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League-Best 12 Apps Earn All-Sun Belt Honors


Running back Jalin Moore (Shelby, N.C.) is the Sun Belt’s Offensive Player of the Year and cornerback Clifton Duck (Matthews, N.C.) is the Freshman of the Year to highlight Appalachian State’s share of the 2016 Sun Belt Football Postseason Awards, announced on Wednesday.

Appalachian State, the 2016 Sun Belt Champions with Arkansas State, led the way with 12 players on the all-conference teams. Five Mountaineers earned first team honors, including Moore and Duck, while six landed on the second team. Three App State offensive linemen earn All-Sun Belt spots led by Parker Collins (N. Augusta, S.C.) and Colby Gossett (Cumming, Ga.) who were named First Team All-Sun Belt, while Beau Nunn earned a second team spot. Defensively, Duck and fellow cornerback Mondo Williams (Iowa City, Ia.) both earned First Team All-Sun Belt Defense honors. Running back Marcus Cox (Dacula, Ga.) and wide receiver Shaedon Meadors (Duncan, S.C.) joined Nunn on the Second Team Offense. Defensive tackles Dezmin Reed (Atlanta, Ga.) and Tee Sims (Covington, Ga.) both earned second team spots along with linebackers Eric Boggs (Belton, S.C.) and Kennan Gilchrist (Abbeville, S.C.).

Freshman offensive lineman Vic Johnson (N. Augusta, S.C.) was named to the Sun Belt All-Newcomer Team, while quarterback Taylor Lamb (Calhoun, Ga.), tight end Barrett Burns (Woodstock, Ga.), nose tackle Myquon Stout (China Grove, N.C.) and safety A.J. Howard (Hamilton, Ga.) all earned All-Sun Belt Honorable Mention. 

Moore led the Sun Belt in rushing and sparked the conference’s top rushing attack. The sophomore averaged 113.9 yards per game, good for 13th nationally and was second in the league with 10 rushing touchdowns. His breakout performance came in the form of a 39-carry, 257-yard effort against Akron in late September. Moore rushed for over 100 yards in eight of the App’s final nine games, helping the Mountaineers finish with the league’s No. 1 rushing offense (245.6 ypg).

Duck shined during a dominant and historic season for App State’s defense. The Mountaineers allowed only 94 points in Sun Belt play, the only FBS team to surrender fewer than 100 points in conference games. He was a key part of one of the top defensive backfields in the country in 2016. The Apps finished the regular season with 20 interceptions, third nationally. Duck had five interceptions, which tied for second in the Sun Belt. His 44-yard interception return for a touchdown sparked App to a big second half in a 37-19 win over Idaho. Duck would earn Sun Belt Defensive Player of the Week honors in the win. He led the league with 13 passes defended and was fourth on the team with 54 tackles.

Collins, Gossett, and Nunn paved the way for App State to roll up almost 3,000 yards rushing during the regular season, en route to the nation’s No. 13 rushing offense and the league’s top offense in conference play. App averaged 262.5 yards per game in Sun Belt play, almost 60 yards more than any other team. App led the Sun Belt in league play in numerous offensive categories including total offense (452.5 ypg) Collins and Gossett started every game on the App O-line. Collins has made 32 consecutive starts to close out his career and graded out at 91 percent as a senior. Gossett has also made 32 straight starts and graded out at 88 percent.  Nunn graded out at 93 percent, the highest of any App offensive linemen, and finished with 50 knockdowns and 15 pancake blocks.

Williams was also part of the App’s 20 interceptions and the “Legion of Boone” during 2016. He finished with four interceptions on the season including a one-handed pick in the season finale at New Mexico State that landed on SportsCenter’s Top 10 that night and was second on the team with six pass break-ups.

Cox’s season will be one to remember both for the senior running back and App State fans. His 25-yard touchdown run against UL Monroe made him the school’s all-time leading rusher. He needs 40 yards for 5,000 for his career, a feat fewer than 25 backs ever have accomplished. Cox also needs 128 yards to reach 1,000 for the season in only nine games. He averaged 109 yards per game, good for second in the league only to Moore, and had eight rushing touchdowns.

Meadors’ breakout season came as Sun Belt play began. He had three consecutive 100-yard receiving games in league play, eventually finishing fifth in the league with 43 receptions and third with 698 yards.

Reed, Boggs, Sims, and Gilchrist were all key pieces of a dominant App front seven. The Mountaineers led the Sun Belt in scoring and total defense, allowing only 94 points in Sun Belt play. Only two teams scored more than one offense TD against the Apps in conference play and three didn’t score one at all.

Reed and Sims tied for the team lead in sacks with six apiece. Reed had two sacks in App’s shutout of Louisiana, 24-0, in October and had a sack in five different games to go with 7.5 tackles for loss. Sims had six tackles and 11 tackles for loss during his first full season for App. His two sacks at Akron, including one on the Zips’ last-gasp drive, helped preserve a 45-38 win.

Boggs and Gilchrist were two of the best linebackers in the Sun Belt all season long.

Boggs led App State with 92 total tackles and added 4.5 tackles for loss. He had double figures in tackles in four of the Mountaineers first five games with 12 against Tennessee and 10 against Miami. He had three interceptions – all in Sun Belt play. The junior started every game at inside linebacker and has made 31 consecutive starts. Boggs had one of four App interceptions in the 17-3 win over Georgia State, the most by the Apps since 2010.

Gilchrist led App and was 10th in the Sun Belt with 11 TFLs. He earned Sun Belt Defensive Player of the Week honors with 15 tackles and 3.5 tackles for loss in a 35-10 win over Texas State. Gilchrist’s hit against Tennessee quarterback Josh Dobbs’ fumble on third-and-goal in overtime nearly gave App a win at then-No. 9 Tennessee to open the season. He had 8.5 TFLs in Sun Belt play and was second on the team with 80 tackles.

Lamb and Burns earned honorable mention honors in leading the conference’s No. 2 scoring offense. Lamb completed 62.5 percent of his passes while tossing 14 touchdowns and running for eight more. He is third in App State history with over 8,000 career yards of total offense. Burns had 17 receptions for 208 yards on the season and is tied for the App career lead in touchdown receptions by a tight end.

Defensively, Stout and Howard earned honorable mention spots as key parts of the App defense. Stout plugged the middle from his nose tackle spot to help App lead the league in total defense and finish second in rushing defense. The sophomore started all 12 games at nose tackle and finished with 19 stops to go with three TFLs. Howard started all 12 games at safety, finishing the season with three interceptions and was fifth on the team with 52 tackles. The sophomore returned an interception 71 yards for a TD against Troy to give the Apps’ their first score.

Freshman Vic Johnson was named to the Sun Belt All-Newcomer Team. Johnson started all 12 games at left tackle, finishing with 30 knockdowns and nine pancakes. He allowed only one sack.

2016 Sun Belt Football All-Conference Teams and Awards Winners

First Team All-Sun Belt Conference Offense

  • #12 Brandon Silvers (Troy, Junior, QB)
  • #25 Jalin Moore (App State, Sophomore, RB)
  • #38 Jordan Chunn (Troy, Junior, RB)
  • #19 Robert Davis (Georgia State, Senior, WR)
  • #2 Al Riles (Louisiana, Senior, WR)
  • #8 Emanuel Thompson (Troy, Junior, WR)
  • #12 Gerald Everett (South Alabama, Senior, TE)
  • #75 Parker Collins (App State, Senior, OL)
  • #70 Colby Gossett (App State, Junior, OL)
  • #79 Jemar Clark (A-State, Senior, OL)
  • #60 Andy Kwon (GS, Senior, OL)
  • #53 Antonio Garcia (`Troy, Senior, OL)

First Team All-Sun Belt Conference Defense

  • #93 Chris Odom (A-State, Senior, DL)
  • #11 Ja’Von Rolland-Jones (A-State, Junior, DL)
  • #20 Randy Allen (South Alabama, Senior, DL)
  • #7 Rashad Dillard (Troy, Senior, DL)
  • #27 Ironhead Gallon (GS, Senior, LB)
  • #7 Otha Peters (Louisiana, Senior, LB)
  • #53 Rodney Butler (NM State, Senior, LB)
  • #22 Clifton Duck (App State, Freshman, DB)
  • #4 Mondo Williams (App State, Senior, DB)
  • #27 Money Hunter (A-State, Senior, DB)
  • #2 Bobby Baker (Georgia State, Senior, DB)
  • #1 Jeremy Reaves (South Alabama, Junior, DB)

First Team All-Sun Belt Conference Special Teams

  • #9 Younghoe Koo (GS, Senior, PK)
  • #5 Austin Rehkow (Idaho, Senior, P)
  • #5 Jabir Frye (Troy, Freshman, RS)
  • #38 Jordan Chunn (Troy, Junior, AP)

Second Team All-Sun Belt Conference Offense

  • #10 Matt Linehan (Idaho, Junior, QB)
  • #14 Marcus Cox (App State, Senior, RB)
  • #15 Elijah McGuire (Louisiana, Senior, RB)
  • #6 Shaedon Meadors (App State, Junior, WR)
  • #1 Josh Magee (South Alabama, Senior, WR)
  • #80 Deondre Douglas (Troy, Sophomore, WR)
  • #16 Blake Mack (A-State, Junior, TE)
  • #50 Beau Nunn (App State, Senior, OL)
  • #61 Colton Jackson (A-State, Senior, OL)
  • #61 Steve Matlock (Idaho, Senior, OL)
  • #50 Jeff Savage (ULM, Senior, OL)
  • #72 Tyler Lassiter (Troy, Senior, OL)

Second Team All-Sun Belt Conference Defense

  • #48 Dezmin Reed (App State, Senior, DL)
  • #42 Tee Sims (App State, Junior, DL)
  • #97 Aikeem Coleman (Idaho, Junior, DL)
  • #44 Tueni Luupeamanu (Idaho, Senior, DL)
  • #3 Joe Dillon (Louisiana, Freshman, DL)
  • #45 Eric Boggs (App State, Junior, LB)
  • #6 Kennan Gilchrist (App State, Senior, LB)
  • #55 Xavier Woodson-Luster (A-State, Senior, LB)
  • #21 Cody Brown (A-State, Senior, DB)
  • #10 Justin Clifton (A-State, Sophomore, DB)
  • #21 Jaden Wright (NM State, Junior, DB)
  • #22 Jalen Rountree (Troy, Senior, DB)

Second Team All-Sun Belt Conference Special Teams

  • #5 Austin Rehkow (Idaho, Senior, PK)
  • #39 Brandon McKee (South Alabama, Senior, P)
  • #1 Blaise Taylor (A-State, Junior, RS)
  • #6 Warren Wand (A-State, Sophomore, AP)

Player of the Year

  • #11 Ja’Von Rolland-Jones (A-State, Junior, DL)

Offensive Player of the Year

  • #25 Jalin Moore (App State, Sophomore, RB)

Defensive Player of the Year

  • #7 Rashad Dillard (Troy, Senior, DL)

Freshman of the Year

  • #22 Clifton Duck (App State, Freshman, DB)

Newcomer of the Year

  • #97 Aikeem Coleman (Idaho, Junior, DL)

Coach of the Year

  • Paul Petrino, Idaho

All-Sun Belt Conference Honorable Mention

  • Barrett Burns (App State, Sr., TE)
  • J. Howard (App State, So. DB)
  • Taylor Lamb (App State, Jr., QB)
  • Myquon Stout (App State, So,. DL)
  • Justice Hansen (Arkansas State, So., QB)
  • Chris Humes (Arkansas State, Sr., DB)
  • Waylon Roberson (Arkansas State, Sr., DL)
  • Kendall Sanders (Arkansas State, Sr. WR)
  • Kevin Ellison (Georgia Southern, DB, Sr., QB)
  • Darius Jones, Jr. (Georgia Southern, Sr., CB)
  • Ukeme Eligwe (Georgia Southern, Jr., LB)
  • BJ Johnson III (Georgia Southern, Sr., WR)
  • Shawanye Lawrence (Georgia State, Senior, DL) 
  • Alonzo McGee (Georgia State, Senior, LB)
  • Keith Rucker (Georgia State, Senior, TE)
  • Chandon Sullivan (Georgia State, Junior, DB)
  • Trent Cowan (Idaho, Sr., Tight end)
  • Kaden Elliss (Idaho, So., Linebacker)
  • Tony Lashley (Idaho, So., Linebacker)
  • Jordan Rose (Idaho, Jr., Offensive line)
  • Keenan Barnes (Louisiana, So., WR)
  • Karmichael Dunbar (Louisiana, Sr., DL)
  • Eddie Gordon (Louisiana, Sr., OL)
  • Tre’maine Lightfoot (Louisiana, Sr., LB)
  • Justin Backus (ULM, Sr., DB)
  • David Griffith (ULM, So., LB)
  • Ajalen Holley (ULM, Sr., WR)
  • Frank Sutton, Jr. (ULM, Jr., OL)
  • Kourtland Busby (NM State, Jr., DL)
  • Greg Hogan (NM State, RJr., WR)
  • Anthony McMeans (NM State, Sr., OL)
  • Tyler Rogers (NM State, Sr., QB)
  • Roman Buchanan (South Alabama, Sr., LB)
  • Kalen Jackson (South Alabama, Sr., DB)
  • Xavier Johnson (South Alabama, Jr., RB/RS)
  • Kevin Kutchera (South Alabama, Sr., WR)
  • Ryan Kay (Troy, Sr., PK)
  • William Lloyd (Troy, Sr., LB)
  • Kamryn Melton (Troy, Jr., DB)
  • Baron Poole (Troy, Jr., DL)
  • Aaron Brewer (Texas State, Fr., OL)
  • Bryan London (Texas State, RS Fr., LB)
  • Gabe Loyd (Texas State, Jr., LB)
  • Jordan Mittie (Texas State, RS Fr., DE)

2016 Sun Belt Conference Newcomer Team

  • Vic Johnson (App State, Fr., OL)
  • Kyle Wilson (Arkansas State, Jr., LB)
  • Ukeme Eligwe (GS, Jr., LB)
  • Conner Manning (Georgia State, Jr., QB)
  • Noah Johnson (Idaho, Fr., OL)
  • Kevin Dotson (Louisiana, Fr., OL)
  • Dayton Balvantz (ULM, Sr., P)
  • Sage Doxtater (NM State, Fr., OL)
  • Kris Weatherspoon (Troy, Jr., DB)
  • Darrell Songy (South Alabama, Jr., LB) 
  • Bryan London (Texas State, RS Fr., LB)

-App State-