Sun Belt announces preseason all-conference teams, coaches poll

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Coastal Carolina vs ULL football 2020

NEW ORLEANS — The Sun Belt Conference announced its 2021 Preseason All-Sun Belt Football Teams, individual awards and Preseason Poll on Tuesday.

Coastal Carolina redshirt sophomore quarterback Grayson McCall was dubbed the Preseason Offensive Player of the Year, while Troy junior linebacker Carlton Martial was named the Preseason Defensive Player of the Year. McCall was the Sun Belt Player and Freshman of the Year in 2020, while both McCall and Martial are returning All-Sun Belt First Team honorees.

Coastal Carolina paced all conference programs with 11 Preseason All-Sun Belt selections, including a conference-best seven First Team picks. The Chanticleers were followed closely by Georgia State (10), App State (9) and Louisiana (9).

Louisiana was picked to win its fourth-straight Sun Belt West Division title in the Preseason Coaches Poll, while capturing 9-of-10 first-place votes. Coastal Carolina and App State were tied atop the Sun Belt East Division ledger, though the Chanticleers claimed an edge with 6-of-10 first-place nods.

Coastal Carolina and Louisiana were Sun Belt co-champions in 2020, while App State won four-straight titles from 2016-19.

Sun Belt Football Media Day will kick off the 2021 Sun Belt football season on Thursday, July 22. The event will be broadcast on ESPN+, with a morning session from 9 a.m. to 12 noon CT and an afternoon session from 1:30 to 4:30 p.m. CT.

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
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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