My JMU Football Christmas Wish List

Image courtesy of JMU Athletics Communications

By Ben Hofer

My sources tell me that Santa Claus is a HUGE JMU football fan. Therefore, I thought it would be fun to take a break from serious reporting to make my personal JMU football Christmas list! I’m fairly certain Bob Chesney is a great guy and would most likely be on the nice list, so I’m optimistic Santa will come through next week in a big way.

A proven starting quarterback

I think the most important aspect for the 2024 season is the quarterback situation. In this category, I would be very happy if Jordan McCloud decides to return OR if Chesney can work his magic and land a commitment from Matthew Sluka. If you aren’t caught up on the Sluka hype train, please indulge in some Josh Allen-esque highlights.

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Despite a tough first game this year, I’m still firmly in the Alonza Barnett fan club and would like to see him continue to develop under a veteran. 

Reload via the portal

Maybe equally as important as landing a quarterback, will be the use of the transfer portal to reload in the new year. I think this will be an area where Chesney excels in his first year, with several transfer portal targets already making visits to JMU.

I’d like to see a revamp of the running back room, with the graduation of Latrele Palmer and the entry into the portal by Kaelon Black. The linebacker room will need to be reconstructed as well with the likely departures of Aiden Fisher, Taurus Jones, and Jailin Walker.

I’m also confident and hopeful that we could see the return of a few more portal entries following Chauncey Logan’s recommitment. 

Jalen Green heals quickly

I’m wishing for a very speedy recovery for one of JMU’s all-time greats, Jalen Green.

After a devastating season-ending injury which prematurely ended an incredible season and a very likely chance to break the JMU single-season sack record and possibly the FBS record, Jalen recently announced his intention to enter the NFL Draft.

I believe Green could be a sleeper pick in the 2024 draft, as a 6th to 7th rounder or an UDFA. Green set up a page to financially support him through the recovery process and additional costs associated with going pro. 

Bridgeforth Stadium Expansion

Despite Bennett and Jack’s concerns, I would be absolutely ecstatic if Jeff Bourne walks up to his podium at his final press conference and delivers us a plan to expand Bridgeforth beyond a 25,000 capacity.

Bonus points if it’s a renovation and expansion of the Godwin side to match the rest of the stadium and connect to the student section. I’m confident after averaging 102% capacity during the 2023 season and back-to-back record-breaking attendance seasons that JMU fans would welcome a half upgrade to 30,000+ capacity to begin the Chesney Era! 

Happy holidays to all you JMU sickos out there, feel free to tweet at me (@DukesRecruits) with your personal JMU football Christmas list items!

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