11 Red Wolves make All-Sun Belt
JONESBORO - GoDaddy Bowl-bound Arkansas State placed 11 players, including three first-team selections, on the 2014 All-Sun Belt Conference Team.
The Red Wolves saw at least 10 players named all-conference for the fifth consecutive year and eighth time overall since the league's inaugural football season in 2001. Made up of three seniors, four juniors, one sophomore and three freshmen, A-State's 11 players earning the recognition tied its third most ever as a Sun Belt member.
Arkansas State's total players selected matched the second most in the league along with Georgia Southern, Louisiana-Monroe, Texas State, Appalachian State and South Alabama. Only Louisiana-Lafayette had more players honored with 12.
Six defensive, four offensive and one special teams players represented A-State on the all-conference team. A-State, which will face Toledo in the 2015 GoDaddy Bowl on Jan. 4, was among the top two conference teams in total players selected for the fifth straight year.
Earning first team recognition for the Red Wolves was junior quarterback Fredi Knighten (Little Rock, Ark.), senior linebacker Qushaun Lee (Prattville, Ala.) and senior cornerback Artez Brown (Newport, Ark.). Knighten finished the regular-season ranked first in the conference and 14th in the nation in total offense (304.1 ypg), while Lee was among the league's top-10 leaders in both tackles and interceptions. Brown ranked third in the conference in interceptions and fifth in passes defended.
A-State's second-team choices included junior running back Michael Gordon (Camden, Miss.), redshirt freshman defensive end Ja'Von Rolland-Jones (Mesquite, Texas) and redshirt freshman cornerback Blaise Taylor (Auburn, Ala.), who made the squad as a return specialist.
Receiving honorable mention honors for the Red Wolves were junior wide receiver Tres Houston (College Park, Ga.), junior defensive end Chris Stone (Daleville, Ala.), senior defensive back Andrew Tryon (Little Rock, Ark.) and sophomore linebacker Xavier Woodson (Eufala, Ala.).
As part of its all-conference team, the Sun Belt also announced a Newcomer Team comprised of one player from each school. Representing the Red Wolves on the Newcomer Team was redshirt freshman wide receiver Dijon Paschal (Tallassee, Ala).
Louisiana-Lafayette sophomore running back Elijah McGuire was named both the Sun Belt Conference Player of the Year and Offensive Player of the Year, while Texas State senior linebacker David Mayo was the league's Defensive Player of the Year. Quarterback Taylor Lamb of Appalachian State was recognized as the conference's Freshman of the Year. Georgia Southern's Willie Fritz was named the Sun Belt Conference Coach of the Year.
A-State and Toldeo will kickoff the 2015 GoDaddy Bowl at 8 p.m. on Jan. 4 at Ladd-Peebles Stadium in Mobile, Ala. Bowl tickets are only $45 per ticket when purchased through the A-State Ticket Office. The A-State Ticket Office, located at the Convocation Center's lower red entrance, is also taking walk-up or telephone (870-972-2781) orders, and tickets can be purchased online at tickets.astate.edu.