2024 CAA Football

W&M Picked To Win CAA, Shirden Named Preseason Offensive POTY

W&M Picked To Win CAA, Shirden Named Preseason Offensive POTY

William & Mary has been picked to capture the CAA Football title in 2023 according to a vote of the league’s head coaches.

Jul 25, 2023 by FloFootball Staff
W&M Picked To Win CAA, Shirden Named Preseason Offensive POTY

William & Mary, which went 11-2, earned a share of the CAA Football championship and reached the quarterfinals of the FCS playoffs for the first time since 2009 last season, has been picked to capture the CAA Football title in 2023 according to a vote of the league’s head coaches.

The Tribe received 13 first-place votes and 195 points in the preseason poll. New Hampshire, which shared the 2022 CAA Football title with W&M, got one first-place vote and was picked second with 179 points. Richmond finished third with 159 points and was followed closely by Delaware (149 points/1 first-place vote) and Elon (146 points). Rhode Island (135 points) was chosen sixth, followed by Villanova, Monmouth, Towson, North Carolina A&T, UAlbany, Campbell, Maine, Stony Brook and Hampton.

William & Mary returns nine starters from an offense that ranked third in FCS in rushing and averaged 33.5 points per game. Back is dual-threat quarterback Darius Wilson, leading rushers Bronson Yoder and Malachi Imoh and an experienced offensive line. Five of the Tribe’s eight returning starters on defense were All-CAA honorees, including linebacker John Pius and defensive end Nate Lynn, who both garnered All-America accolades, as well as linebacker Isaiah Jones and cornerbacks Ryan Poole and Jalen Jones.

New Hampshire has nine starters back on offense and defense from a 9-4 squad that advanced to the second round of the FCS playoffs. The Wildcats’ offense features All-America running back/returner Dylan Laube along with quarterback Max Brosmer, receiver Joey Corcoran and tight end Kyle Lepkowski. All-America defensive ends Josiah Silver and Dylan Ruiz are joined by leading tackler Ryan Toscano and veteran safety Max Oxendine on defense.

Richmond is coming off its best season since 2016, going 9-4 overall and reaching the second round of the FCS playoffs. Six starters are back on offense, including four linemen and receiver Nick DeGennaro. The Spiders’ defense is anchored by All-America linebacker Tristan Wheeler. He is joined by All-CAA standouts Marlem Louis, Jeremiah Grant and Aaron Banks among seven returning starters.

Delaware went 8-5 a year ago and advanced to the second round of the FCS playoffs. Leading rusher Kyron Cumby and top receiver Jourdan Townsend are among seven starters back offensively. The Blue Hens face the task of replacing nine starters on defense, but All-CAA defensive end Chase McGowan returns.

Elon earned a FCS playoff berth for the first time since 2018 after posting an 8-4 mark last season. The Phoenix offense welcomes back four starters up front to clear the way for 1,000-yard rusher Jalen Hampton. Safety Bo Sanders and lineman Josh Johnson are among four starters back on defense.

CAA Football also announced its preseason all-conference team. W&M led all schools with seven players honored while UNH had five. Monmouth All-America running back Jaden Shirden was chosen as the preseason Offensive Player of the Year after leading FCS with 1,722 rushing yards and 13 touchdowns last season. William & Mary All-America linebacker John Pius was selected as the preseason Defensive Player of the Year after tallying 72 tackles, 11.5 sacks and 19.0 tackles for loss in 2022.

CAA Football expands to 15 members in 2023 with the addition of Campbell and North Carolina A&T and looks to continue its tradition of success. Five teams received berths in the FCS playoffs in 2022, which was tied for the most of any conference. The CAA has had at least one team reach the quarterfinals every year since 1995 and has had at least one semifinalist nine times in the last decade. Twelve of the CAA’s 15 members have participated in the FCS playoffs since 2015, a feat unmatched by any other conference.


(Selected by a vote of Head Coaches)


Name, School                                                 Cl.          Pos.       Ht.          Wt.        Hometown/High School

Max Brosmer, New Hampshire                   Jr.           QB          6-2         217        Roswell, Ga./Centennial

Dylan Laube, New Hampshire                     Sr.          RB          5-10       207        Westhampton, N.Y./Westhampton Beach

Jaden Shirden, Monmouth                          Jr.           RB          5-9         195        West Haven, Conn./Cheshire Academy

Bronson Yoder, William & Mary                Sr.          RB          5-11       205        Nappanee, Ind./Northwood

Johncarlos Miller III, Elon                             So.         H-B        6-5         233        Greensboro, N.C./Dudley

Kyle Lepkowski, New Hampshire                Sr.          TE           6-4         256        Adamstown, Md./Tuscarora

Jaaron Hayek, Villanova                               Gr.          WR         6-1         200        Wayne, N.J./Wayne Hills

Dymere Miller, Monmouth                          Sr.          WR         6-0         180        Coatesville, Pa./Salisbury School

Jourdan Townsend, Delaware                    Gr.          WR         5-11       185        Farrell, Pa./Farrell

Ryan Coll, Richmond                                     Sr.          OL          6-5         324        Gainesville, Va./Battlefield

Michael Corbi, Villanova                              Gr.          OL          6-3         335        Annapolis, Md./Mount Saint Joseph

Nick Correia, Rhode Island                          Sr.          OL          6-6         330        Nantucket, Mass./Nantucket

Mike Edwards, Campbell                              Gr.          OL          6-7         355        Hope Mills, N.C./South View

Charles Grant, William & Mary                   Jr.           OL          6-4         275        Portsmouth, Va./Churchland

Tairiq Stewart, North Carolina A&T           Gr.          OL          6-6         300        Cleveland, Ohio/Warrensville (WV)


Name, School                                                 Cl.          Pos.       Ht.          Wt.        Hometown/High School

Marlem Louis, Richmond                             Sr.          DL          6-3         250        Venice, Fla./Venice

Nate Lynn, William & Mary                         Sr.          DL          6-3         255        Charlotte, N.C./Zebulon B. Vance

Dylan Ruiz, New Hampshire                        Jr.           DL          6-1         254        Kissimmee, Fla./Osceola

Josiah Silver, New Hampshire                     Jr.           DL          6-2         243        Hampton, Va./Phoebus

Isaiah Jones, William & Mary                      Sr.          LB           6-1         245        Norristown, Pa./La Salle College

John Pius, William & Mary                           Jr.           LB           6-2         230        Arlington, Va./Yorktown

Qwahsin Townsel, Hampton                       Gr.          LB           6-0         225        Egg Harbor, N.J./St. Joseph

Tristan Wheeler, Richmond                         Sr.          LB           6-2         228        Bethlehem, Pa./Freedom

Jalen Jones, William & Mary                       So.         CB          6-0         185        Chesapeake, Va./Deep Creek

Karon Prunty, North Carolina A&T            Jr.           CB          6-2         180        Portsmouth, Va./I.C. Norcom

Ryan Poole, William & Mary                       Sr.          CB          5-11       185        Annapolis, Md./Saint Mary’s

Aaron Banks, Richmond                               Gr.          S             5-11       180        Stephens City, Va./Sherando

Bo Sanders, Elon                                            Sr.          S             6-2         195        Indianapolis, Ind./Cathedral


Name, School                                                 Cl.          Pos.       Ht.          Wt.        Hometown/High School

D’Ago Hunter, Towson                                 Gr.          KR          5-6         160        Culpeper, Va./Eastern View

Dylan Laube, New Hampshire                     Sr.          PR          5-10       207        Westhampton, N.Y./Westhampton Beach

Alex Schmoke, Delaware                             Gr.          PK           5-9         160        Bellwood, Pa./Bellwood-Antis

Ryan Kost, Delaware                                     Gr.          P             6-2         220        Newtown, Conn./Newtown

Chandler Brayboy, Elon                                Jr.           SPEC      6-1         201        Pembroke, N.C./Purnell Swett


Jaden Shirden, RB, Monmouth


John Pius, LB, William & Mary

Honorable mention: Kasim Hill, QB, Rhode Island; Reese Poffenbarger, QB, UAlbany; Darius Wilson, QB, William & Mary; Jalen Hampton, RB, Elon; Braden Brose, TE, Delaware; Joey Corcoran, WR, New Hampshire; Kahtero Summers, WR, Rhode Island; Greg Anderson, OL, Monmouth; Fintan Brose, OL, Delaware; Lorenzo Thompson, OL, Rhode Island; Jabril Williams, OL, Elon; Jesus Gibbs, DL, Towson; Jeremiah Grant, DL, Richmond; Anton Juncaj, DL; UAlbany; Chase McGowan, DL, Delaware; Aidan Kaler, LB, Stony Brook; Dylan Kelly, LB, UAlbany; Evan Stewart, LB, Rhode Island; CJ Tillman, LB, Campbell; Kahzir “Buggs” Brown, CB, Maine; Robert Javier, CB, Towson; Mike Reid, CB, Monmouth; Marcus Barnes, S, William & Mary; Jalen Goodman, S, Villanova; Bryson Parker, S, Richmond; Caleb Dowden, PK, Campbell; Matt Mercurio, PK, Villanova; Will Whitehurst, P, William & Mary; Taymon Cooke, KR, North Carolina A&T


(Selected by a vote of Head Coaches)

  • William & Mary (13 first-place votes)       195
  • New Hampshire (1 first-place vote)          179
  • Richmond                                                      159
  • Delaware (1 first-place vote)                      149
  • Elon                                                                 146
  • Rhode Island                                                  135
  • Villanova                                                         129
  • Monmouth                                                      94
  • Towson                                                            85
  • North Carolina A&T                                        70
  • UAlbany                                                            64
  • Campbell                                                          62
  • Maine                                                                40
  • Stony Brook                                                     38
  • Hampton                                                          30