ASU Red Wolves sweep Sun Belt Conference awards

Following a 10-2 regular season performance and an unblemished 8-0 record in conference play, Arkansas State's Ryan Aplin and Brandon Joiner were awarded for their individual efforts as they were named Player of the Year and Defensive Player of the Year respectively as the Sun Belt Conference released its All-Sun Belt Football Teams on Wednesday.

Aplin played a pivotal role in leading ASU to the outright Sun Belt Championship as the Red Wolves also became the first team in the Sun Belt's 11 year history to win 10 regular-season games. The junior quarterback currently ranks 10th nationally in total offense with 320 yards per game and has passed for 18 touchdowns and rushed for another 10 touchdowns.

Joiner earned outstanding defensive honors after a regular season that saw him rank fourth in the nation in sacks, while also being among the national leaders in tackles for loss. The senior defensive lineman was a key in ASU's league leading defense that also ranked 19th nationally in yards allowed per game.

Joining the two Red Wolves on the list of individual standouts is Western Kentucky's Bobby Rainey who was named the Sun Belt Offensive Player of the Year after he did his part in leading the Hilltoppers to a 7-1 record in Sun Belt play and a second place finish in the league. The senior running back currently ranks first nationally in net rushing yards and second in average rushing yards per game.

Louisiana-Lafayette freshman running back Alonzo Harris garnered Freshman of the Year honors. Harris earned the starting job at running back for the Cajuns in the fifth week of the season and aided ULL in their 8-4 campaign.

ASU's Hugh Freeze was named the Sun Belt Conference's Coach of the Year in his first and only year as the head of the Red Wolves.

ASU led the award winners with 15 total selections. ULL had 11 total selections and WKU had 9 honorees.

The Sun Belt Conference will send three teams to postseason bowl games for the second consecutive season and only the second time in the league's brief 11 year history. ASU, FIU, ULL and WKU all finished the regular season with bowl eligible records, marking the fourth time in league history that the Sun Belt has had four bowl eligible teams.

First Team All-Sun Belt Conference Offense

Ryan Aplin (Arkansas State, Jr., QB)

Lance Dunbar (North Texas, Sr., RB)

Bobby Rainey (WKU, Sr., RB)

Dwayne Frampton (Arkansas State, Sr., WR)

T.Y. Hilton (FIU, Sr., WR)

Javone Lawson (Louisiana-Lafayette, WR, Jr.)

Ladarius Green (Louisiana-Lafayette, TE, Sr.)

Tom Castilaw (Arkansas State, Sr., OL)

Colin Boss (Middle Tennessee, r-Sr., OL)

Matt Tomlinson (North Texas, Sr., OL)

Wes Jeffries (WKU, Sr., OL)

James Brown (Troy, Sr., OL)

First Team All-Sun Belt Conference Defense

Brandon Joiner (Arkansas State, Sr., DL)

Bernard Smith (Louisiana-Lafayette, DL, Sr.)

Ken Dorsey (Louisiana-Monroe, Sr., DL)

Jonathan Massaquoi (Troy, Jr., DL)

Demario Davis (Arkansas State, Sr., LB)

Lance Kelley (Louisiana-Lafayette, Sr., LB)

Andrew Jackson (WKU, So., LB)

Darryl Feemster (Arkansas State, Sr., DB)

Kelcie McCray (Arkansas State, Sr., DB)

Dwight "Bill" Bentley (Louisiana-Lafayette, DB, Sr.)

Darius Prelow (Louisiana-Monroe, Sr., DB)

First Team All-Sun Belt Conference Special Teams

Jack Griffin (FIU, Jr., PK)

Will Atterberry (North Texas, Jr., P)

T.Y. Hilton (FIU, Sr., Return Specialist)

T.Y. Hilton (FIU, Sr., All Purpose)

Second Team All-Sun Belt Conference Offense

Blaine Gautier (Louisiana-Lafayette, QB, Jr.)

Alfred Morris (Florida Atlantic, Sr., RB)

Kedrick Rhodes (FIU, So., RB)

Josh Jarboe (Arkansas State, Jr., WR)

Brent Leonard (Louisiana-Monroe, Jr., WR)

Eric Thomas (Troy, So., WR)

Jack Doyle (WKU, Jr., TE)

Delano Moore (Arkansas State, Sr., OL)

Caylin Hauptmann (FIU, R-Jr., OL)

Leonardo Bates (Louisiana-Lafayette, OL, Jr.)

Brandon McLeroy (Middle Tennessee, Sr., OL)

Adam Smith (WKU, Jr., OL)

Second Team All-Sun Belt Conference Defense

Dorvus Woods (Arkansas State, Sr., DL)

Tourek Williams (FIU, Jr., DL)

Brandon Akpunku (North Texas, Sr., DL)

Quanterus Smith (WKU, Jr., DL)

Nathan Herrold (Arkansas State, Jr., LB)

Winston Fraser (FIU, r-Jr., LB)

Zachary Orr (North Texas, So., LB)

Darron Edwards (Arkansas State, Sr., DB)

Jonathan Cyprien (FIU, Jr., DB)

Brynden Trawick (Troy, Jr., DB)

Derrius Brooks (WKU, Sr., DB)

Second Team All-Sun Belt Conference Special Teams

Brett Baer (Louisiana-Lafayette, Jr., PK)

Brett Baer (Louisiana-Lafayette, Jr., P)

Luther Ambrose (ULM, Sr., Return Specialist)

Dwayne Frampton (Arkansas State, Sr., All Purpose)

Player of the Year

Ryan Aplin (Arkansas State, Jr., QB)

Offensive Player of the Year

Bobby Rainey (WKU, Sr., RB)

Defensive Player of the Year

Brandon Joiner (Arkansas State, Sr., DL)

Freshman of the Year

Alonzo Harris (Louisiana-Lafayette, RB, Fr.)

Coach of the Year

Hugh Freeze, Arkansas State

Honorable Mention All-Conference

Taylor Stockemer (Arkansas State, Jr., WR); Neely Sullivent (Arkansas State, Sr., P); Sam McRoy (Florida Atlantic, Sr., OL); Randell Johnson (Florida Atlantic, So., LB); Rupert Bryan (FIU, Jr., OL); James Jones (FIU, Sr., DL); Devon Lewis-Buchanan (Louisiana-Lafayette, LB, Sr.); Melvin White (Louisiana-Lafayette, DB, Sr.); Omar McLendon (Middle Tennessee, Jr., DL); Eric Russell (Middle Tennessee, Sr., DB/RS); Troy Evans (ULM, Sr., DL); Jason Edwards (ULM, Sr., LB); Cyril Lemon (North Texas, Fr., OL); Brelan Chancellor (North Texas, So., AP); Tony Davis (Troy, Jr., DL); Kanorris Davis (Troy, Jr., LB); Jared Clendenin (WKU, Sr., DL); Bo Adebayo (WKU, Sr., DL)