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Appalachian State picked as co-favorite in its division; nine projected for All-Sun Belt
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Appalachian State picked as co-favorite in its division; nine projected for All-Sun Belt

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Appalachian State's Camerun Peoples, center, running against Louisiana during the 2020 season.

Appalachian State's football team has been selected as the co-favorite to win its division in the Sun Belt Conference. 

Nine Mountaineers are predicted to land places on the All-Sun Belt team: six on the first team and three on the second team. 

App State and Coastal Carolina were picked as the likely East Division winners, earning 44 points each in voting by the 10 head coaches and a journalist who covers each of the schools. The Chanticleers garnered six first-place votes, while the Mountaineers had four. 

Coastal Carolina, which went 11-1 in 2020 and finished at No. 12 in the final College Football Playoff rankings, defeated App State 34-23 last season. The teams will meet in Boone on Oct. 20.

Running back Cam Peoples, offensive linemen Baer Hunter and Cooper Hodges, defensive lineman Demetrius Taylor, linebacker D'Marco Jackson and defensive back Shaun Jolly represented App State on the first team. 

Running back Daetrich Harrington, wide receiver Thomas Hennigan and linebacker Brendan Harrington are predicted to make second team. 

Six of those nine are either seniors or super seniors. Hunter, a West Forsyth grad; Taylor; and Hennigan opted to return for one more season with the NCAA granting another year of eligibility for the 2020 season.

Louisiana is the heavy favorite of the West Division, getting nine of the 10 first-place votes.

Coastal Carolina quarterback Grayson McCall is predicted to win player of the year, and Troy linebacker Carlton Martial is the favorite for defensive player of the year. 

The Mountaineers will open the season at 7:30 p.m. Sept. 2 at Charlotte's Bank of America Stadium against East Carolina.

2021 ALL-SUN BELT CONFERENCE PREDICTIONS

Coaches poll

East Division

T1. Coastal Carolina (6) – 44

T1. Appalachian State (4) – 44

3. Georgia State – 24

4. Georgia Southern – 20

5. Troy – 18

West Division

1. Louisiana (9) – 49

2. Arkansas State (1) – 38

3. South Alabama – 27

4. Texas State – 25

5. La.-Monroe – 11

Offensive Player of the Year

Grayson McCall, Coastal Carolina

Defensive Player of the Year

Carlton Martial, Troy

First-Team Offense

QB – Grayson McCall, Coastal Carolina

RB – Camerun Peoples, App State

RB – Destin Coates, Georgia State

OL – Baer Hunter, App State

OL – Shamarious Gilmore, Georgia State

OL – Cooper Hodges, App State

OL – Austin Stidham, Troy

OL – O’Cyrus Torrence, Louisiana

TE – Isaiah Likely, Coastal Carolina

WR – Jalen Tolbert, South Alabama

WR – Jaivon Heiligh, Coastal Carolina

WR – Sam Pinckney, Georgia State 

First-Team Defense

DL – Jeffery Gunter, Coastal Carolina

DL – CJ Brewer, Coastal Carolina

DL – Demetrius Taylor, App State

DL – Will Choloh, Troy

LB – Carlton Martial, Troy

LB – D’Marco Jackson, App State

LB – Silas Kelly, Coastal Carolina

DB – Derrick Canteen, Georgia Southern

DB – Shaun Jolly, App State

DB – D’Jordan Strong, Coastal Carolina

DB – Bralen Trahan, Louisiana

First-Team Special Teams

K – Noel Ruiz, Georgia State

P – Rhys Byrns, Louisiana

RS – Chris Smith, Louisiana

336-727-7165

@ByEthanJoyce

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