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JMU Football 2023-24 Transfer Portal Tracker

Image courtesy of JMU Athletics Communications

By Bennett Conlin and Jack Fitzpatrick

It’s not always easy to track transfer portal season, so we’ve created this page as a place to keep tabs on the players joining (and leaving) JMU football over the offseason. We’ll update this page regularly, and we’ll aim for more detailed analysis of transfer additions and departures in additional articles.

Transfer returners

These players entered the portal, but ultimately decided to stay at JMU.

Chauncey Logan, CB – A two-year starter for JMU, Logan played 10 games in 2022 and 12 this season, racking up 59 career tackles, and two INTs as the Dukes’ CB1. He’s an important returner, as he’s a likely starter for a defense expected to undergo significant turnover. Logan’s junior season will come with significant individual hype.

Tyshawn Wyatt, OL – JMU’s starting left tackle played in 34 games for the Dukes during his career and became a stellar contributor up front. He has Power Five talent, but he opted to return to Harrisonburg. That’s a big win for Bob Chesney.

Wayne Knight, RB – Knight announced his intention to transfer on Oct. 16 via social media. Knight tallied 74 receiving yards and 15 rushing yards over a 1.5 seasons in Harrisonburg. He opted out of the portal in December, giving the Dukes additional running back depth in 2024.

Taurus Jones, LB – Jones dealt with injuries in 2023 but had a huge 2022 campaign with 82 tackles, 10.5 tackles for loss, and five pass breakups. He’s listed on JMU’s 2024 roster, signaling his return.

Abi Nwabuoku-Okonji, DL – The former Minnesota transfer suffered a season-ending injury in JMU’s first game of the year in 2023. He was expected to be a rotational player at defensive end in 2023 and finished with 5.5 tackles for loss in 2022. He’s listed on the team’s spring 2024 roster, signaling his return.

Desmond Green, WR – The wide receiver entered the portal but returned to JMU, per the spring roster. He’s yet to catch a pass for the Dukes, but he did block a punt and return it for a touchdown against Maine in 2021.

Transfer additions

AJ Abbasi, DL, West Virginia State – Abbasi has fantastic size (6’4 and 290 lbs) and comes to JMU with two years of eligibility left.

DJ Cotton, DL, West Virginia – Cotton has four years of eligibility left after redshirting with the Mountaineers. He’s listed at 6’2 and 260 lbs.

Quincy Jenkins, OL, Campbell – A three-year starter at Campbell, Jenkins (6’4 and 315 lbs) joins JMU as a graduate transfer. He figures to compete for time at the guard spot in 2024.

Terrence Spence, DB, Holy Cross – Spence comes to JMU from Holy Cross, where he racked up 52 tackles and a pair of interceptions in 2023. He’ll play his final season of college football in Harrisonburg, where he’s a likely defensive starter and special teams contributor.

Spence blocked six kicks over his four-year Holy Cross career. He’s a special teams weapon.

Noe Ruelas, K, UConn – Ruelas comes to JMU with two years of eligibility left, and he’s likely the Dukes’ starting placekicker in 2024. He’s made 15 of his 20 career field goal attempts, including a career-long of 54 yards. He’s a perfect 31 for 31 on extra point attempts.

Logan Kyle, TE/WR, Vanderbilt – Kyle caught 11 passes for 103 yards for Vanderbilt in 2023, and he’ll join JMU with two years of eligibility left. He has good size (6’3″ and 225 lbs) and should be able to contribute for the Dukes against Sun Belt competition. He’ll help a group of receiving threats that loses several key contributors.

Cam Ross, WR, UConn – The Dukes needed a wide receiver with Elijah Sarratt, Reggie Brown, and Phoenix Sproles moving on from JMU. Ross fills the need and has two years of eligibility left.

He caught 44 passes for 552 yards and two touchdowns in 2023, including four catches for 91 yards against JMU. For his career, Ross caught 114 passes for 1,356 yards and six touchdowns in 28 games. He dealt with injuries in 2021 and 2022, but was a key part of UConn’s passing game when healthy.

Raymond Scott, LB, Fresno State – Scott began his career at USC in 2018 before spending the 2022 and 2023 seasons with Fresno State. He recorded 33 tackles in 12 games over the last two seasons with the Bulldogs. At 6’1 and 240 lbs, Scott has good size. Given his experience, he should compete for a starting role at linebacker.

Lloyd Summerall III, DE, USF – Summerall spent 2019-22 with Florida before transferring to USF in 2023. He tallied 21 tackles and four tackles for loss in eight games with USF in 2023. At 6’5″ and 240 lbs, Summerall projects as an edge rusher for the Dukes. He has one year of eligibility left.

George Pettaway, RB, North Carolina – Pettaway comes to JMU with three years of eligibility remaining. The former top-150 recruit played sparingly for the Tar Heels in 2022 and 2023, but he’s a big play waiting to happen and has special teams ability. He returned nine kicks for 255 yards, averaging nearly 30 yards per return. He’s an explosive back to pair with Adeyi in 2024.

Ayo Adeyi, RB, North Texas – A 5-7 running back from North Texas announced he will be taking his talents to Harrisonburg for his final year of eligbility. Adeyi was a 2021 CUSA All-Freshmen team member and was the team’s leading rusher in 2022 and 2023. He rushed for 2,320 yards in his first three years and went over 1,000 yards on the ground last season. He has found the end zone 16 times as well in his career.

Nakai Poole, WR, Mississippi State – Poole played one season at Mississippi State, however the 3-star recruit per 247 Sports did not see any action. Coming out of Norcross High School in Norcross, Georgia he held offers from Maryland, West Virginia and Auburn among others. He will join an inexperienced wide receiver room that seems to have potential.

Hunter McClain, OL, Virginia Tech – McClain had multiple Power Five offers out of high school, but wasn’t a major piece for the Hokies early in his career. He has three years of eligibility left and figures to be a talented developmental player for the Dukes’ offensive line.

Dylan Morris, QB, Washington – Hello! While Morris has been Michael Penix’s backup the last two seasons, he threw for 2,458 yards, 14 touchdowns, and 12 interceptions for the Huskies in 2021. He earned Pac-12 Honorable Mention in 2020, playing four games in the COVID season. He’s an experienced quarterback with a good arm, and while he isn’t much of a running threat, he’s the top contender to start for JMU in 2024.

Eric O’Neill, DE, LIU – O’Neill, the 2023 NEC Defensive Player of the Year is a defensive menace. He’s racked up 131 tackles, 44.5 tackles for loss, and 15.5 sacks over the last two seasons with the Sharks. He’s a likely starter for JMU in 2024 and should replace some of the pass rush production lost through the portal and graduation.

Logan Ketcham, LS – JMU added Ketcham, a long snapper from a JUCO in California. He’ll likely compete with Jack Mowrey for the starting job.

Terry Lockett, DL, Syracuse – Lockett racked up 45 tackles in 26 games played for Syracuse in the ACC. He also has 5 TFLs and 2 sacks in his career. The 6-3, 280 pound defensive linemen will have two years of eligibility remaining.

Tyler Purdy, RB, Holy Cross – Purdy ran for 435 yards on just 59 attempts (7.4 yards per carry) in 2023, giving the Crusaders a solid depth piece at running back. He also caught 14 passes for 166 yards last season. With one year of eligibility remaining, look for Purdy to compete for time in the running back rotation in 2024.

Jacob Dobbs, LB, Holy Cross – Dobbs will play his final season of college football in Harrisonburg. Considered an elite leader and teammate, Dobbs is also an incredible tackler at the linebacker spot. He has 432 career tackles, including 123 in nine games in 2023. Dobbs also has 46.5 tackles for loss, 22.5 sacks, and four interceptions in his career.

Dobbs is a projected starter for JMU in 2024.

Patrick McMurtrie, OL, Holy Cross – A graduate transfer, McMurtrie comes to JMU after earning Second Team All-Patriot League honors in 2023. He has tremendous experience and size (6’6″ and 300 lbs) and played right tackle for the Crusaders last season. He’ll know Bob Chesney’s coaching style well and becomes an immediate possible starter for the Dukes.

Jesse Ramil, OL, St. Francis – Over his three years in college Ramil has appeared in 20 total games, four his freshman year, seven in 2022, and 10 in 2023. The Binghamton, NY native will have a chance to be a part of the OL after some potential transfer departures.

Transfer departures

Curt Cignetti, HC – The Dukes’ head coach is reportedly leaving JMU for Indiana. He went 52-9 as JMU’s head coach.

Mike Shanahan, Bryant Haines, and Tino Sunseri, coaches – JMU’s OC, DC, and QBs coach are all following Cignetti to Indiana. The three coaches were instrumental in JMU’s recent success and player development, especially Shanahan and Sunseri with the Dukes’ offense and quarterback play.

Other coaches, such as DL Coach Pat Kuntz and strength coach Derek Owings, are also leaving.

Aiden Fisher, LB, Indiana – Fisher developed into a standout for the Dukes in 2023, tallying a team-best 91 tackles to go with seven pass breakups, and a blocked punt. Fisher is a special athlete, and he looked the part of a Power Five player throughout the 2023 campaign.

Jailin Walker, LB, Indiana – Walker has started 30 career games for the Dukes and has been one of the best linebackers in the Sun Belt. He battled injury this year but when he returned to the field his impact was immediate. In his JMU career he has 136 tackles, 8.5 TFLs, 3.5 sacks, three interceptions and four forced fumbles.

Tyler Stephens, OL, Indiana – The 6-5, 306 pound junior offensive lineman played in 35 games for the Dukes over his career. Stephens was a versatile lineman who slotted in as a left tackle, left guard and right tackle.

Kaelon Black, RB, Indiana – The Dukes’ leading rusher announced that he’s following Cignetti to Indiana. Black started 11 games, playing in all 12 this past season and ran for 594 yards on 4.5 yards per carry. In his career he has rushed for 1,262 yards on 5 yards per carry and 10 total touchdowns.

Mikail Kamara, DE, Indiana – Kamara enters the portal with two years of eligibility remaining (missed 2021 with injury & has extra year due to COVID). The Ashburn, Va native played 23 games over three seasons racking up 82 tackles, 26.5 TFLs and 13.5 sacks. Kamara is coming off a career high in TFLs (17.5), sacks (6.5), and forced fumbles (4) this past season.

Kamara opted out of the bowl game and announced his intention to follow Cignetti to Indiana.

Ty Son Lawton, RB, Indiana – The former Stony Brook transfer plans to spend his seventh year of eligibility at Indiana. He rushed for 568 yards and five touchdowns for JMU in 2023.

James Carpenter, DL, Indiana – The heart and soul of the defensive line, Carpenter joined the Dukes in 2019. Since then, he has racked up 136 tackles, 28 TFLs and 11.5 sacks with two interceptions and 11 pass deflections at the line. His ability on the interior allowed for players like Mikail Kamara and Jalen Green to feast on the outside rushing the passer.

Zach Horton, TE, Indiana – A stellar blocker and strong receiver, Horton snagged six touchdowns for the Dukes in 2023. He’s following Cignetti to Indiana.

Nick Kidwell, OL, Indiana – If Carpenter was the heart and soul of the defensive front, Kidwell was the heart and soul of the offensive line. The monster tackle suffered a season-ending injury in 2023, but a healthy 2024 at Indiana could land him in the 2025 NFL Draft. He was highly productive at JMU.

Carter Miller, OL, ULM – Miller opted out of the bowl game and will transfer to ULM, he announced via social media. He’s staying in the Sun Belt.

Kaden Schickel, LS, Michigan State – The Dukes’ starting long snapper entered the portal and will head to the Big Ten to join the Spartans.

Elijah Sarratt, WR, Indiana – The 1,000 yard receiver entered the portal and is following Curt Cignetti to Indiana. He received offers from other Power Five schools, such as South Carolina.

Brent Austin, CB, USF – A rotational player at CB, Austin had 12 tackles and an interception returned for a TD this season. He’s going to play for South Florida.

Jordan McCloud, QB – The Sun Belt Player of the Year, who accounted for 3,700+ yards and 40 total touchdowns, will enter the transfer portal. He confirmed his intention to enter the portal on social media.

Ibrahim Barry, WR – The freshman wide receiver didn’t see the field for the Dukes in 2023.

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