Tuesday, May 26, 2015

Four Dukes earn NFL Free Agent Contracts, (Including Park View's Brandon Lee)

Brandon Lee  courtesy of JMU Athletics

HARRISONBURG, Virginia – James Madison football has four players that have received undrafted free agent contracts from National Football League squads. Safety Dean Marlowe will be with the Carolina Panthers, defensive end Sage Harold is going to the Kansas City Chiefs, defensive lineman Brandon Lee is being signed by the Seattle Seahawks and wide receiver Daniel Brown was picked up by the Baltimore Ravens.

One of JMU's three permanent captains in 2014, Marlowe was a First Team All-Colonial Athletic Association and Virginia Sports Information All-State honoree. He finished seventh among the league's defensive backs and 19th overall with 7.4 tackles per contest (a career-best 96 total) to go with four interceptions. He also had 5.5 tackles for loss, 1.0 sacks, five pass breakups and one fumble recovery. His best game was in the home victory against Towson, recording a season-high 12 tackles and one sack. In the regular-season finale against Elon, he had two interceptions, including one for a touchback, along with four tackles to help the Dukes seal a berth in the NCAA FCS Playoffs. Marlowe also made at least five tackles in six of the eight CAA games and 10 of the 13 contests overall. His play throughout the year earned him an invitation to the East-West Shrine Game as well as the NFL Combine in Indianapolis.

Selected to the All-CAA First Team, Harold paced the Dukes' defense on the front lines, leading the league's defensive linemen and tied for 42nd overall in the CAA with 5.6 tackles per game (a career-high 73 total). He became just the 14th player in JMU history to record 10 or more sacks in a single season, a mark that is currently at a league-best 13.5 sacks. He also had 23.5 tackles for loss on the year, ranking second in the league and 11th in FCS football, while also forcing four fumbles on the season. A two-time CAA Defensive Player of the Week, Harold recorded nine tackles (including a career-high tying seven solos), 4.0 tackles for loss and 3.0 sacks - which tied career highs for both tackles for loss and sacks and set career highs for both in yardage lost - at William & Mary. Harold played a big part in limiting the Tribe to just 274 yards of total offense at Bridgeforth Stadium on Nov. 1. He had two tackles, including a sack, on the Tribe's first drive of the fourth quarter to force a 3-and-out. Then on the final drive, he sacked the W&M quarterback on what ended up being the final play of the game. Harold also recorded a career-high 10 tackles twice this year in victories against Saint Francis and Stony Brook.

Lee had 36 total tackles (21 solos) along with 10.5 tackles for loss, 7.0 sacks, five forced fumbles, one fumble recovery and three pass breakups, earning him Third Team All-CAA honors. He tied for the league lead with five forced fumbles and his 7.0 sacks (0.58 per game) tied for ninth in the conference. He had a season-high six tackles in the victory over Saint Francis in early September. Brandon was named The Sports Network National Defensive Player of the Week, CAA Defensive Player of the Week and College Sports Madness National Defensive Player of the Week for his efforts in the Dukes' 62-7 win over Towson. He recorded five total tackles, with 3.0 tackles for 19 yards of loss, including 2.0 sacks for 16 yards, and three forced fumbles resulting in two JMU takeaways. The second forced fumble directly resulted in points, as it was caught in the air by linebacker Rhakeem Stallings and returned 27 yards to put JMU up 20-0. Lee was a leader on the defense that limited Towson's Darius Victor, the second-leading rusher in the CAA, to just 37 yards on 12 carries and the Tigers' offense to just 234 yards of total offense while forcing four turnovers.

A Second Team All-CAA selection, Brown ranked among the league leaders in receiving yards and touchdowns this year, finishing with 42 catches for 564 yards and seven touchdowns on the season. Contributing to a record-setting year for the JMU offense in all major passing categories and total offense, his seven touchdowns rank fifth in the CAA while his 47.0 receiving yards per game were 13th. His top game of the year was in a home victory over then-No. 17 William & Mary when he made eight catches for a career-high 128 yards and one touchdown. He also had six catches for 67 yards and a career-high two touchdowns against Saint Francis.

JMU football opens its 2015 season on Saturday, September 5 against Morehead State.  Season tickets are available starting at $126 and include seating and parking for all six home games.  For more information visit JMUSports.com/tickets or call the ticket office at (540) 568-DUKE (3853).

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