BOONE, N.C. — Eleven members of App State’s football team have received All-Sun Belt recognition from the league, which announced its honors for the 2022 season on Thursday.
The All-Sun Belt first team includes linebacker Nick Hampton, offensive lineman Anderson Hardy and offensive lineman Cooper Hodges, who has earned All-Sun Belt recognition for the fourth straight year. He has repeated as a first-team pick from the league after being a second-team selection in 2019 and 2020.
Tight end Henry Pearson and defensive back Steven Jones Jr. have made the All-Sun Belt second team, while the All-Sun Belt third team includes offensive lineman Isaiah Helms and return specialist Milan Tucker.
Competition for spots on the All-Sun Belt teams increased this season as the league expanded from 10 to 14 teams.
HERE’S A CLOSER LOOK AT APP STATE’S HONOREES:
Nick Hampton, OLB, Fifth-year R-Jr.
Reese’s Senior Bowl invitee and two-time All-Sun Belt selection … Second among Sun Belt players with 0.78 sacks per game during the regular season … Among the league leaders with totals of 10.5 TFLs and 7.0 sacks in just nine regular-season games played due to injuries … Tied for the Sun Belt regular-season lead with three fumbles forced and tied for fifth among league players with two fumbles recovered … Tied for first place among FBS players with 0.33 fumbles forced per game during the regular season … Multi-sack games this year vs. UNC (2.5) and JMU (2.0), plus sacks vs. Coastal Carolina, Georgia State and Troy.
Anderson Hardy, LT, Fifth-year R-Jr.
Increased streak to 28 straight games started at left tackle and, according to PFF, had the third-best overall blocking grade and fourth-best run-blocking grade among starting offensive tackles in the Sun Belt … Allowed just two quarterback sacks protecting the blind side of QB Chase Brice … Totaled 849 snaps, including 432 pass-blocking snaps.
Cooper Hodges, RT, Fifth-year R-Jr.
Four-time All-Sun Belt selection and a third-team All-American from PFF College … Made 51 straight starts at right tackle and played 838 snaps in 2022 … Overall blocking grade of 85.3 from PFF this season ranks fifth overall among starting FBS offensive tackles and No. 1 among starting right tackles at the FBS level … Run-blocking grade of 86.2 is also fifth nationally among starting FBS offensive tackles and No. 1 among starting right tackles … Two-year captain allowed just one sack and two QB hits in (428 pass-block snaps) in 2022.
Henry Pearson, TE, 5th-year Sr.
Led App State and tied for the Sun Belt lead among tight ends with five touchdown catches … Second among league TEs in catches (25) and receiving yards (329) … Among starting Sun Belt tight ends, had the second-best overall blocking grade, according to PFF … As a key member of both the running game and passing game, helped App State rank second in the Sun Belt and 23rd nationally in scoring … Played in 59 career games and made 43 starts at tight end.
Steven Jones Jr., CB, 6th-year R-Sr.
Cornerback tied for the Sun Belt lead in the regular season with 15 passes defended … Tied for 14th nationally in the regular season with 1.2 passes defended per game … Also totaled 45 tackles, 4.5 tackles for loss and one sack on the season … School-record six pass breakups in the win over ODU … Career-high nine tackles and his first career sack at Marshall … Helped App State rank top 40 nationally in rushing defense and total defense … Played in 63 career games and made 26 starts.
Isaiah Helms, C/RG, Fourth-year Jr.
Versatile lineman started the first six games at right guard and the last six games at center … Among non-tackles, ranked fourth among starting Sun Belt centers/guards in total blocking grade from PFF after playing 797 total snaps … In first game switching from guard to center, helped App State rush for 469 yards in a 42-17 win against Georgia State … Allowed only one quarterback hit in six games as the starting center …. Among starting guards and centers in the Sun Belt, had the third-best run-blocking grade.
Milan Tucker, KR, 4th-year R-So.
First place in the Sun Belt and third nationally with a kick return average of 28.2 yards (with 620 yards on 22 returns) … Scored his first career touchdown with a 96-yard kickoff return at Marshall … Also had key returns of 47 yards vs. UNC and 63 yards in the win vs. Georgia State … Saw action as a reserve cornerback and on additional special teams units.
Chase Brice, QB, 6th-year R-Sr.
Top 25 pick for the Johnny Unitas Golden Arm Award … Threw 27 touchdown passes (No. 1 in the Sun Belt, T-No. 13 in FBS) against just six interceptions … Passed for 2,921 yards (243.4 per game) with an efficiency rating of 155.1 (No. 3 in the Sun Belt) … Of four Sun Belt QBs with at least 25 TD passes, one of only two with single-digit interceptions … Set school record with six touchdown passes while throwing for 361 passing yards in the 2022 opener against UNC (he completed 10 passes for 203 yards and four TDs during a 40-point fourth quarter) … After leading App State past Texas A&M a week later, memorably threw a 53-yard TD pass to Christan Horn on a last-play Hail Mary to beat Troy 32-28 on the same day ESPN’s College GameDay aired from Boone … Threw for career-high 395 yards and tied program record with 40 completions at Texas State … Threw four TDs apiece in two wins.
Jalen McLeod, OLB, 3rd-year So.
Posted 41 tackles, 7.5 TFLs, 6.0 sacks, two forced fumbles, one fumble recovery and eight QB hurries while playing primarily in a non-starting role … His 0.55 sacks per game average ranked ninth in the Sun Belt … In College Station, had two forced fumbles (on the same play) and two sacks as App State’s defense limited Texas A&M to nine first downs, 186 yards (on just 38 plays) and 18:31 in possession … According to PFF, had 35 total QB pressures with 20 hurries and eight hits in addition to his sacks … Pass-rush grade of 90.2 ranked third among Sun Belt defenders who logged at least 200 snaps on passing plays … Tipped pass at Marshall led to interception.
Nate Noel, RB, 3rd-year So.
Rushed for team-high 604 yards and career-best six touchdowns on 87 carries for a season-long average of 6.9 yards per carry … Opened season with 116 rushing yards and two touchdowns on 14 carries against North Carolina and finished year with 171 rushing yards and three touchdowns on 12 carries against Georgia Southern … Despite missing three full games and being limited by injury in several others, rushed for at least 69 yards in five contests … After totaling 10 catches in his first two seasons, made 24 catches for 145 yards.
Kaedin Robinson, WR, 4th-year R-So.
Ranked third on the team in catches (27) and receiving yards (419) … Had six games with at least 48 receiving yards … Scored a touchdown against UNC with nine seconds left that brought the game within a two-point conversion of tying the opener … Made a key block to help Christan Horn reach the end zone on the game-winning Hail Mary against Troy … Posted three catches for 90 yards and a TD against ODU, thanks to a 57-yard catch on App State’s first offensive play and a 35-yard score … Made five catches for 57 yards vs. JMU … Had four catches for 68 yards vs. Troy.
2022 SUN BELT CONFERENCE FOOTBALL POSTSEASON AWARDS
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
Coach of the Year
Jon Sumrall, Troy
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