#17 Stone Bridge linebacker Skylar Martin (Photo: Sheridan King/recruitNoVA)
James Madison lands their third in-state commit for the 2021 class in Skylar Martin
by Jim McGrath, recruit757
Stone Bridge outside linebacker Skylar Martin (c/o 2021, 6-3 220) has closed his recruiting process, with the Bulldog standout making a verbal commitment to James Madison University on Tuesday.
In Martin, the Dukes will gain a defensive play maker who could make an immediate impact to the faithful fans who have packed Bridgeforth Stadium with regularity. And while Martin bypassed FBS schools such as U. Conn, Louisville, and Virginia, he joins an FCS team that boasts Super Bowl champions Charles Haley (Cowboys/49ers) and Gary Clark (Redskins) among its gridiron alums, and currently has seven players on NFL rosters.
Having the opportunity to contribute immediately helped draw Martin to JMU.
Itemizing his top three reasons for selecting the Dukes, Martin told RecruitNoVA.com, “A chance to play early, playing with my teammate from high school (Class 5 All-State DE Mikail Kamara), and my mother can come watch me play every game.”
Last season, as a junior, Martin compiled 79 tackles (13 for loss), 4.5 sacks, four forced fumbles, four fumble recoveries and two pass breakups. His Bulldog squad reached the Class 5 state championship game. For his efforts, Martin joined Kamara as a Class 5 All-State first-teamer.
Gaining Martin has helped to solidify a banner recruiting year for Curt Cignetti’s team as they aim to return to the FCS national championship game, Last season, JMU reeled off 13 straight wins before dropping to North Dakota State in the title matchup.
Leading the charge to gain Martin’s services were Dukes recruiting coordinator and wide receiver coach Mike Shanahan and linebackers coach Bryant Haines. According to Rivals.com, the Dukes are now in the top-80 (tied with Arkansas State at #79 on Saturday morning) among all college football teams in terms of Class of 2021 recruiting strength, and the only team in the top 100 outside of the FBS classification.
Speaking of the JMU coaching staff, Martin told RecruitNoVA.com, “(they) showed so much love.”
Reflecting on the Dukes additions of Martin and Kamara, Stone Bridge receiver Tai Felton, a highly recruited prospect himself, may have summed up the feeling of some fans best on his Twitter account, stating, “JMU got the biggest steals I’ve ever seen.”
– Jim McGrath