Troy Lands Conference Best 23 on All-Sun Belt Football Team

Published 11:34 am Thursday, November 29, 2018

Getting your Trinity Audio player ready...

Contact: Adam Prendergast, 334-372-5555


TROY, Ala. – Troy paced the Sun Belt with seven first team and 23 overall selections to the All-Sun Belt Football Team released Thursday morning by the league office. The Trojans, who are 9-3 overall on the season and finished 7-1 in league play, await the destination for their third straight bowl appearance.


Running back B.J. Smith, receiver Damion Willis, offensive lineman Kirk Kelley, nose tackle Trevon Sanders, bandit Hunter Reese, safety Cedarius Rookard and return specialist Marcus Jones represented Troy on the All-Sun Belt First Team.


Offensive lineman Deontae Crumitie, linebacker Tron Folsom, kicker Tyler Sumpter and Jones as a cornerback were second team selections. Receiver Deondre Douglas, offensive linemen Tristan Crowder and J.L. Gaston, defensive ends Antione Barker and Jarvis Hayes, cornerback Blace Brown, Spear Tyler Murray and Sumpter as a punter were named to the third team.


Safety Melvin Tyus, receiver Sidney Davis, defensive tackle Marcus Webb and cornerback Terence Dunlap were honorable mention selections.


Smith, a native of Millbrook, Ala., leads the Sun Belt averaging 91.08 yards per game and with 1,093 rushing yards on the season. He set a Troy school record with five straight 100-yard rushing games earlier in the year and ranks second in the league with 12 touchdown runs.


Willis, a native of Meridian, Miss., ranks second in the league with eight touchdown receptions and with 77.5 yards per game despite not playing in the final two games of the regular season. He leads the Sun Belt with 15 catches of 20-plus yards, 10 catches of 30-plus yards and seven catches of 40-plus yards.


Kelley, a native of Marrero, La., did not allow a sack in 560 snaps and recorded 29 great blocks primarily from his left guard position. He led an offensive line that paved the way for Smith to become Troy’s 10th 1,000-yard rusher in school history. Kelley graded out at 90 percent in three games and paced a Troy offensive line that led the Sun Belt in sacks allowed in league games.


Sanders, a native of Charleston, S.C., ate up blocks in the middle of Troy’s defensive line for a unit that ranked first or second in the Sun Belt in most statistical categories. He enters Troy’s third straight bowl game with seven tackles for loss and a pair of sacks on the season.


Reese, a native Wetumpka, Ala., earned his second straight first team honor after finishing second in the league with 7.5 sacks and third with 14.5 tackles for loss. He has recorded a tackle for loss in 20 straight games entering his final career contest.


Rookard, a native of Spartanburg, S.C., leads the Sun Belt with four interceptions on the season and also returned a punt for a touchdown in Troy’s victory at Nebraska. He has six total passes defended this season in addition to forcing a pair of fumbles.


Jones, a native of Enterprise, Ala., returned his fourth career kickoff for a touchdown and led the Sun Belt averaging 25.58 yards per kickoff return. A Freshman All-American last season, Jones now has four All-Sun Belt awards in his career.


Troy is on the verge of history as a fourth straight bowl victory would secure the Trojans’ third straight 10-win season for the first time in school history and just the eighth time by a Group of Five Conference school since 2002.


2018 Sun Belt All-Conference Football Teams


Player of the Year: Justice Hansen (Arkansas State, QB, RS-Senior)

Offensive Player of the Year: Zac Thomas (Appalachian State, QB, Sophomore)

Defensive Player of the Year: Ronheen Bingham (Arkansas State, DE, Senior)

Newcomer of the Year: Kirk Merrit (Arkansas State, WR, Junior)

Freshman of the Year: Marcel Murray (Arkansas State, RB, Freshman)

Coach of the Year: Scott Satterfield (Appalachian State)


First Team Offense

QB – Justice Hansen (Arkansas State, RS-Senior)

RB – Darrynton Evans (Appalachian State, Sophomore)

RB – B.J. Smith (Troy, Junior)

WR – Kirk Merrit (Arkansas State, Junior)

WR – Marcus Green (ULM, Senior)

WR – Damion Willis (Troy, Senior)

TE – Keenen Brown (Texas State, Senior)

OL – Victor Johnson (Appalachian State, Junior)

OL – Lanard Bonner (Arkansas State, Senior)

OL – Curtis Rainey (Georgia Southern, Senior)

OL – Kevin Dotson (Louisiana, Junior)

OL – Kirk Kelley (Troy, Junior)


First Team Defense

DL – MyQuon Stout (Appalachian State, Senior)

DL – Ronheen Bingham (Arkansas State, Senior)

DL – Jeffrey Gunter (Coastal Carolina, Sophomore)

DL – Trevon Sanders (Troy, Senior)

LB – Jordan Fehr (Appalachian State, Junior)

LB – Bryan London II (Texas State, Junior)

LB – Hunter Reese (Troy, Senior)

DB – Clifton Duck (Appalachian State, Junior)

DB – Desmond Franklin (Appalachian State, Junior)

DB – Justin Clifton (Arkansas State, Senior)

DB – Kindle Vildor (Georgia Southern, Junior)

DB – Cedarius Rookard (Troy, Senior)


First Team Special Teams

K – Tyler Bass (Georgia Southern, Junior)

P – Brandon Wright (Georgia State, Junior)

RS – Marcus Jones (Troy, Sophomore)

AP – Marcus Green (ULM, Senior)


Second Team Offense

QB – Zac Thomas (Appalachian State, Sophomore)

RB – Elijah Mitchell (Louisiana, Sophomore)

RB – Wesley Fields (Georgia Southern, Senior)

WR – Corey Sutton (Appalachian State, Sophomore)

WR – Justin McInnis (Arkansas State, Senior)

WR – Jamarius Way (South Alabama, Senior)

TE – Javonis Isaac (Arkansas State, Sophomore)

OL – Chandler Greer (Appalachian State, Senior)

OL – Noah Hannon (Appalachian State, Sophomore)

OL – Jeremiah Culbreth (Georgia Southern, Senior)

OL – Robert Hunt (Louisiana, Junior)

OL – Deontae Crumitie (Troy, Senior)


Second Team Defense

DL – William Bradley-King (Arkansas State, Sophomore)

DL – Forrest Merrill (Arkansas State, Junior)

DL – Raymond Johnson (Georgia Southern, Sophomore)

DL – Tyree Turner (South Alabama, Junior)

LB – Akeem Davis-Gaither (Appalachian State, Junior)

LB – David Griffith (ULM, Senior)

LB – Bull Barge (South Alabama, Senior)

LB – Tron Folsom (Troy, Junior)

DB – Jerry Jacobs (Arkansas State, Sophomore)

DB – Monquavion Brinson (Georgia Southern, Junior)

DB – Nigel Lawrence (South Alabama, Senior)

DB – Marcus Jones (Troy, Sophomore)


Second Team Special Teams

K – Tyler Sumpter (Troy, Sophomore)

P – Cody Grace (Arkansas State, Junior)

RS – Tra Minter (South Alabama, Junior)

AP – Tra Minter (South Alabama, Junior)


Third Team Offense

QB – Caleb Evans (ULM, Junior)

RB – Marcel Murray (Arkansas State, Freshman)

RB – Trey Ragas (Louisiana, Sophomore)

WR – Penny Hart (Georgia State, Junior)

WR – Ja’Marcus Bradley (Louisiana, Junior)

WR – Deondre Douglas (Troy, Senior)

TE – Collin Reed (Appalachian State, Junior)

OL – Hunter Atkinson (Georgia State, Junior)

OL – T.J. Fiailoa (ULM, Sophomore)

OL – Bobby Reynolds (ULM, Junior)

OL – Tristan Crowder (Troy, Junior)

OL – J.L. Gaston (Troy, Junior)


Third Team Defense

DL – Tarron Jackson (Coastal Carolina, Sophomore)

DL – Logan Hunt (Georgia Southern, Senior)

DL – Zi’Yon Hill (Louisiana, Freshman)

DL – Antione Barker (Troy, Junior)

DL – Jarvis Hayes (Troy, Junior)

LB – Anthony Flory (Appalachian State, Senior)

LB – Jacques Boudreaux (Louisiana, Junior)

LB – Nikolas Daniels (Texas State, Junior)

DB – Tae Hayes (Appalachian State, Senior)

DB – Darreon Jackson (Arkansas State, Junior)

DB – Blace Brown (Troy, Senior)

DB – Tyler Murray (Troy, Sophomore)


Third Team Special Teams

K – Massimo Biscardi (Coastal Carolina, Freshman)

P – Tyler Sumpter (Troy, Sophomore)

RS – Clifton Duck (Appalachian State, Junior)

AP – Darrynton Evans (Appalachian State, Sophomore)


Honorable Mention (Troy Only)

Sidney Davis (Troy, Sr., WR), Terence Dunlap (Troy, So., CB), Melvin Tyus (Troy, Jr., S), Marcus Webb (Troy, Jr. DT)