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Sun Belt Conference reveals 2021 preseason awards and poll

Texas State Football
Tuesday, July 20, 2021

The Sun Belt released its 2021 preseason all-conference football teams on Tuesday, featuring a pair of Bobcats.

Texas State junior wide receiver Marcell Barbee and defensive lineman Nico Ezidore were each selected to the All-Sun Belt Second Team. Barbee caught 40 passes last season for 584 yards and 10 touchdowns — a mark that ranked seventh in the FBS. Ezidore collected 66 tackles in 2020, including 13.0 for a loss, along with 3.5 sacks and one forced fumble. Both players were named to the all-conference Third Team at the end of last year.

Coastal Carolina redshirt sophomore quarterback Grayson McCall was chosen as the league’s Preseason Offensive Player of the Year and was joined by Troy junior linebacker Carlton Martial as the Preseason Defensive Player of the Year.

The Bobcats were selected to finish fourth in the West Division and sixth overall in the Sun Belt Coaches Poll with 25 points. Louisiana was picked as the favorite to win the conference title with 49 points, followed by the Chanticleers and Appalachian State, who tied for first in the East Division with 44 points each.

Arkansas State placed fourth overall with 38 points and one first-place vote in the West. South Alabama followed with 27 points. Georgia State (24 points), Georgia Southern (20 points), Troy (18 points), and Louisiana-Monroe (11 points) all trailed Texas State in the poll.

The Sun Belt Football Media Day is set to take place in New Orleans on Thursday. Ezidore, Bobcats head coach Jake Spavital and sophomore running back Brock Sturges will represent Texas State at the event. The team will kick off the 2021 season on Sept. 4 at 6 p.m., taking on Baylor inside Bobcat Stadium.

 

2021 SUN BELT CONFERENCE FOOTBALL PRESEASON AWARDS 
 

Preseason Offensive Player of the Year
Grayson McCall, Coastal Carolina (RS So., QB – Indian Trail, N.C.) 

Preseason Defensive Player of the Year
Carlton Martial, Troy (Jr., LB – Mobile, Ala.) 
 
Preseason All-Sun Belt First Team Offense 
QB – Grayson McCall, Coastal Carolina (RS So. – Indian Trail, N.C.) 
RB – Camerun Peoples, App State (Jr. – Lineville, Ala.) 
RB – Destin Coates, Georgia State (Sr. – Tallahassee, Fla.) 
OL – Baer Hunter, App State (Super Sr. – Clemmons, N.C.) 
OL – Shamarious Gilmore, Georgia State (RS Sr. – Riverdale, Ga.) 
OL – Cooper Hodges, App State (Jr. – Glen St. Mary, Fla.) 
OL – Austin Stidham, Troy (Jr. – Russellville, Ala.) 
OL – O’Cyrus Torrence, Louisiana (So. – Greensburg, La.) 
TE – Isaiah Likely, Coastal Carolina (Sr. – Cambridge, Mass.) 
WR – Jalen Tolbert, South Alabama (Jr. – Mobile, Ala.) 
WR – Jaivon Heiligh, Coastal Carolina (Sr. – Venice, Fla.) 
WR – Sam Pinckney, Georgia State (RS Jr. – Greenwood, S.C.) 

Preseason All-Sun Belt First Team Defense 
DL – Jeffery Gunter, Coastal Carolina (RS Sr. – Durham, N.C.) 
DL – CJ Brewer, Coastal Carolina (Super Sr. – Bowdon, Ga.) 
DL – Demetrius Taylor, App State (Super Sr. – Miami, Fla.) 
DL – Will Choloh, Troy (Jr. – Lawrenceville, Ga.) 
LB – Carlton Martial, Troy (Jr. – Mobile, Ala.) 
LB – D’Marco Jackson, App State (Sr. – Spartanburg, S.C.) 
LB – Silas Kelly, Coastal Carolina (Super Sr. – Mount Airy, Md.) 
DB – Derrick Canteen, Georgia Southern (RS So. – Evans, Ga.)
DB – Shaun Jolly, App State (Sr. – Stone Mountain, Ga.) 
DB – D’Jordan Strong, Coastal Carolina (Sr. – Batesville, Miss.) 
DB – Bralen Trahan, Louisiana (RS Jr. – Lafayette, La.) 
 
Preseason All-Sun Belt First Team Special Teams
K – Noel Ruiz, Georgia State (Sr. – Wilson, N.C.) 
P – Rhys Byrns, Louisiana (Jr. – Melbourne, Australia) 
RS – Chris Smith, Louisiana (RS So. – Louisville, Miss.) 
 
Preseason All-Sun Belt Second Team Offense 
QB – Levi Lewis, Louisiana (Sr. – Baton Rouge, La.) 
RB – JD King, Georgia Southern (Fifth-Year Sr. – Fitzgerald, Ga.) 
RB – Daetrich Harrington, App State (Sr. – Douglasville, Ga.) 
OL – Trey Carter, Coastal Carolina (Super Sr. – Monroeville, Ala.) 
OL – Max Mitchell, Louisiana (Jr. – Monroe, La.) 
OL – Dylan Bradshaw, Troy (Sr. – Enterprise, Ala.) 
OL – Willie Lampkin, Coastal Carolina (So. – Lakeland, Fla.)
OL – Aaron Dowdell, Georgia Southern (Sixth-Year Sr. – Fairburn, Ga.) 
TE – Roger Carter, Georgia State (Sr. – Columbia, S.C.) 
WR – Thomas Hennigan, App State (Super Sr. – Greensboro, N.C.) 
WR – Marcell Barbee, Texas State (Jr. – Pueblo, Colo.) 
WR – Cornelius McCoy, Georgia State (Sr. – Deerfield Beach, Fla.) 
 
Preseason All-Sun Belt Second Team Defense 
DL – Zi’Yon Hill, Louisiana (RS Jr. – New Iberia, La.) 
DL – Hardrick Willis, Georgia State (RS Sr. – Jonesboro, Ga.) 
DL – Dontae Wilson, Georgia State (Sr. – Jefferson, Ga.) 
DL – Nico Ezidore, Texas State (Jr. – Garland, Texas) 
LB – Lorenzo McCaskill, Louisiana (RS Jr. – Detroit, Mich.) 
LB – Teddy Gallagher, Coastal Carolina (Super Sr. – Los Angeles, Calif.) 
LB – Brendan Harrington, App State (Jr. - Pittsboro, N.C.) 
DB – Antavious Lane, Georgia State (RS So. – West Palm Beach, Fla.)  
DB – Quavian White, Georgia State (Sr. – Greer, S.C.) 
DB – Keith Gallmon, South Alabama (Jr. – Mobile, Ala.) 
DB – Eric Garror, Louisiana (Jr. – Mobile, Ala.) 
 
Preseason All-Sun Belt Second Team Special Teams
K – Massimo Biscardi, Coastal Carolina (Sr. – Downingtown, Pa.) 
P – Anthony Beck II, Georgia Southern (RS Jr. – Guyton, Ga.)
RS – Khaleb Hood, Georgia Southern (Jr. – McDonough, Ga.) 

 
2021 SUN BELT CONFERENCE FOOTBALL PRESEASON COACHES POLL

(First place votes in parentheses)
 

East Division
T1. Coastal Carolina (6) – 44
T1. App State (4) – 44
3. Georgia State – 24
4. Georgia Southern – 20
5. Troy – 18 

West Division 
1. Louisiana (9) – 49
2. Arkansas State (1) – 38
3. South Alabama – 27 
4. Texas State – 25
5. ULM – 11

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