Arkansas State DE/LB Kivon Bennett named to Lombardi Award watch list

Arkansas State DL
Arkansas State DL
Published: Jul. 4, 2022 at 4:31 PM CDT|Updated: Aug. 1, 2022 at 7:09 PM CDT
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JONESBORO, Ark. (KAIT) - Arkansas State football is in the spotlight in Watch List Season.

Kivon Bennett was selected to the Lombardi Award watch list on Monday. The accolade goes to the top lineman or linebacker in the nation. He ranked first on the team and sixth in the Sun Belt with 8.0 sacks for 42 yards in 2021. He led the team with 16.5 tackles for loss and also had a team-high five quarterback hurries. Bennett is the first Lombardi Trophy Watch List honoree for A-State since Chris Stone was on the initial list in 2015.

Te’Vailance Hunt was selected to the Biletnikoff Award watch list. He was one of 3 Sun Belt players picked, the honor goes to the outstanding FBS receiver. Hunt had 51 catches for 740 yards and 6 TD in 2021. The Texas native had 138 yds vs. Coastal Carolina and 123 yds vs. Memphis. He had 2 scores in the 2nd half in the Red Wolves win at ULM. Hunt earned postseason All-Sun Belt honors last season from the conference, Phil Steele, & Pro Football Focus.

Johnnie Lang Jr. was selected to the Doak Walker Award watch list. It’s the 10th straight season that A-State lands on the list, the honor goes to the nation’s top college running back. He was one of 12 Sun Belt standouts to earn the preseason accolade. Lang shined in the punt return game for the Red Wolves in 2021. He had 124 yards on 15 returns, leading the SBC with an average of 8 yds per return. Lang had a 63 yard score against Tulsa. The Florida native was 2nd on the team in rushing yards with 263. He appeared in all 12 games for A-State in 2022.

Several outlets are releasing their preseason All-Sun Belt picks, and several Arkansas State players were picked to be All-Sun Belt caliber players. The Shrine Bowl has 2 Red Wolves on their radar as possible selections for the 2023 All-Star matchup.

  • DE/LB Kivon Bennett (Sr.): Lombardi Award watch list, Athlon Sports First-Team All-Defense, Phil Steele’s Third-Team LB, Shrine Bowl 1000
    • Bennett recorded 16 and a half tackles for a loss in 2021, leading the conference with 8 sacks.
  • KR/PR Johnnie Lang (Sr.): Doak Walker Award watch list, Athlon Sports First-Team All-Special Teams, Phil Steele’s Second-Team Punt Returner
    • Lang led the SBC with 8 yards per punt return, including a 63-yard TD at Tulsa.
  • WR Te’Vailance Hunt (Sr.): Biletnikoff Award watch list, Athlon Sports Second-Team All-Offense, Phil Steele’s Fourth-Team WR.
    • Hunt had 51 catches for 740 yards and 6 touchdowns, including two games eclipsing the 100-yard mark.
  • P Ryan Hanson (Soph.): Athlon Sports Fourth-Team All-Special Teams, Phil Steele’s Second-Team P
    • Hanson averaged 44 yards per punt in 2021, good for 3rd in the Sun Belt. He landed 22 punts inside the 20 (5th Sun Belt) with a long of 67 (2nd-longest in SBC).
  • TE Emmanual Stevenson (Soph.): Athlon Sports Fourth-Team All-Offense
    • The pride of Eufaula had 22 grabs for 193 yards and 2 scores in his true freshman season.
  • OL Ethan Miner (Soph.): Athlon Sports Fourth-Team All-Offense
    • Miner started 11 games last season, lining up at left guard and center. He allowed just two sacks last season.
  • CB Leon Jones (Sr.): Shrine Bowl 1000
    • Jones played in all 12 games last season, made 7 starts at cornerback. Led Red Wolves with 8 pass breakups. Jones had 23 tackles, 1 TFL, and 1 interception.

Arkansas State kicks off the season on September 3rd at home against Grambling.

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