New Hampshire Football Report

CAA Poll: UNH picked fifth

RICHMOND, Va. (July 27, 2021) – James Madison, which is coming off a 7-1 season and its fourth trip to the semifinals of the FCS playoffs in five years, is favored to capture the CAA Football title in 2021, according to a vote of the league’s head coaches and media relations directors.

The Dukes, who were ranked No. 3 nationally last spring, got 15 first-place votes and 231 points in the poll. Delaware, which also went 7-1 last season and advanced to the semifinals of the FCS playoffs for the first time since 2010, received seven first-place votes and finished second with 222 points. Villanova placed third with 194 points, and Richmond, which picked up two first-place tallies, was fourth with 169 points. New Hampshire finished fifth in the poll, followed by Rhode Island, Towson, UAlbany, Maine, Stony Brook, William & Mary and Elon.

JMU returns most of its top performers offensively, including quarterback Cole Johnson, All-America running back Percy Agyei-Obese and leading receivers Kris Thornton and Antwane Wells, Jr. On defense, the Dukes feature All-America defensive end Mike Greene, leading tackler Kelvin Azanama and All-CAA safety MJ Hampton. Also back is senior kicker Ethan Ratke, who already owns the conference record for made field goals with 72 and is three field goals shy of the FCS all-time mark.


Delaware was ranked No. 4 in last spring’s final FCS national polls and is coming off its best campaign in a decade. Back to lead the offense are quarterback Nolan Henderson, running back Dejoun Lee and wide receiver Thyrick Pitts, who all earned first-team all-conference accolades in 2020. The Blue Hens were among the nation’s top teams defensively last season and return three first-team All-CAA performers in safety Kedrick Whitehead, cornerback Nijuel Hill and linebacker Johnny Buchanan.

Villanova finished last spring with a 2-2 mark and a No. 16 national ranking. The Wildcats have plenty of experience returning on offense with quarterback Daniel Smith, running back Justin Covington and receivers Jaaron Hayek and Rayjoun Pringle. Villanova’s defense features a trio of first-team all-conference performers in defensive tackle Malik Fisher, linebacker Forrest Rhyne and cornerback Christian Benford.

Richmond was ranked No. 14 nationally after completing its spring campaign with a 3-1 mark. Quarterback Joe Mancuso returns to direct the Spiders’ offense, which also includes running back Aaron Dykes and All-CAA tight end John Fitzgerald. Richmond’s defense features All-America defensive tackle Kobie Turner and a pair of first-team All-CAA linebackers in Tyler Dressler and Tristan Wheeler. 


  1. James Madison (15 first-place votes)       231
  2. Delaware (7 first-place votes)                     222
  3. Villanova                                                              194
  4. Richmond (2 first-place votes)                    169
  5. New Hampshire                                                135
  6. Rhode Island                                                      121
  7. Towson                                                                115
  8. UAlbany                                                               114
  9. Maine                                                                   99
  10. Stony Brook                                                        73
  11. William & Mary                                                 61
  12. Elon                                                                       50

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