JONESBORO, Ark. (AStateRedWolves.com) – The Arkansas State football team has placed 10 players, including five first-team selections, on the Phil Steele's Midseason All-Sun Belt Conference Team.
The Red Wolves 10 selections tied Louisiana-Lafayette and Louisiana-Monroe for the most in the conference, and their five first-team picks matched the most along with the Ragin' Cajuns. The A-State offense and defense were both represented by four players, and two Red Wolves made the list as special teams choices.
Arkansas State's first-team selections included sophomore center Bryce Giddens (Moultrie, Ga.), senior guard Steven Haunga (Richmond, Calif.), senior defensive lineman Ryan Carrethers (Nashville, Tenn.), sophomore cornerback Rocky Hayes (Heflin, Ala.) and senior kicker Brian Davis (Brentwood, Tenn.).
Giddens and Haunga have both started every game, helping lead the Red Wolves' offense to 479.7 yards per game, which ranks second in the Sun Belt. Davis leads the Sun Belt in scoring by kick (8.0 ppg), field goals made (1.5 pg) and field goal percentage (9-of-9).
Defensively, Carrethers is ranked second on the team and 13th in the conference in tackles with 6.3 per game, and he also has a team-best 3.5 sacks on the year. Hayes, who has a team-high two interceptions, is ranked first in the league in passes defended with 1.3 per game to go along with 21 tackles on the year.
The Red Wolves' second-team selections included senior running back David Oku (Midwest City, Okla.), senior wide receiver Julian Jones (Germantown, Tenn.), junior linebacker Qushaun Lee (Prattville, Ala.) and senior safety Sterling Young (Hoover, Ala.). Sophomore wide receiver J.D. McKissic (Phenix City, Ala.) was also a second-team choice as a kick returner.
Oku has rushed for a team-high 396 yards, averaging 66.0 yards per game to rank fourth in the SBC. He has also posted 100 receiving yards to give him 496 all-purpose yards, which ranks ninth in the conference. Jones leads the league in receptions per game (6.2) and is averaging 78.2 receiving yards per game to rank third.
Lee is on pace to record over 100 tackles for the second straight season, holding the conference's third best tackles per game average (9.0). Young is the Red Wolves' third-leading tackler with 35 and his 5.8 stops per game is the conference's 14th best average.
McKissic, who returned a kickoff 98 yards for a touchdown against Idaho, is ranked third in the conference with a 31.0 average per return. He is also ranked third in the Sun Belt in all-purpose yards with 759, which includes 80 rushing, 296 receiving, 73 punt return and 310 kickoff return yards.