NEW ORLEANS — For his contributions as a leader and superior achievement on the playing field, Appalachian State alum Taylor Lamb was recognized as the 2017-18 Sun Belt Conference Male Athlete of the Year at the league’s annual honors banquet Monday night. He is the first Mountaineer to receive the distinction since the school joined the Sun Belt prior to the 2014-15 season.
The Athlete of the Year award is the highest individual honor given in the Sun Belt Conference. The award is based on outstanding leadership, achievement and character and is given to the most outstanding male and female student-athlete among all the league’s sports each year. This year’s female winner is Coastal Carolina volleyball player Leah Hardeman.
Lamb wrapped up his storied App State football career in 2017 by leading the Mountaineers to their second straight Sun Belt Championship and third straight bowl victory, directing them to a 34-0 win over MAC Champion Toledo in the Dollar General Bowl.
The Calhoun, Ga., native, who now serves as a graduate assistant on the football staff at South Carolina, tossed a Sun Belt-record 90 touchdown passes in his four-year career as App State’s starting quarterback and compiled a 36-13 record along the way.
Lamb’s consistency and steady hand behind center helped App State become the first program to ever win three straight bowl games in its first three eligible seasons. He earned MVP of the 2016 Camellia Bowl (31-28 win over Toledo) and offensive MVP of the 2017 Dollar General Bowl.
Over the course of his career, Lamb finished with the fourth-most total yards in Sun Belt history (11,794), seventh-most passing yards (9,786) and fourth-most rushing yards by a quarterback (2,008). In his senior season, he earned first-team all-league honors from Pro Football Focus and threw for 27 touchdowns and only six interceptions, ranking top 20 nationally in passing touchdowns, passing efficiency and point responsibility.
More significant than the raw numbers, impressive as they are, is the impact Lamb made as a leader for the Mountaineers during his five years in Boone.
“With all the things Taylor did on the field, I think he had more of an impact with his leadership,” App State football coach Scott Satterfield said. “His leadership style he’s had put in him since the time he could walk, with his dad being a coach, his granddad, his uncle. He’s got all the intangibles you want to have as your leader, your quarterback on your football team.”