A-State’s Adams named Sun Belt Offensive Player of the Year

Sun Belt Communications

NEW ORLEANS – The 2020 regular-season Sun Belt Conference football postseason awards were unveiled on Monday morning.

Coastal Carolina led in All-Sun Belt selections with 16, including 10 on the first team (five on offense; four on defense, one on special teams), followed by App State and Louisiana having 14 each.  Georgia State finished with 10, the most ever selected from the program among the three teams, while Shamarious Gilmore is the program’s first four-time honoree.

SBC Co-champions and East Division champion Coastal Carolina claimed five of the top six honors, led by the Chanticleers’ redshirt freshman quarterback, Grayson McCall, being named Player of the Year and Freshman of the Year. McCall was joined by teammates’ redshirt senior defensive end Tarron Jackson, who was named Defensive Player of the Year, and junior cornerback D’Jordan Strong was named the Sun Belt’s Newcomer of the Year. Coastal’s head coach Jamey Chadwell earned Coach of the Year honors for the team’s performance. Arkansas State senior wide receiver Jonathan Adams Jr. was named Offensive Player of the Year. McCall, Jackson, Strong, and Adams Jr., also received All-Sun Belt First Team recognition.

Coastal’s McCall ranks eighth in the NCAA Football Bowl Subdivision in points responsible for (176) and passing efficiency (185.9) and is 10th in passing touchdowns (23) and yards per pass attempt (9.95). The redshirt freshman is a semifinalist for both the Davey O’Brien National Quarterback Award the Maxwell Award and is a finalist for the Manning Award. He is also one of four freshmen this year named to the Football Writers Association of America (FWAA) “Fresh Four” and was tabbed as the Manning “Star of the Week” for the third time.

The Red Wolves’ Adams Jr. has made his name known in the nation’s statistical rankings among wide receivers this season. The senior ranks third in receiving touchdowns (12), fifth in receiving yards (1,111), ninth in receptions per game (7.9), and tenth in receiving yards per game (111.1). The Jonesboro, Arkansas native currently ranks second All-Time at Arkansas State for receiving touchdowns (21), third for receptions (166), and fifth for receiving yards (2,306).  His 21 career touchdown grabs are also tied for the fifth-most in Sun Belt Conference history. Plus, Adams is one of 11 semifinalists for this season’s Biletnikoff Award.

Jackson played in all 11 games this year for the Chanticleers and racked up 13.5 tackles for a loss and 8.5 sacks for 50 yards during the regular season. The redshirt senior registered 10 tackles (4 solo, 6 assisted), 2.5 tackles for a loss, 2.5 sacks, and a forced fumble against South Alabama back on November 7.  His performance this year makes him one of the keys to the Coastal Carolina defense as one of four pass-rushers for Coastal this season that rank in the Sun Belt Top 10. Jackson is also a semifinalist for the Bednarik Award.

Strong, who transferred in this year, closed out his first year with Coastal tallying 26 tackles, 21 of them being solos, and is first on the team in passes defended with 11. His five interceptions this season rank him first with one returned for a pick-six against App State. The junior registered a team-high two interceptions twice this season against Georgia Southern (October 24) and App State (November 21).

Player of the Year
Grayson McCall, Coastal Carolina

Offensive Player of the Year
Jonathan Adams, Arkansas State

Defensive Player of the Year
Tarron Jackson, Coastal Carolina

Freshman of the Year
Grayson McCall, Coastal Carolina

Newcomer of the Year
D’Jordan Strong, Coastal Carolina

Coach of the Year
Jamey Chadwell, Coastal Carolina

All-Sun Belt First Team

Offense
Grayson McCall, Coastal Carolina, QB
CJ Marable, Coastal Carolina, RB
Elijah Mitchell, Louisiana, RB
Isaiah Likely, Coastal Carolina, TE
Jonathan Adams, Arkansas State, WR
Jaivon Heiligh, Coastal Carolina, WR
Jalen Tolbert, South Alabama, WR
Noah Hannon, App State, OL
Trey Carter, Coastal Carolina, OL
Shamarious Gilmore, Georgia State, OL
Austin Stidham, Troy, OL
Baer Hunter, App State, OL

Defense
Tarron Jackson, Coastal Carolina, DL
Demetrius Taylor, App State, DL
Raymond Johnson, Georgia Southern, DL
Jeffrey Gunter, Coastal Carolina, DL
C.J. Brewer, Coastal Carolina, DL
Carlton Martial, Troy, LB
Justin Rice, Arkansas State, LB
Riley Cole, South Alabama, LB
D’Jordan Strong, Coastal Carolina, DB
Shemar Jean-Charles, App State, DB
Shaun Jolly, App State, DB
Derrick Canteen, Georgia Southern, DB

Specialists
Noel Ruiz, Georgia State, Kicker
Jack Martin, Troy, Punter
CJ Marable, Coastal Carolina, All Purpose
Chris Smith, Louisiana, Return Specialist

All-Sun Belt Second Team

Offense
Levi Lewis, Louisiana, QB
Trey Ragas, Louisiana, RB
Camerun Peoples, App State, RB
Josh Pederson, ULM, TE
Kawaan Baker, South Alabama, WR
Kaylon Geiger, Troy, WR
Sam Pinckney, Georgia State, WR
O’Cyrus Torrence, Louisiana, OL
Cooper Hodges, App State, OL
Dylan Bradshaw, Troy, OL
Willie Lampkin, Coastal Carolina, OL
Max Mitchell, Louisiana, OL

Defense
Will Choloh, Troy, DL
Zi’Yon Hill, Louisiana, DL
Forrest Merrill, Arkansas State, DL
Hardrick Willis, Georgia State, DL
Silas Kelly, Coastal Carolina, LB
Rashad Byrd, Georgia Southern, LB
D’Marco Jackson, App State, LB
Bralen Trahan, Louisiana, DB
Quavian White, Georgia State, DB
Terence Dunlap, Troy, DB
Jarron Morris, Texas State, DB
Antavious Lane, Georgia State, DB

Specialists
Massimo Biscardi, Coastal Carolina, Kicker
Rhys Byrns, Louisiana, Punter
Jeremiah Haydel, Texas State, All Purpose
Jeremiah Haydel, Texas State, Return Specialist

All-Sun Belt Third Team

Offense
Zac Thomas, App State, QB
Destin Coates, Georgia State, RB
Daetrich Harrington, App State, RB
Thomas Hennigan, App State, WR
Marcell Barbee, Texas State, WR
Malik Williams, App State, WR
Roger Carter, Georgia State, TE
Ken Marks, Louisiana, OL
Ryan Neuzil, App State, OL
Aaron Dowdell, Georgia Southern, OL
Sam Thompson, Coastal Carolina, OL
Shane Vallot, Louisiana, OL

Defense
Nico Ezidore, Texas State, DL
Richard Jibunor, Troy, DL
Dontae Wilson, Georgia State, DL
Jeremiah Littles, South Alabama, DL
Jordan Strachan, Georgia State, LB
Lorenzo McCaskill, Louisiana, LB
Teddy Gallagher, Coastal Carolina, LB
Keith Gallmon, South Alabama, DB
Eric Garror, Louisiana, DB
Alex Spillum, Coastal Carolina, DB
Kaiden Smith, App State, DB
Dell Pettus, Troy, DB

Specialists
Diego Guajardo, South Alabama, Kicker
Anthony Beck, Georgia Southern, Punter
Chris Smith, Louisiana, All Purpose
Jalen Virgil, App State, Return Specialist

Honorable Mentions

App State
Brendan Harrington, OLB
Ryan Huff, DB
Caleb Spurlin, DE
Henry Pearson, TE

Arkansas State
TW Ayers, DE/TE
Logan Bonner, QB
Brandon Bowling, WR
Layne Hatcher, QB

Coastal Carolina
Enock Makonzo, SPUR
Antwine Loper, OL
Reese White, RB
Steven Bedosky, OL

Georgia Southern
JD King, RB
Ryan Langan, LS
Shai Werts, QB
Anthony Wilson, S

Georgia State
Blake Carroll, LB
Cornelius McCoy, WR
Trajan Stephens-McQueen, LB
Malik Sumter, OL

Louisiana
Ferrod Gardner, LB
Tayland Humphrey, DL
Mekhi Garner, CB
Percy Butler, S

ULM
Austin Hawley, DB
Evan Henry, OL
Ty Shelby, DL
Traveion Webster, LB

South Alabama
Brandon Crum, TE
Carlos Davis, RB
Gi’Narious Johnson, DL
Nick Mobley, LB

Texas State
Russell Baker, OL
Dalton Cooper, OL
Seamus O’Kelly, Punter
Brock Sturges, RB

Troy
Javon Solomon, DL
Kimani Vidal, RB
Reggie Todd, WR
K.J. Robertson, LB

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