As Athlon Sports looks ahead to the 2016 season, it has high praise for Appalachian State University football.
In recent articles, Athlon has identified Appalachian State as one of “Five Group of Five Teams to Watch” in 2016 while ranking rising junior quarterback Taylor Lamb (Calhoun, Ga./Calhoun) at No. 20 among all 128 projected NCAA Division I FBS starting signal-callers.
In last month’s “Five Group of Five Teams to Watch” article, Athlon’s Steven Lassan writes that “the Mountaineers should be the early favorite to win the Sun Belt next season.” Appalachian, which returns 15 offensive and defensive starters in 2016, is joined on the list by San Diego State, Southern Miss, Toledo and Western Michigan.
In the same article, Lassan also lists App State opponents Tennessee and Miami (Fla.) among his “Top 10 Teams on the Rise for 2016.” The Mountaineers’ open the 2016 campaign at Tennessee on Sept. 3 and hosts five-time national champion Miami on Sept. 17.
On Monday, Lassan ranked Lamb 20th in his “Pre-Spring 1-128 Starting Quarterback Rankings for 2016.” At No. 20, Lamb is the top-rated Sun Belt QB on the list and one of only four “Group of Five” signal-callers in the top 20, joining Houston’s Greg Ward (No. 5), Southern Miss’ Nick Mullens (No. 17) and USF’s Quinton Flowers (No. 19).
Lamb set a school record with 31 touchdown passes as a sophomore in 2015. He threw for 2,387 yards and just nine interceptions to go along with his 31 touchdowns and finished No. 10 nationally with a 161.3 pass-efficiency rating.
The fourth-year-junior-to-be will see how he matches up among the nation’s top signal-callers early in the season, as the Mountaineers face the No. 8- (Miami’s Brad Kaaya) and No. 12-ranked quarterbacks on the list (Tennessee’s Joshua Dobbs) in the first three weeks of the campaign.
The only way to guarantee a seat for September’s highly anticipated showdown at Kidd Brewer Stadium versus Miami is to purchase season tickets, which are on sale now at appstatesports.com/tickets and at (828) 262-2079.
Appalachian State will unveil its newest recruiting class on Wednesday, when prospective student-athletes can sign National Letters of Intent to attend Appalachian. Space is still available for App State’s eighth-annual National Signing Day reception, which is set for Wednesday at 5:30 p.m. at the Appalachian Athletics Center. To register, call the Appalachian State athletics ticket office at (828) 262-2079.
For fans that can’t be in attendance for one of Appalachian State’s most anticipated events of the year, head coach Scott Satterfield’s National Signing Day press conference will air live on App State TV at 3 p.m. and Appalachian’s 2016 National Signing Day reception broadcast will air live on ESPN3 at 6:15 p.m.
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