Jonesboro, AR (A-State) – A league-high 11 Arkansas State student-athletes have received 12 selections to the 2016 Preseason All-Sun Belt Conference Football Team, announced Friday by the conference office.
Not only were the Red Wolves' 12 total selections four more than the next closest team in the conference, they saw a league-best eight players tabbed first team. South Alabama's eight total picks were the second highest among the conference's 11 teams, while Appalachian State and Georgia Southern followed A-State's first-team honorees with four each.
Arkansas State placed four offensive and seven defensive players on the all-conference squad. Junior cornerback Blaise Taylor was a first-team selection as a return specialist in addition to being named second-team defense.
Representing the A-State offense, junior wide receiver Dijon Paschall and senior offensive linemen Jemar Clark and Colton Jackson earned first-team recognition. Senior offensive lineman Devin Mondie was a second-team choice.
The Red Wolves' first-team defensive selections included senior defensive lineman Waylon Roberson, junior defensive end Ja'Von Rolland-Jones, senior linebacker Xavier Woodson-Luster and senior safety Cody Brown. Junior linebacker Khari Lain and senior safety Chris Humes joined Taylor as second-team picks.
New Mexico State junior running back Larry Rose III and Appalachian State senior linebacker John Law were named the Sun Belt Conference Preseason Offensive and Defensive Player of the Year, respectively. The conference's head coaches and select media members chose the 2015 Preseason All-Sun Belt teams.
All four A-State offensive selections have helped the team break numerous school records the last two seasons, including total offense (6,174 yards in 2014), average yards total offense (476.5 yards per game in 2014), points scored (520 in 2015) and touchdowns scored (26 in 2015).
The Red Wolves' seven defensive selections were all members of last year's team that led the nation in interceptions (school-record 26) and defensive touchdowns (8), while also ranking second in the country in turnovers gained (34).
The Red Wolves compiled a 9-4 overall record last season and claimed the Sun Belt title with a perfect 8-0 mark. Sun Belt champs in 2011, 2012 and 2013 as well, A-State is the only FBS program in the nation to win four league championships over the last five seasons.
Arkansas State will kick off its season with a home game against Toledo on Friday, Sept. 2. Season tickets for the Red Wolves' 2016 football campaign, which includes six home games, are available for purchase. Arkansas State has strung together 11 consecutive years with a winning home record dating back to 2005 and has won 26 of its last 30 games at Centennial Bank Stadium.
2016 Preseason All-Sun Belt Conference Football Team
First Team Offense
Taylor Lamb (Appalachian State, QB, Jr., Physical Education)
Matt Breida (Georgia Southern, RB, Sr., Accounting)
Larry Rose III (New Mexico State, RB, Jr., Communications)
Dijon Paschal (Arkansas State, WR, Jr., Sport Management)
Robert Davis (Georgia State, WR, Jr., Interdisciplinary Studies)
Penny Hart (Georgia State, WR, So., Exercise Science)
Gerald Everett (South Alabama, TE, Sr., Interdisciplinary Studies)
Parker Collins (Appalachian State, OL, Sr., Interdisciplinary Studies)
Jemar Clark (Arkansas State, OL, Sr., General Studies)
Colton Jackson (Arkansas State, OL, Sr., General Studies)
Andy Kwon (Georgia Southern, OL, Sr., Sport Management)
Antonio Garcia (Troy, OL, Sr., Post Graduate-Criminal Justice)
First Team Defense
Waylon Roberson (Arkansas State, DL, Sr., General Studies)
Ja'Von Rolland-Jones (Arkansas State, DL, Jr., Sport Management)
Bernard Dawson (Georgia Southern, DL, Sr., Information Technology)
Jay Ellison (Georgia Southern, DL, Sr., General Studies)
Rashad Dillard (Troy, DL, Sr., Psychology)
Eric Boggs (Appalachian State, LB, Jr., Physical Education)
John Law (Appalachian State, LB, Sr., Health Promotion)
Xavier Woodson-Luster (Arkansas State, LB, Sr., Sport Management)
Cody Brown (Arkansas State, DB, Sr., Communication Studies)
Bobby Baker (Georgia State, DB, Sr., Speech)
Savion Brown (UL Lafayette, DB, Sr., General Studies)
Jeremy Reaves (South Alabama, DB, Jr., Sports and Recreation Management)
First Team Special Teams
Austin Rehkow (Idaho, P, Sr., Exercise Science and Health)
Austin Rehkow (Idaho, PK, Sr., Exercise Science and Health)
Blaise Taylor (Arkansas State, RS, Jr., Business Administration)
Second Team Offense
Matt Linehan (Idaho, QB, Jr., Broadcast and Digital Media)
Marcus Cox (Appalachian State, RB, Sr., Management)
Elijah McGuire (UL Lafayette, RB, Sr., General Studies)
Callen Hightower (Idaho, WR, Sr., General Studies)
AJalen Holley (ULM, WR, Sr., Kinesiology)
Josh Magee (South Alabama, WR, Sr., Communication)
Keith Rucker (Georgia State, TE, Sr., Speech)
Colby Gossett (Appalachian State, OL, Jr., Management)
Devin Mondie (Arkansas State, OL, Sr., Communication Studies)
Anthony McMeans (New Mexico State, OL, Sr., Individualized Studies)
Curtis Williams (South Alabama, OL, Sr., Interdisciplinary Studies)
Ryan Melton (Texas State, OL, Sr., Agriculture)
Second Team Defense
Darrius Sapp (Georgia Southern, DL, Jr., General Studies)
Shawanye Lawrence (Georgia State, DL, Sr., Psychology)
Karmichael Dunbar (UL Lafayette, DL, Sr., Criminal Justice)
Taboris Lee (UL Lafayette, DL, Jr., General Studies)
Khari Lain (Arkansas State, LB, Jr., Strategic Communications/Public Relations)
Otha Peters (UL Lafayette, LB, Sr., General Studies)
Roman Buchanan (South Alabama, LB, Sr., Exercise Science)
Chris Humes (Arkansas State, DB, Sr., Health Promotions)
Blaise Taylor (Arkansas State, DB, Jr., Business Administration)
Tracy Walker (UL Lafayette, DB, Jr., Sports Management)
Tre' Hunter (UL Monroe, DB, Sr., General Studies)
Kalen Jackson (South Alabama, DB, Sr., Communication)
Second Team Special Teams
Lumi Kaba (Texas State, P, Sr., Exploratory Professional Studies)
Aleem Sunanon (South Alabama, PK, Sr., Masters of Public Administration)
Xavier Johnson (South Alabama, RS, Jr., Interdisciplinary Studies)
Preseason Sun Belt Conference Offensive Player of the Year
Larry Rose III (New Mexico State, RB, Jr., Communications)
Preseason Sun Belt Conference Defensive Player of the Year