En route to a FCS national championship, James Madison quarterback Bryan Schor led the country in passer efficiency (186.2), completion percentage (73.1), and yards per attempt (10.4). The junior captain broke school records, led the charge to defeat the defending national champions at home and won the Bill Dudley award for Virginia’s top Division I player in a crowning year for the Dukes.
We caught up with the JMU quarterback to talk about the preparation that goes into a banner year and how he grew into leadership.
FM: What was the Dukes’ mindset coming into the season, how did you get ready for what turned out to be a title year?
BS: “When I got into camp, I told myself I was going to get one percent better each practice. The thought was if I went into practice 20 times, I would get 20 percent better. That may not have been a reasonable expectation but it is that type of dedication that allows you to grow. I didn’t do much different in training camp than what I usually do. The mindset was to improve and help the team win.”
FM: What was the culture on the team to start the year?
BS: “We’ve had three or four coaching changes at James Madison, so it’s been difficult to build some continuity. Early practices weren’t very good and we practiced really hard. There were questions as to how good we were and how good we wanted to be.”
FM: What was it like being a leader as the team started to prove itself?
BS: “It was amazing to even have the opportunity to play QB at JMU. It’s unbelievable. Having the guys there knowing that I could look to my left or right and have someone there to have my back meant everything. Times like this year are so special because you have the support of the team.”
FM: What was your favorite movement of the season, sans hoisting the championship?
BS: “We got the chance to play in Fargo this year, which was really special. Every time we had the ball, you couldn’t hear a thing. We talked all summer about going to Fargo and beating the five-time defending champions. I threw a touchdown late into the game and I knew in that moment that everything was falling in place. Holding the national championship is my top moment, but that was a special moment for the team.”
FM: How do you keep team hungry after winning a national championship?
BS: “One thing I have to do is not be complacent myself. As a leader, I lead by example. If I have a workout early in the morning, I’m making sure I’m going hard no matter the time. For me, it’s letting the guys know that we had a great team in 2016, but in 2017, we haven’t done anything or won any games.”
FM: What do you hope to accomplish with the remainder of your time at James Madison?
BS: “We want to win a national title again, but when I play my last game at JMU, whether it be in the playoffs or in a championship game, It’s going to be hard to give up that jersey. I love being on this team and the guys here have made it a special environment for me.”