NEW ORLEANS — Be it the championship belt or alligator sausage, there were plenty of enticements present at the 2018 Sun Belt Fais Do-Do and Media Day.
Appalachian State seniors Jalin Moore and MyQuon Stout touched on their title-driven hunger as they joined head coach Scott Satterfield in conducting a series of interviews with Sun Belt media members Monday at the Mercedes-Benz Superdome.
Topics ranged from the league holding its first football championship game Dec. 1, with App State striving to host the game in Boone and secure a third straight league title, to matters such as the belt that will be awarded to the title-game MVP and the Cajun food preferences of the media day visitors.
Moore and Stout both enjoyed the alligator sausage that was available Sunday during the Fais Do-Do, the official name for an elaborate Cajun party with live music and local delicacies. With more of a focus on football Monday, the Mountaineers arrived as favorites to win the Sun Belt’s East Division in 2018.
App State opens its schedule with a nonconference game at highly ranked Penn State on Sept. 1.
“We’re really excited to get the season started,” Satterfield said. “For us, it’s been a long offseason, and this media day kind of kicks off the start for us coaches to get back in the office and get going again. Our guys have been working out all summer and have put a lot of great work, effort and time into that.”
Junior captains in 2017, Moore and Stout are among the 10 returning seniors on App State’s roster.
Stout’s 41 tackles last season rank first among the Sun Belt’s returning interior linemen, and he’ll enter 2018 as a third-year starter who has been named a preseason All-Sun Belt second-team selection by the league’s coaches and media.
The Sun Belt’s rushing champion in 2016 and 2017, Moore ranks second among active FBS players with 3,170 career rushing yards, and he’s the only active FBS back who’s rushed for at least 235 yards in four career games.
Beyond high-level production, the seniors understand how important their leadership will be in the pursuit of another conference title.
“We dream big,” Moore said. “Pushing each other, staying on each other, hopefully that turns into a championship.”
In addition to their roles as returning captains, Moore and Stout have been multi-year roommates who clearly push each other and stay on each other a lot. The media day interviews gave them plenty of opportunities to playfully interact and trade friendly barbs, namely about Moore’s inclusion on several athletic “Freaks” lists.
Stout, after all, was a three-sport high school standout who also excelled as a starter on the Carson High School basketball team and won a state championship in the shot put. He claimed bragging rights over Moore in the bench press, citing 31 reps at 225 pounds and a max of 455 pounds.
“He’s a freak, I will admit,” Stout said with a laugh as he sat next to Moore, “but I feel like I’m a little bit more freakish.”