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JMU quarterback Cole Johnson, kicker Ethan Ratke earn major CAA awards
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JMU quarterback Cole Johnson, kicker Ethan Ratke earn major CAA awards

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James Madison quarterback Cole Johnson, from Virginia Beach, completed 233 of 342 passes for 2,953 yards and a school-record 32 touchdowns, with two interceptions.

When James Madison begins competition in the FCS playoffs, it will do so with the CAA’s offensive and special teams players of the year.

The league announced Tuesday that senior quarterback Cole Johnson and senior kicker Ethan Ratke won two of the top honors, voted on by the head coaches. William & Mary quarterback Darius Wilson was named offensive rookie of the year.

JMU (10-1, 7-1 CAA) earned the No. 3 overall seed in the playoffs and a first-round bye. The Dukes host the winner of Southeastern Louisiana (8-3) and Florida A&M (9-2) on Dec. 4, at 2 p.m.

Johnson, from Virginia Beach, completed 233 of 342 passes for 2,953 yards and a school-record 32 touchdowns, with two interceptions. Ratke, a graduate of Atlee High School, becomes the second player to be named special teams player of the year in consecutive seasons after converting 28 of 31 field-goal attempts.

Ratke is the NCAA’s all-time leader in field goals (100) and points by a kicker (525).

Wilson, who’s from the Bronx, N.Y., played in nine games, passing for 1,205 yards and running for 386.

Offensive player of the year: Cole Johnson, JMU quarterback

Defensive player of the year: Forrest Rhyne, Villanova linebacker

Coach of the year: Mark Ferrante, Villanova

Special teams player of the year: Ethan Ratke, James Madison kicker

Offensive rookie of the year: Darius Wilson, William & Mary quarterback

Defensive rookie of the year: Josiah Silver, New Hampshire defensive end

Chuck Boone leadership and Excellence Award: Davis Cheek, Elon

State players honored

First team offense: QB, Cole Johnson (JMU); WR, Kris Thornton (JMU), Antwane Wells (JMU); OL, Nick Kidwell (JMU), Clayton McConnell (Richmond), Andrew Trainer (W&M); PK, Ethan Ratke (JMU); KR, Aaron Dykes (Richmond).

First team defense: DL, Bryce Carter (JMU), Nate Lynn (W&M), Kobie Turner (Richmond); LB, Tyler Dressler (Richmond), Diamonte Tucker-Dorsey (JMU), Tristan Wheeler (Richmond); CB Greg Ross (JMU); SNAPPER, Kyle Davis (JMU).

Second team offense: none

Second team defense: DL, Mike Greene (JMU), Darius Reynolds (Richmond), Isaac Ukwu (JMU).

Third team offense: RB, Bronson Yoder (W&M); OL, Tim Coleman (Richmond), Colby Sorsdal (W&M); KR, Solomon Vanhorse (JMU).

Third team defense: DL, Will Kiely (W&M); LB, Kevin Azanama (JMU); DB, Ryan Poole (W&M); P, Harry O’Kelly (JMU)

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