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February 25, 2014

Kloosterman makes his call

After receiving interest from several Division II schools and partial offers from Shepherd and UVA-Wise, Strasburg standout Jonathan Kloosterman has decided to attend James Madison University as a walk-on when he begins his college experience in the fall of 2014.

The Dukes had been at the top of the list for the 6-foot-3, 225 pounder but an injury early in his senior season along with the recent coaching change in Harrisonburg had slowed down the interest that the Rams player had received from his preferred destination.

Following the announcement of Everitt Withers and his staff becoming the new leaders at JMU, Kloosterman said that he and his high school coach sent film to the new staff and contacted the football office about playing for them.

After film review and some brief talks, Kloosterman was informed that he would be offered a preferred walk-on roster spot with the Dukes. That was the same offer he had been presented with by both Old Dominion and William and Mary.

While the injury may have hurt his prospects of receiving an offer from the FCS program, Kloosterman feels that he has an opportunity with the Dukes and he plans on making the most of it.

"I am ready to go out there and prove myself," he said. "I know that it's going to take hard work but I think I am ready and I plan to do everything I can to be a part of the team."

Currently playing basketball for Strasburg, Kloosterman feels that he is well on his way to returning to his former playing ability after the broken leg he suffered in week 5 of the football season.

"Basketball has definitely helped me with my conditioning and I am finally starting to put on heavy weight in the weight room," he said. "I'm working on getting back my strength and gaining some of the weight that I lost."

Kloosterman is expecting to compete for a position on the squad at tight end and is planning on pursuing kinesiology in academics.

One other factor in Kloosterman's decision was his relationship with current Dukes redshirt freshman, Gage Steele. The pair are good friends and Kloosterman has had the opportunity to compete against Gage and most recently, his younger brother Blake, at the high school level.

Last season, Steele recorded 106 tackles for the Dukes from his linebacker position and was a finalist for the Jerry Rice award which honors the FCS national freshman of the year.

"We talked before I made my decision and he told me that one thing about JMU is that they give everybody an equal opportunity," said Kloosterman. "It's helpful that he is from a small school like I am. He's kind of an inspiration to me and he's doing big things now. That's what I hope to do."

Robert Edmonds joined the Virginia Preps staff midway through 2013. He provides insight on player profiles and recruiting news for players from around the state as well as in season game and team reports. He has been contributing sports coverage in the newspaper industry since 2006 and also currently does correspondence work with The Daily Progress and The News-Virginian. Follow him on twitter @bigrob2523 and send comments and suggestions to him directly at bigrob2523@gmail.com.



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