App State Football Racks Up Honors From Preseason Publications

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June 18, 2019
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June 18, 2019
App State Football Racks Up Honors From Preseason Publications


BOONE, N.C. — Appalachian State is a championship favorite in all four of the leading national magazines that preview the 2019 college football season, and their all-conference teams are filled with App State standouts.


Phil Steele, Athlon, Street & Smith and Lindy’s all break down the Sun Belt Conference with division race predictions, and reigning league champ Appalachian State is picked to win the East Division by all four publications. Running back Darrynton Evans even appears on the cover of the Phil Steele magazine that will be available on the East Coast.


Evans, Zac Thomas (quarterback), Corey Sutton (receiver), Victor Johnson (offensive lineman), Noah Hannon (center), Akeem Davis-Gaither (linebacker) and Desmond Franklin (safety) were first-team selections in all four publications. Jordan Fehr (linebacker) is a first-team pick in three of the publications, and Josh Thomas (safety) joins Collin Reed (tight end) as a first-team pick in two of them.


Additionally, there was preseason all-league recognition for linebacker Noel Cook (second team in one publication), offensive lineman Ryan Neuzil (highlighted by a third-team selection), receiver Thomas Hennigan (third-team receiver and punt returner), Evans (third-team kick returner), running back Marcus Williams Jr. (fourth team), defensive end Demetrius Taylor (fourth team), defensive end Elijah Diarrassouba (fourth team), punter Clayton Howell (fourth team) and kicker Chandler Staton (fourth team).


Street & Smith named first-year head coach Eliah Drinkwitz the league’s Most Innovative Coach, Zac Thomas the league’s best Heisman Hopeful (and Best Passing QB), Evans the league’s Top Scholar, Davis-Gaither the league’s Hardest Hitter and Jalen Virgil the league’s Fastest Receiver.


Lindy’s, meanwhile, recognized Thomas as the preseason Sun Belt MVP, Most Accurate Passer and quarterback with the Strongest Arm while declaring Johnson the Best Pass Blocker, Sutton the Most Dangerous Deep Threat and redshirt freshman running back Camerun Peoples the league’s preseason Newcomer of the Year. Of the Sun Belt’s top 10 “NFL Talents” from Lindy’s, App State was represented by Johnson (No. 3), Davis-Gaither (No. 4), Franklin (No. 6) and Sutton (No. 9) among upperclassmen from the 10-team league.


Athlon, which grades position groups in the Sun Belt, ranked App State’s offensive linemen and linebackers No. 1. The running backs and receivers were each No. 2.


The Mountaineers return 17 of their primary 22 starters on offense and defense from an 11-2 team in 2018. Fans interested in purchasing 2019 football season tickets and joining the Yosef Club can do so online by clicking HERE, by calling 828-262-2079 or by visiting the App State Athletics ticket office, located at the Holmes Center. 



East Division Champion: Phil Steele, Athlon, Street & Smith, Lindy’s


Most Innovative Coach: Eliah Drinkwitz (Street & Smith)


Best OL unit: Athlon

Best LB unit: Athlon


No. 2 RB unit: Athlon

No. 2 WR unit: Athlon




QB Zac Thomas

First team: Phil Steele, Athlon, Street & Smith, Lindy’s

Best passing QB: Street & Smith

Heisman Hopeful: Street & Smith

Sun Belt MVP: Lindy’s

Most Accurate Passer: Lindy’s

Strongest Arm: Lindy’s


RB Darrynton Evans

First team: Phil Steele, Athlon, Street & Smith, Lindy’s

Top Scholar: Street & Smith


WR Corey Sutton

First team: Phil Steele, Athlon, Street & Smith, Lindy’s

Most Dangerous Deep Threat: Lindy’s

No. 9 NFL Talent: Lindy’s


OT Victor Johnson

First team: Phil Steele, Athlon, Street & Smith, Lindy’s

Best Pass Blocker: Lindy’s

No. 3 NFL Talent: Lindy’s


C Noah Hannon

First team: Phil Steele, Athlon, Street & Smith, Lindy’s


TE Collin Reed

First team: Phil Steele, Lindy’s

Second team: Athlon


OL Ryan Neuzil

Third team: Phil Steele,

Fourth team: Athlon


WR Thomas Hennigan

Third team: Phil Steele


RB Marcus Williams Jr.

Fourth team: Athlon


WR Jalen Virgil

Fastest Receiver: Street & Smith


RB Camerun Peoples

Sun Belt Newcomer of the Year: Lindy’s




LB Akeem Davis-Gaither

First team: Phil Steele, Athlon, Street & Smith, Lindy’s

Hardest Hitter: Street & Smith

No. 4 NFL Talent: Lindy’s


LB Jordan Fehr

First team: Phil Steele, Street & Smith, Lindy’s

Second team: Athlon


S Desmond Franklin

First team: Phil Steele, Athlon, Street & Smith, Lindy’s

No. 6 NFL Talent: Lindy’s


S Josh Thomas

First team: Athlon, Lindy’s

Second team: Phil Steele


LB Noel Cook

Second team: Phil Steele


DE Demetrius Taylor

Fourth team: Athlon


DE Elijah Diarrassouba

Fourth team: Phil Steele




KR Darrynton Evans

Third team: Phil Steele, Athlon


PR Thomas Hennigan

Third team: Athlon

Fourth team: Phil Steele


P Clayton Howell

Fourth team: Phil Steele


K Chandler Staton

Fourth team: Phil Steele