Appalachian State University football freshman defensive back Clifton Duck added to his already impressive season, as he was named to the USA Today’s Freshman All-American Team.
After being named the Sun Belt’s Freshman of the Year, Duck made a prestigious list that included players from 17 different Power Five schools. He is also one of seven players from Group of Five programs and one of two players from the Sun Belt (Joe Dillon – Louisiana) to crack the list.
Duck made a splash in his first season in a Mountaineer uniform, starting in all 12 games as a true freshman and leading the Apps with five interceptions, eight breakups and 13 deflections. Duck was tied for second in the Sun Belt in picks and first amongst all freshman. In addition, the lockdown cornerback led the league in passes defended and helped an App State squad rank third in the nation in interceptions with 20 while holding Sun Belt opponents to the fewest points allowed in the league with 94.
Appalachian’s pass defense ranked 29th in the country in passing yards allowed at 200.3 per game and third in the conference.
Duck’s numbers were on par with some of the top defensive backs in the nation as he was tied for ninth in the nation in interceptions and was tied with freshman Jessie Bates (Wake Forest) for the most amongst freshmen.
Duck also showed his aggressiveness by recording 54 tackles, which was fourth on the team. Duck’s career-high 13 tackles against Akron (9/24) was a team best this season, while 41 of his tackles were solo stops and notched 2.5 tackles for a loss.
His best stretch of the season came against Idaho and Georgia Southern, where he tallied three interceptions. His two-interception performance against Idaho also included his first career touchdown that came on a pick six.
Duck and the Apps will look to become 2-0 all-time in bowl games on and record a second-consecutive 10-win season against Toledo in the Camellia Bowl on Saturday in Montgomery, Ala. Kickoff is at 5:30 p.m. on ESPN.
App’s Duck Named Sun Belt Freshman of the Year*
Appalachian State’s Clifton Duck (Matthews, N.C.) is the 2016 Sun Belt Freshman of the Year, the league announced Wednesday.
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.
The freshman cornerback 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. Duck also had a season-high 13 tackles and an interception in App’s win at Akron.
App’s Moore Named Sun Belt Offensive Player of the Year
After leading the Sun Belt Conference in rushing and Appalachian State to the Sun Belt Conference Championship, sophomore running back Jalin Moore (Shelby, N.C.) has been named the 2016 Sun Belt Offensive Player of the Year, the conference announced on Wednesday.
Moore averaged 113.9 yards per game in leading the league in rushing, 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, earning Sun Belt Player of the Week honors.
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). He had three games with multiple rushing touchdowns including a 14-carry, 106-yard and two touchdown effort against Louisiana. Moore led the Sun Belt at 6.2 yards per carry, second only to teammate Marcus Cox, who averaged 6.4 yards per rush.
Moore has 2,098 career rushing yards and 15 rushing TDs in two seasons at App State, despite sharing the backfield with Cox, App’s all-time leading rusher. Cox and Moore combined to both go over 100 yards in four of App’s final five games.
A league best 12 Appalachian State football players earned All-Sun Belt Conference honors.
See more individual honors here.