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Appalachian State places nine on All-Sun Belt first team; Jackson, Brice snare individual awards
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Appalachian State places nine on All-Sun Belt first team; Jackson, Brice snare individual awards

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Appalachian State versus Elon University (copy)

Winston-Salem Journal Appalachian State’s D’Marco Jackson, top, during a game against Elon in September.

Appalachian State linebacker D’Marco Jackson is the defensive player of the year, and teammate and quarterback Chase Brice won the top newcomer award in Sun Belt Conference football honors that also featured nine Mountaineers on first team.

The first-team picks included four App State defenders – Jackson, lineman Demetrius Taylor, cornerback Steven Jones and cornerback Shaun Jolly) plus four App State offensive players – lineman Baer Hunter, receiver Corey Sutton, lineman Cooper Hodges and running back Nate Noel – and kicker Chandler Staton.

Appalachian State will play at Louisiana at 3:30 p.m. Saturday (ESPN) in the Sun Belt championship game.

Jackson, who will play in the Senior Bowl, is one of two FBS players with at least 100 tackles (103), 15.0 tackles for loss, 5.0 sacks, five passes defended (he has six) and one interception.

Brice, formerly of Clemson and Duke, ranks No. 2 in the Sun Belt in touchdown passes (22), No. 2 in yards per attempt (8.6), No. 3 in passing yards per game (241.8), No. 3 in completion percentage (63.8) and No. 3 in passing efficiency (151.7).

App State’s second-team All-Sun Belt selections are receivers Thomas Hennigan and Malik Williams, running back Camerun Peoples, defensive back Kaiden Smith, linebacker Trey Cobb and return specialist Jalen Virgil.

Brice, offensive lineman Anderson Hardy, linebacker Nick Hampton and all-purpose pick Caleb Spurlin made the third team.

Linebacker T.D. Roof, defensive lineman Jordon Earle, defensive back Ryan Huff and tight end Henry Pearson received honorable mention.

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