HARRISONBURG — James Madison gets back one of its top players this week as senior tight end Jonathan Kloosterman returns from a two-game suspension.
JMU coach Mike Houston, who suspended Kloosterman for a “violation of team rules” before the season, said he doesn’t know if he’ll start Kloosterman, but that the preseason All-American will play. Sophomore Nick Carlton started the first two games in Kloosterman’s place, and freshman Clayton Cheatham also earned playing time at the position in a reserve role.
Kloosterman, a Strasburg graduate, recorded a team-best seven touchdown receptions during the Dukes’ 2016 national championship season.
“That’s really exciting and we’ve really missed him,” JMU offensive coordinator Donnie Kirkpatrick said. “Not that Nick and Clayton haven’t done a really good job, but [Kloosterman] surely gives us a great weapon in the run game with his blocking. He’s just so much more powerful and so much more experienced about everything.
“Then he gives you a really good receiver in there, too. So that is exciting and we need him this week.”
Norfolk State is located in a part of the state that JMU heavily targets high school prospects.
The Dukes’ current two-deep and roster is littered with players from the 757 area code.
“It’s an important area for us and there is some correlation with this game,” Houston said. “From a recruiting standpoint, I don’t think it hurts that our name is being talked about in that area this week. And we get some local TV and press coverage there, but we probably get a little more this week. Certainly the 757 is a huge recruiting area for us. We have a lot of players from that area and we’re going to recruit that area heavily every single year.”
Safety Raven Greene, running back Cardon Johnson and defensive tackle Simeyon Robinson are just a few players from the Tidewater region.
Norfolk State coach Latrell Scott said these non-conference games are good for both programs from a recruiting angle.
“It’s on television, so it gives our school an opportunity to brand and market itself,” Scott said. “And the big thing for me is that I’m a big fan of the state of Virginia and a fan of football in the state of Virginia, so as many opportunities as I have to play state schools, I will.
“It makes sense for me to play James Madison, Richmond and William & Mary because it promotes football in the state of Virginia.”
Florida Players’ Families OK
This past week, Hurricane Irma hit Florida, causing flooding and damage to much of the state.
JMU has two players who hail from Florida — cornerback Jimmy Moreland and wide receiver Terrence Alls — on its roster and Houston said both their families are doing OK.
Moreland, who had an interception in the Dukes’ win over East Tennessee State, is from Royal Palm Beach, Fla., and Alls is from Miami Gardens.
“Jimmy’s been in constant contact with his parents,” Houston said. “They’re fine. But we’ve been talking to him to make sure he’s doing OK. Same with Terrence, we’ve been checking on him.
“And we have a committed kid down there that we’ve been checking on, so thankfully everybody associated with our program is doing fine.”
Rivals.com two-star receiver prospect Reggie Brown, from Lakeland, Fla., is committed to JMU.