goldsmith is a class of 2025 recruit, who currently plays as a wide receiver for Hanahan High School in South Carolina. He boasts unofficial 4.4-4.5 speed when wearing pads, granting him the ability to outpace the secondary defenders on screen plays and deep routes. Although he’s a receiver in a rush-heavy offensive system, he maintains an average of 70 yards per game (630 total receiving yards) and has scored six touchdowns this season.

Goldsmith’s exceptional speed has also enabled him to contribute 153 yards as a kick returner. Following his visit to Harrisonburg, JMU Sports News connected with Goldsmith. The recruit provided us with a detailed account of the experience.

The recruits began their day at the stadium pregame, where they were warmly welcomed by the Marching Royal Dukes, to the tune of the fight song. Subsequently, they were escorted to the weight room for measurement checks, including height and weight.

The recruits had the opportunity to engage with the coaching staff, who had been actively recruiting them, and interact with other prospects while enjoying a pregame barbecue. After the meal, they were ushered to the balcony of the Plecker Athletic Performance Center to witness the team’s warm-up routines. As warm-ups concluded, the recruits were guided down to the field level.

“At this point, things became real,” Goldsmith said. “We walked up to the stadium seating and watched the band and dancers perform, and then it was on, game time! I kind of felt like I was a part of the team. I just imagined myself running routes and catching touchdowns.”

Overview

The feedback from the rest of the recruits JMU Sports News spoke with was equally overwhelmingly positive. The coaches could not have asked for a better atmosphere from the alumni base and students last Saturday.

Several recruits, opting to remain unnamed at this stage, are strongly considering JMU and starting to think about committing. Only time will tell, but Saturday’s game with ODU might have yielded more than an on-field JMU football victory.

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