Five Mountaineer football players were nominated to All-Sun Belt Preseason teams. Four men were chosen to first team All-Sun Belt, while one was selected to the second team. Senior offensive lineman Jesse Chapman, senior safety Doug Middleton, junior linebacker John Law, and senior defensive end Ronald Blair were all selected to the first team. If you can believe it, junior star running back Marcus Cox was the selection worthy of the second team All-Conference team.
Matt Breida of Georgia Southern and Elijah McGuire of UL Lafayette were first team selections at running back over Cox who finished second in the conference in rushing with 1,415 yards and first in rushing touchdowns with 19. Cox is on pace to break Appalachian State all-time records for rushing yards and touchdowns held by former Mountaineer Kevin Richardson who played from 2004 to 2007.
First team selection John Law led the Mountaineers in tackles last season and ranked 13th in the conference with 91 in total. He is Appalachian’s active leader for tackles with 164 in 21 career starts and will be the leader of the linebackers this year.
Ronald Blair finished last season with 6 sacks, which led the team and placed 7th in the Sun Belt. His 13 tackles for loss also led the team and was 7th in the league. He looks to lead a defense that was number in the conference a season ago.
Anchoring one of the best offensive lines in the conference will be center Jesse Chapman who only surrendered one sack a season ago for a team that ranked second in the conference with 241 yards rushing per game.
The final first team selection, Doug Middleton will lead the Mountaineer secondary in the upcoming campaign. He finished second on the team and 25th in the Sun Belt a year ago with 74 total tackles. He was 5th in the conference in passes defended with 6 breakups along with 4 interceptions that was good for fourth in the Sun Belt.
These 5 players will be leaders for a team that returns 20 total starters and was picked to finish fourth by the coaches of the Sun Belt Conference.