Purcellville, VA (February 9, 2017) – Fresh off their Football Championship Subdivision national championship on Jan. 7, James Madison hit the recruiting trail hard with their newfound momentum. Intrigued by the booming success of the Dukes’ program, a pair of talented Woodgrove senior offensive players decided Harrisonburg, Va. was the place for them.
Mason Gryniuk, wide receiver, and Cameron Kilgour, offensive lineman, will remain together as members of the JMU football program, after the pair announced their commitments on Jan. 28.
“I was attracted to JMU’s academics, great football program, great coaching staff and the fact that their program is all about family,” Gryniuk said. “I also liked that JMU is so close to home. The National Championship was just icing on the cake, but JMU was my number one choice all along.”
Gryniuk, a 6-foot-2 receiving weapon, notched 71 catches for 1,089 yards as a senior, both single-season school records, to go along with 11 touchdowns. He finished his standout, four-year varsity career with the Wolverines with 1,888 receiving yards, 122 receptions and 21 touchdowns, while also seeing time at cornerback, punt returner and kick returner. He also recorded the first 100+ yard receiving game in the playoffs in school history.
“One of my greatest football strengths is that I never get tired, even when playing all four quarters,” Gryniuk said. “As a wide receiver, I’d have to say it’s my great hands, vision and ability to catch anything. The next level, as many say, is a completely different speed of game, so I will need to work on adjusting to that.”
Kilgour, a 6-foot-4, 270-pound lineman paved the way for the Wolverines ground attack this past season, as the squad rushed for 2,755 yards in total. He helped orchestrate an offense that was explosive both on the ground and through the air.
Under center for the Wolverines was Mike Kovich, who also had a stellar prep career and recently committed to play quarterback for Randolph-Macon College in Ashland, Va.
“Mikie and I go way back and he’s one of my best friends,” Gryniuk said. “We grew up playing football together and both learned to excel through our competitive edge and drive to win. I know one thing, having Mikie as my quarterback, I always knew he would put the ball in the right spot so I could make a play. I will definitely miss the connection we had as we move on to play football at different schools, but the team who gets him will certainly benefit greatly. He is a star player.”
The triumvirate on offense of Gryniuk, Kilgour and Kovich paved the way for the first undefeated regular season in Woodgrove history en route to recording their second consecutive 11-win season, supplanting their lasting legacy among the program.
Gryniuk and Kilgour will be going from one successful team to another, as they join a Dukes program that went 14-1 in 2016 before winning the national title, with the only loss coming to Football Bowl Subdivision foe North Carolina. They have won at least nine games in each of the last three seasons, and are now reaping the fruits of their success in the recruiting process.
Gryniuk expects to play wide receiver and special teams for the Dukes, but is willing to play wherever he is needed and anticipates being a good fit for the program.
“You know you are a good fit when the coaches keep calling you back in the recruiting process, but JMU was also a good fit for me,” Gryniuk said. “Like any football player, you want to be on the field, but playing time is all about competing and showing the coaches that you can contribute as one of the best players on the field. I am prepared to compete and can’t wait to show them what I can do.”
Admittedly, Gryniuk will miss the bond he has built with his Wolverine teammates over the last four years and the fun they have in the locker room, but he will at least have Kilgour by his side, both literally and figuratively.
“My goals are to graduate with a degree in business, communications or information technology, and hope to continue my football career after college in the NFL,” Gryniuk said.
JMU’s schedule for 2017 has not yet been released, but they should open their season on Sept. 2 and will do so with the Loudoun duo donning the purple and gold.
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Written by Josh Apple
Special to Viva Loudoun
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