Image courtesy of JMU Athletics Communications
By Bennett Conlin
It's not always easy to keep up with the transfer portal season, so we created this page to keep tabs on players joining (and leaving) JMU football during the offseason. We will update this page regularly and aim for more detailed analysis of transfer additions and departures in additional articles.
These players entered the portal, but ultimately decided to stay at JMU.
Chauncey Logan, BC – A two-year starter for JMU, Logan played in 10 games in 2022 and 12 this season, accumulating 59 career tackles and two INTs as the Dukes' CB1. This is an important returning player, as he is likely to be a starter for a defense that is expected to see significant turnover. Logan's junior season will come with plenty of individual hype.
Tyshawn Wyatt, OL – JMU's starting left tackle played in 34 games for the Dukes during his career and became a standout contributor up front. He has Power Five talent, but he chose to return to Harrisonburg. This is a big victory for Bob Chesney.
Wayne Knight, RB – Knight announced his intention to transfer on October 16 via social media. Knight had 74 receiving yards and 15 rushing yards in a season and a half in Harrisonburg. He came out of the portal in December, giving the Dukes additional running back depth in 2024.
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 the running back position. He also caught 14 passes for 166 yards last season. With one year of eligibility remaining, expect 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 at Harrisonburg. Considered an elite leader and teammate, Dobbs is also an incredible tackler at the linebacker position. 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.
WATCH | Jacob Dobbs spoke with us about his transfer process and his visit to JMU before announcing his decision
Patrick McMurtrie, OL, Holy Cross – 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 will be familiar with Bob Chesney's coaching style and will become a possible immediate starter for the Dukes.
Jesse Ramil, OL, St. Francis – In his three years in college, Ramil has appeared in 20 total games, four in his freshman year, seven in 2022 and 10 in 2023. The Binghamton, NY native will have the chance to be part of OL after a few potential transfer departures.
Curt Cignetti, HC – Dukes head coach 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 QB coach all follow Cignetti to Indiana. All three coaches have been instrumental in JMU's recent success and player development, especially Shanahan and Sunseri with the Dukes' offense and quarterback play.
Other coaches, like Pat Kuntz, DL coach And strength coach Derek Owingsalso leave.
Aiden Fisher, LB, Indiana – Fisher has emerged as a standout player for the Dukes in 2023, totaling a team-best 91 tackles with seven pass breakups and one blocked punt. Fisher is a special athlete, and he has looked like a Power Five player throughout the 2023 campaign.
Jailin Walker, LB, Indiana – Walker started 30 career games for the Dukes and was one of the best linebackers in the Sun Belt. He struggled with injury this year, but when he returned to the field, his impact was immediate. During his JMU career, he has 136 tackles, 8.5 TFL, 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 during his career. Stephens was a versatile lineman who played as a left tackle, left guard and right tackle.
Kaelon Black, RB, Indiana – The leader of the Dukes announced that he was following Cignetti to Indiana. Black started 11 games, playing in all 12 last season, and rushed for 594 yards on 4.5 yards per carry. During his career, he totaled 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 due to injury and has an extra year due to COVID). The Ashburn, Virginia native played in 23 games over three seasons, totaling 82 tackles, 26.5 TFL and 13.5 sacks. Kamara is coming off a career-high in TFL (17.5), sacks (6.5) and forced fumbles (4) last season.
Kamara retired from bowling 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 totaled 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 accumulated 136 tackles, 28 TFLs and 11.5 sacks with two interceptions and 11 pass deflections on the line. His abilities inside allowed players like Mikail Kamara and Jalen Green to feast on the outside rushing the passer.
Zach Horton, TE, Indiana – An excellent blocker and powerful receiver, Horton caught six touchdowns for the Dukes in 2023. He follows 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 very productive at JMU.
Carter Miller, OL, ULM – Miller has retired from bowling and will transfer to ULM, he announced via social media. It remains in the Sun Belt.
Kaden Schickel, LS, Michigan State – The Dukes' starting long snapper has entered the portal and will be heading to the Big Ten to join the Spartans.
Elijah Sarratt, WR, Indiana – The 1,000-yard receiver has entered the portal and is following Curt Cignetti to Indiana. He received offers from other Power Five schools, like South Carolina.
Jordan McCloud, quarterback – The Sun Belt Player of the Year, who rushed for over 3,700 yards and 40 total touchdowns, will enter the transfer portal. He confirmed his intention to access the portal on social networks.
Brent Austin, BC – A rotational player at CB, Austin had 12 tackles and an interception returned for a touchdown this season.
Bull Jones, L.B. – Jones struggled with injuries in 2023, but had a huge campaign in 2022 with 82 tackles, 10.5 tackles for loss and five assists. He is in the portal as a graduate transfer.
Abi Nwabuoku-Okonji, DL – The former Minnesota transfer suffered a season-ending injury in JMU's first game of the year. He was expected to be a rotation player on defense in 2023 and finished with 5.5 tackles for loss in 2022. He announced on social media that he would enter the portal as a transfer of graduate.
Desmond Green, WR – The wide receiver hasn't been a major contributor for the Dukes, and he enters the portal with two years of eligibility remaining.
Ibrahim Barry, WR – The freshman wide receiver has not seen the field for the Dukes in 2023.