Title gives James Madison immediate and future gains

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(STATS) - There's been a surge of media exposure for James Madison University since its football team finished off an FCS national championship season on Saturday.

In the coming months, alumni contributions and applications to the university are also certain to rise.

For coach Mike Houston, the impact on recruiting is vital as well. It might be greater with next year's class because James Madison coaches were securing verbal commitments from high school seniors long before the Dukes beat Youngstown State 28-14 for the program's second national championship.

But Houston said his staff already had been attracting a higher level of recruits even before the postseason run. Their recruiting class can sign on Feb. 1, and the Dukes hope the national title will result in some unexpected commitments over the next three weeks.

"We're going after top-tier FCS, mid-major (FBS) talent in our recruiting. Those are the kids we're going after," said Houston, who was 14-1 in his first season in Harrisonburg, Virginia. "I just think that the way we've played all season, the way we played in the playoffs solidified our commitments."

The JMU signing figures to be one of the more talented classes in CAA Football and the FCS. It will include the likes of high school defensive tackle Marcus Hawkins out of Morganton, North Carolina, and quarterbacks Clayton Cheatham out of Mechanicsville, Virginia, and Gage Moloney out of Rock Hills, South Carolina. Running back Marcus Marshall, Georgia Tech's leading rusher each of the past two seasons, is joining the program as a midyear transfer.