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Eleven Eagles earn all-sun belt honors

Sixth-year offensive lineman Khalil Crowder and redshirt junior linebacker Marques Watson-Trent were both chosen for first-team All-Sun Belt Conference accolades.

Eleven Georgia Southern football players were honored by the league coaches and members of the media as the Sun Belt Conference announced Thursday the selections for its all-conference teams.

Sixth-year offensive lineman Khalil Crowder and redshirt junior linebacker Marques Watson-Trent were both chosen for first-team All-Sun Belt Conference accolades. For Crowder, it's his third All-Sun Belt honor in his career as he made the third team in 2021 and the second team last year. He has played 915 offensive snaps this year, allowing just two sacks. It's the second all-conference honor for Watson-Trent, who made the second team last year. He is third in the conference in tackles with 116 stops, including 13.0 for loss and 3.5 sacks, to go along with two interceptions and a forced fumble.

Sixth-year defensive back Shemar Bartholomew, fifth-year receiver Khaleb Hood and redshirt junior offensive lineman Rasheed Miller were all named to the second team. Bartholomew, who transferred in from Northwestern State, is tied for the league lead with 13 pass break ups and also has two forced fumbles and an interception. Hood was named honorable mention last season and has once again re-written the Eagle record book. He already has a school-record 94 catches and with 917 yards, he needs just eight more to break the school's single-season record in that mark. Miller has started all 12 games at right tackle and has played 757 offensive snaps with just two sacks allowed.

Redshirt sophomore defensive lineman Isaac Walker and senior running back Jalen White were both named to the third team. Walker leads the FBS in forced fumbles (5) and fumble recoveries (4) to go along with 8.5 tackles for loss, 6.0 sacks, seven pass break ups, three quarterback hurries and a blocked punt. White rushed for 891 yards and nine touchdowns despite missing two games. He was a third-team selection last season, as well.

Four Eagles - sixth-year quarterback Davis Brin, junior receiver Derwin Burgess Jr., sixth-year tight end Jjay Mcafee and redshirt junior defensive back TJ Smith - earned honorable mention recognition.

The Sun Belt Conference's coaches and a member of the media representing each team voted on the list of candidates for the teams with points assigned for rankings for each position. The first, second and third teams are compromised of 12 offensive players (1 QB, 3 WR, 2 RB, 1 TE, 5 OL), 12 defensive players (4 DL, 3 LB, 4 DB, 1 at large selection) and four special team players (K, P, Return Specialist and All-Purpose), unless there are ties.

Below are all the entire first, second and third teams, as well as the individual awards:

2023 Sun Belt Conference Football Postseason Awards

Player of the Year
Jordan McCloud, James Madison

Offensive Player of the Year
Kimani Vidal, Troy

Defensive Player of the Year
Jalen Green, James Madison

Newcomer of the Year
Joey Aguilar, App State

Freshman of the Year
Jaylen Raynor, Arkansas State

Coach of the Year
Curt Cignetti, James Madison

All-Sun Belt First Team Offense
QB – Jordan McCloud, James Madison
RB – Kimani Vidal, Troy
RB – Marcus Carroll, Georgia State
OL – Isaiah Helms, App State
OL – Bucky Williams, App State
OL – Travis Glover, Georgia State
OL – Khalil Crowder, Georgia Southern
OL – Jacob Bayer, Arkansas State
TE – Zach Horton, James Madison
WR – Caullin Lacy, South Alabama
WR – Elijah Sarratt, James Madison
WR – Reggie Brown, James Madison

All-Sun Belt First Team Defense
DL – Jalen Green, James Madison
DL – Javon Solomon, Troy
DL – Richard Jibunor, Troy
DL – Jamree Kromah, James Madison
DL – Owen Porter, Marshall
LB – Jason Henderson, Old Dominion
LB – Andrew Parker Jr., App State
LB – Marques Watson-Trent, Georgia Southern
DB – Micah Abraham, Marshall
DB – Reddy Steward, Troy
DB – Jaden Voisin, South Alabama
DB – Tyrek Funderburk, App State

All-Sun Belt First Team Special Teams
K – Mason Shipley, Texas State
P – William Przystup, Arkansas State
RS – Jayden Harrison, Marshall
AP – Ismail Mahdi, Texas State

All-Sun Belt Second Team Offense
QB – Joey Aguilar, App State
RB – Rasheen Ali, Marshall
RB – Frank Gore Jr., Southern Miss
OL – Daniel King, Troy
OL – Tyler Stephens, James Madison
OL – Makilian Thomas, Arkansas State
OL – Rasheed Miller, Georgia Southern
OL – Grant Betts, Troy
TE – Eli Wilson, App State
WR – Khaleb Hood, Georgia Southern
WR – Sam Pinckney, Coastal Carolina
WR – Joey Hobert, Texas State

All-Sun Belt Second Team Defense
DL – James Carpenter, James Madison
DL – Adin Huntington, ULM
DL – Ben Bell, Texas State
DL – Mikail Kamara, James Madison
DL – TJ Jackson, Troy
LB – Brian Holloway, Texas State
LB – Nate Johnson, App State
LB – Quentin Wilfawn, South Alabama
DB – Shemar Bartholomew, Georgia Southern
DB – Dell Pettus, Troy
DB – Ethan Johnson, App State
DB – D'Angelo Ponds, James Madison

All-Sun Belt Second Team Special Teams
K – Michael Hughes, App State
P – Ryan Hanson, James Madison
RS – Ismail Mahdi, Texas State
AP – Frank Gore Jr., Southern Miss

All-Sun Belt Third Team Offense
QB – Gunnar Watson, Troy
RB – La'Damian Webb, South Alabama
RB – Jalen White, Georgia Southern
OL – AJ Gillie, Louisiana
OL – Jack Murphy, App State
OL – Ethan Driskell, Marshall
OL – Will McDonald, Coastal Carolina
OL – Brey Walker, Texas State
TE – Neal Johnson, Louisiana
WR – Robert Lewis, Georgia State
WR – Jabre Barber, Troy
WR – Chris Lewis, Troy

All-Sun Belt Third Team Defense
DL – Thurman Geathers, Arkansas State
DL – Isaac Walker, Georgia Southern
DL – Elijah Alston, Marshall
DL – Wy'Kevious Thomas, South Alabama
LB – Eli Neal, Marshall
LB – Jontrey Hunter, Georgia State
LB – Aiden Fisher, James Madison
LB – Wayne Matthews, Old Dominion
DB – Yam Banks, South Alabama
DB – Clayton Isbell, Coastal Carolina
DB – Gavin Pringle, Georgia State
DB – Irshaad Davis, Troy

All-Sun Belt Third Team Special Teams
K – Camden Wise, James Madison
P – John McConnell, Marshall
RS – Ja'Quez Cross, Arkansas State
AP – Caullin Lacy, South Alabama

All-Sun Belt Honorable Mentions
App State

RB – Kanye Roberts (RS Fr., RB – Teachey, N.C.)
WR – Kaedin Robinson (RS Jr., WR – Asheville, N.C.)
DL – Santana Hopper (RS Fr., DL – Shelby, N.C.)
DB – Jordan Favors (RS So., DB – Griffin, Ga.)

Arkansas State
OL – Jalen Cunningham (RS Sr., OL – Odenville, Ala.)
WR – Courtney Jackson (RS Jr., WR – Monroeville, Pa.)
LB – Charles Willekes (RS Jr., LB – Rockford, Mich.)
DB – Samy Johnson (Sr., DB – Little Rock, Ark.)

Coastal Carolina
OL – Nick Del Grande (RS Fr., OL – Lancaster, Pa.)
WR – Jared Brown (RS So., WR – Lilburn, Ga.)
DL – Micheal Mason (Super Sr., DL – Florence, S.C.)
DB – Matthew McDoom (So., DB – Winter Garden, Fla.)

Georgia Southern
QB – Davis Brin (6th Yr., QB – Boerne, Texas)
TE – Jjay Mcafee (6th Yr., TE – Charleston, S.C.)
WR – Derwin Burgess Jr. (Jr., WR – Riverdale, Ga.)
DB – TJ Smith (RS Jr., DB – Atlanta, Ga.)

Georgia State
QB – Darren Grainger (RS Sr., QB – Conway, S.C.)
WR – Tailique Williams (RS Jr., WR – Pine Mountain, Ga.)
LB – Kevin Swint (Sr., LB – Carrollton, Ga.)
DB – Jeremiah Johnson (Sr., DB – Anguilla, Miss.)

James Madison
WR – Phoenix Sproles (RS Sr., WR – New Hope, Minn.)
LB – Jailin Walker (Jr., LB – Richmond, Va.)
DB – Chauncey Logan (So., DB – Salem, Va.)
DB – Francis Meehan (RS Sr., DB – Wilmington, N.C.)

OL – Nathan Thomas (RS Jr., OL – New Orleans, La.)
WR – Peter LeBlanc (Sr., WR – New Iberia, La.)
LB – Kendre' Gant (Jr., LB – Port St. Joe, Fla.)
LB – K.C. Ossai (Jr., LB – Conroe, Texas)

OL – Elijah Fisher (So., OL – Allen, Texas)
OL – Zarian McGill (Jr., OL – Taylorsville, Miss.)
WR – Tyrone Howell (6th Yr., WR – Idabel, Okla.)
DL – Kenard Snyder (So., DL – Vero Beach, Fla.)

OL – Logan Osburn (RS Jr., OL – Ona, W.Va.)
OL – Dalton Tucker (RS Sr., OL – Paris, Ky.)
DL – Sam Burton (RS Sr., DL – Boca Raton, Fla.)
DB – J.J. Roberts (RS Jr., DB – Ona, W.Va.)

Old Dominion
DL – Denzel Lowry (RS So., DL – Virginia Beach, Va.)
DB – Shawn Asbury II (Jr., DB – Stafford, Va.)
DB – LaMareon James (Jr., DB – Norfolk, Va.)
DB – Terry Jones (RS Jr., DB – Baltimore, Md.)

South Alabama
QB – Carter Bradley (Sr., QB – Jacksonville, Fla.)
OL – Reggie Smith (Sr., OL – Pensacola, Fla.)
WR – Jamaal Pritchett (So., WR – Jackson, Ala.)
LB – Trey Kiser (Sr., LB – Sulphur, Okla.)

Southern Miss
WR – Jakarius Caston (Sr., WR – Natchez, Miss.)
DL – Quentin Bivens (Sr., DL – Waynesboro, Miss.)
LB – Swayze Bozeman (RS Sr., LB – Flora, Miss.)
DB – Jay Stanley (Sr., DB – Greenwood, Miss.)

Texas State
QB – TJ Finley (RS So., QB – Ponchatoula, La.)
WR – Ashtyn Hawkins (Jr., WR – DeSoto, Texas)
WR – Kole Wilson (So., WR – Katy, Texas)
DB – Shawn Holton (Sr., DB – Fort Worth, Texas)

DL – Buddha Jones (Sr., DL – Tallahassee, Fla.)
DB – O'shai Fletcher (Sr., DB – Huntsville, Ala.)
DB – Caleb Ransaw (Jr., DB – Harvest, Ala.)
LS – Quentin Skinner (Sr., LS – Buford, Ga.)