Key Names In The Transfer Portal For JMU: Defense

Daily News-Record
13 hrs ago
It’s been a busy week for the JMU football program. The coaching search began and ended, and now the new leading man — Bob Chesney — is tasked with handling the growing transfer portal.
While there have been new names jumping into the portal from the offensive side of the ball, the JMU defense still seems poised to take the biggest hit.
Here’s a look at some of the key defenders who hit the portal.
James Carpenter, defensive line
The 2023 Burlsworth Trophy finalist entered his name into the portal earlier this week, marking yet another blow the defense may be forced to endure.
James Carpenter, who has one year of eligibility remaining, was a force on the defensive line for the Dukes this season.
Starting his career as a walk-on, Carpenter played his way to a second-straight selection to the All-Sun Belt Second Team. In 2023, Carpenter finished the regular season seventh on the team in total tackles with 48, and was fourth in sacks with four.
Carpenter’s production this season nearly mirrored what he did in 2022. Last year, Carpenter recorded 52 total tackles and 5.5 sacks through 11 games played.
This season also saw Carpenter record his second-career interception, coming in a game against Georgia Southern. A 36-yard return followed the interception, leading to a quick touchdown from the JMU offense.
Aiden Fisher, linebacker
Aiden Fisher is the youngest in a trio of JMU linebackers who’ve entered the transfer portal.
As a true sophomore, Fisher took drastic steps forward from his freshman campaign. In 2022, Fisher recorded five tackles — all of which came against Old Dominion. This year, though, Fisher’s presence was felt every game.
The 2023 regular season concluded with Fisher leading the Dukes in total tackles with 91, which was 36 tackles clear of his next teammate on the list. The sophomore led the JMU linebackers in tackles for loss (6).
Fisher also blocked a punt during JMU’s trip east to Charlottesville, which led to a recovery in the end zone by freshman D’Angelo Ponds.
With his contributions on the field, Fisher picked up a All-Sun Belt Third Team Defense nod.
Fisher shared on his X account that he’s received offers from Arizona State and Cincinnati.
Jailin Walker, linebacker
A staple at linebacker over the past few years, Jailin Walker has seen his production increase each season.
Behind Fisher, Walker was second among JMU linebackers with tackles for loss (4.5), which contributed to his 55 total tackles — good for second on the team.
Walker posted season-high totals Oct. 19 against Marshall, recording 10 tackles and a sack when the Dukes made the trip to face the Herd on a Thursday night.
In the regular-season finale, Walker forced his third fumble of the season against Coastal Carolina after earning two against Marshall. Walker’s three forced fumbles had him tied for the team lead with fellow transfer portal member Mikail Kamara.
During his career at JMU, Walker has two touchdowns off interceptions and has 136 total tackles in only 30 games played.
Taurus Jones, linebacker
Rounding out the trio of linebackers in the portal for JMU is redshirt junior Taurus Jones.
Jones battled injuries early in his career and missed some time this season.
The linebacker ended the regular season with 38 total tackles, four tackles for loss and a sack. Jones played 10 games in the regular season, one less than a season ago.
In 2022, Jones produced a career season. He finished the year leading the Dukes in tackles with 38 and posted 10.5 tackles for loss. Jones also recorded the lone interception of his career during 2022.
Jones was the first out of the linebackers to announce his intentions to transfer, posting on X on Nov. 30.
Mikail Kamara, defensive line
After an injury kept Mikail Kamara sidelined for an entire season early in his career, he entered 2023 as a redshirt sophomore looking to build off a 2022 campaign where he played five games.
This year, Kamara burst onto the scene, earning 52 total tackles, which had him tied for third on the team. He also finished third on the team in sacks with 6.5.
In 2023 alone, Kamara nearly doubled his career tackles for loss total. Kamara had 4.5 tackles for loss in both 2021 and 2022. This season, he had 17.5.
With two years of eligibility remaining, Kamara has the opportunity to bring skill and potential to a program’s defensive line, and could make an instant impact.
Kamara shared on X that he’s received offers from Cincinnati and Pitt since entering the portal.
Chauncey Logan, cornerback
Coming out of Salem, VA, Chauncey Logan became a fixture at cornerback for the Dukes in 2023.
Logan finished 10th on the team in tackles with 42, and his 28 solo tackles tripled his total from 2022 (9).
Against Georgia Southern on Oct. 14, Logan set a new career-high for tackles in a single game with 11. Also against Georgia Southern, Logan caught his second-career interception — his first came in 2022 against Marshall.
Logan’s growth in 2023 earned him an All-Sun Belt Honorable Mention when the regular season concluded.
Through his X account, Logan shared that he’s received an offer from USF.
Other defensive players in the portal: Brent Austin and Abi Nwabuoku-Okonji
Brent Austin, a sophomore cornerback, held a rotational role for the Dukes in 2023. He had 12 total tackles in 10 games played. He also recorded his first-career interception against UConn, which he returned 81 yards for a score.
Austin has received an offer from USF, according to his X account.
Abi Nwabuoku-Okonji, a redshirt senior defensive lineman, came to JMU following a stint at Minnesota. He played in only one game this season before suffering a season-ending injury. He played in all 11 games in 2022, posting 21 total tackles.
According to his X account, he’s received an offer from Georgia Southern.

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