A-State Football Picks Up Nine All-Sun Belt Conference Selections

The Arkansas State football team had eight players combined for nine selections to the 2022 All-Sun Belt Conference Team, announced Thursday by the league office.

The Red Wolves had two first-team selections, one player earn second-team recognition, one third-team pick and an additional four honorable mention choices. A-State had players represent all three phases of the game, including four on offense, two on defense and two on special teams.

Sophomore tight end Seydou Traore represented A-State on the first team after ranking first in the Sun Belt Conference among tight ends for receptions (50) and receiving yards (655), while also ranking second among the same group for touchdown receptions (4). He ranks third among FBS tight ends for receiving yards and yards per catch (13.10). He recorded a career-high 120 receiving yards and a touchdown against Memphis and was responsible for at least 50 receiving yards in six games.

Also representing A-State on the first team was true-freshman place-kicker Dominic Zvada. A Lou Groza Award semifinalist, Zvada broke the Sun Belt Conference single-season record by a true freshman for points by kicking in a season with 81, which is also the ninth most in school history. He led the Sun Belt in field goal percentage while also ranking fifth in in scoring by kick and seventh in overall scoring. He ranks fifth in the nation in field goal percentage and 24th in the country (first in the Sun Belt) in field goals per game. He made a career-long 56-yard field goal against Texas State that is the second longest in FBS this season. Among freshmen only, he leads the nation in field goal percentage and ranks second in field goals made.

Senior running back Johnnie Lang Jr. represented A-State on the second team as a return specialist and at the all-purpose position as well. Named Midseason All-America by CBS Sports and to the Doak Walker Award Watch List, Lang leads the nation in kickoff return yards and ranks 15th in all-purpose yards (135.8 ypg). He leads the country in combined kick return yards with 973. He was named to the Paul Hornung Award Honor Roll and the Sun Belt Conference Special Teams Player of the Week after posting a kickoff return, rushing and receiving touchdowns in the same game during a Red Wolves victory over ULM. He ranks fourth in the Sun Belt Conference in punt return average and recorded six combined rushing and receiving touchdowns.

Finding a place on the third team was senior defensive end Kivon Bennett. He ranked sixth in the Sun Belt in fumbles forced and 13th in sacks with 5.5. He led all A-State defensive linemen in tackles with 50 and was first on the team in tackles for loss (9.5) and sacks (5.5). He posted at least five tackles in six games, including a season-high eight versus both Southern Miss and Troy. He recorded a career-tying 2.0 sacks versus Troy and at least a half-tackle for loss in all but two games.

A-State’s four honorable mention selections were made up of defensive tackle TW Ayers, quarterback James Blackman, wide receiver Champ Flemings and offensive lineman Jordan Rhodes.

2022 SUN BELT CONFERENCE FOOTBALL POSTSEASON AWARDS

Player of the Year Grayson McCall, Coastal Carolina

Offensive Player of the Year Todd Centeio, James Madison

Defensive Player of the Year Carlton Martial, Troy

Newcomer of the Year Todd Centeio, James Madison

Freshman of the Year Jared Brown, Coastal Carolina

Coach of the Year Jon Sumrall, Troy

All-Sun Belt First Team Offense

QB – Grayson McCall, Coastal Carolina

RB – Khalan Laborn, Marshall

RB – La’Damian Webb, South Alabama

OL – Cooper Hodges, App State

OL – Austin Stidham, Troy

OL – Willie Lampkin, Coastal Carolina

OL – Jake Andrews, Troy

OL – Anderson Hardy, App State

TE – Seydou Traore, Arkansas State

WR – Jamari Thrash, Georgia State

WR – Kris Thornton, James Madison

WR – Ali Jennings III, Old Dominion

All-Sun Belt First Team Defense

DL – T.J. Jackson, Troy

DL – Zi’Yon Hill-Green, Louisiana

DL – Owen Porter, Marshall

DL – Will Choloh, Troy

DL – Isaac Ukwu, James Madison

LB – Carlton Martial, Troy

LB – Jason Henderson, Old Dominion

LB – Nick Hampton, App State

DB – Yam Banks, South Alabama

DB – Micah Abraham, Marshall

DB – Reddy Steward, Troy

DB – Bralen Trahan, Louisiana

All-Sun Belt First Team Special Teams

K – Dominic Zvada, Arkansas State

P – Rhys Burns, Louisiana

RS – Eric Garror, Louisiana

AP – Frank Gore Jr., Southern Miss

All-Sun Belt Second Team Offense

QB – Todd Centeio, James Madison

RB – Kimani Vidal, Troy

RB – Frank Gore Jr., Southern Miss

OL – Khalil Crowder, Georgia Southern

OL – Pat Bartlett, Georgia State

OL – Nick Saldiveri, Old Dominion

OL – Malik Sumter, Georgia State

OL – Nick Kidwell, James Madison

TE – Henry Pearson, App State

WR – Jalen Wayne, South Alabama

WR – Tyrone Howell, ULM

WR – Khaleb Hood, Georgia Southern

All-Sun Belt Second Team Defense

DL – Levi Bell, Texas State

DL – James Carpenter, James Madison

DL – Richard Jibunor, Troy

DL – Jamare Edwards, James Madison

DL – Josaiah Stewart, Coastal Carolina

LB – Marques Watson-Trent, Georgia Southern

LB – Andre Jones, Louisiana

LB – Jourdan Quibodeaux, Louisiana

DB – Steven Jones Jr., App State

DB – Quavian White, Georgia State

DB – Steven Gilmore, Marshall

DB – Lance Boykin, Coastal Carolina

All-Sun Belt Second Team Special Teams

K – Diego Guajardo, South Alabama

P – Devyn McCormick, ULM

RS – Johnnie Lang Jr., Arkansas State

AP – Johnnie Lang Jr., Arkansas State

All-Sun Belt Third Team Offense

QB – Kyle Vantrease, Georgia Southern

RB – Percy Agyei-Obese, James Madison

RB – Jalen White, Georgia Southern

OL – James Jackson, South Alabama

OL – Kyle Hergel, Texas State

OL – Caleb Kelly, Georgia Southern

OL – Isaiah Helms, App State

OL – Antwine Loper, Coastal Carolina

TE – Jacob Jenkins, Coastal Carolina

WR – Jason Brownlee, Southern Miss

WR – Sam Pinckney, Coastal Carolina

WR – Michael Jefferson, Louisiana

All-Sun Belt Third Team Defense

DL – Kivon Bennett, Arkansas State

DL – Jerrod Clark, Coastal Carolina

DL – Justin Ellis, Georgia Southern

DL – Javon Solomon, Troy

LB – Taurus Jones, James Madison

LB – JT Killen, Coastal Carolina

LB – Santrell Latham, Southern Miss

DB – Jay Stanley, Southern Miss

DB – Malik Shorts, Southern Miss

DB – Darrell Luter Jr., South Alabama

DB – Antavious Lane, Georgia State

DB – Derrick Canteen, Georgia Southern

All-Sun Belt Third Team Special Teams

K – Briggs Bourgeois, Southern Miss

P – Mason Hunt, Southern Miss

RS – Milan Tucker, App State

AP – La’Damian Webb, South Alabama

Arkansas State Honorable Mention

DL – TW Ayers

QB – James Blackman

WR – Champ Flemings

OL – Jordan Rhodes