NEW ORLEANS, La. (7/21/14) – Highlighted by preseason Sun Belt Conference Defensive Player of the Year Qushaun Lee, the three-time defending league champion Arkansas State University football team featured a conference-leading 11 selections on the 2014 Preseason All-SBC Team, which was announced this Monday (July 21) afternoon by the conference office.
The Red Wolves, who were recently picked second in the conference’s 2014 preseason football coaches’ poll, had a combined six first-team preseason selections while five other A-State players garnered second-team recognition. The preseason All-Sun Belt Conference Teams are comprised of 12 individuals each on the first and second teams for both offense and defense. The first and second teams for special teams consisted of three players apiece. The 2014 preseason All-SBC Teams were selected by the conference’s head coaches and select members of the media. UL-Lafayette followed A-State with 10 choices, including Preseason Offensive Player of the Year Terrance Broadway, proceeded by South Alabama (nine), Texas State (eight), and UL Monroe (six). Troy had four selections, Idaho three, Georgia Southern two, and Georgia State one.
Qushaun Lee (Prattsville, Ala.), a 2013 All-SBC First-Team and Sports Illustrated All-America Honorable Mention selection, has been named to the watch lists for the Walter Camp Player of the Year, Lombardi Award and the College Football Performance Awards (CFPA) Trophy for 2014 along with being tabbed as the USA Today Sports’ defensive “Player to Watch” in the Sun Belt Conference. The senior linebacker is listed No. 2 on Lindy’s “Top-10 NFL Talent” in the Sun Belt and is also Lindy’s along with the Sports News’ selection as the Preseason Sun Belt Conference Defensive Player of the Year. Lee, who finished the 2013 campaign with a team-best and program all-time sixth-most 134 tackles to rank 12th among the final NCAA Division I tackles leaders, is a preseason first team all-league pick by USA Today Sports, Athlon’s, Lindy’s, Sporting News, and Phil Steele’s. He enters this season with 283 total tackles (146 solos) and is 114 stops shy of tying the SBC record of 397 tackles.
Five A-State players, including Qushaun Lee, were recognized as preseason all-defense first team selections. Junior defensive end Chris Stone(Daleville, Ala.), junior defensive back Rocky Hayes(Helfin, Ala.), senior defensive back Sterling Young(Hoover, Ala.). Junior wide receiver J.D. McKissic(Phenix City, Ala.) earned first-team plaudits on both offense and special teams.
The second-team preseason all-league honorees for A-State include junior running back Michael Gordon(Camden, Miss.), junior tight end Darion Griswold (Dumas, Ark.), sophomore offensive lineman Colton Jackson (Ozark, Ark.), senior defensive lineman Dexter Blackmon (Selma, Ala.), and senior defensive back Artez Brown (Newport, Ark.).
Qushaun Lee, J.D. McKissic, and Sterling Young repeated as preseason all-conference picks as the three were among a league-high seven Red Wolves to achieve such recognition going into the 2013 season. Lee and McKissic would go on to claim 2013 postseason all-league first-team laurels while Gordon, Griswold, Hayes, and Young garnered second-team accolades. McKissic also was second team as a return specialist and Stone was named honorable mention.
Arkansas State, under first-year head coach Blake Anderson, will open the 2014 campaign and its 100th season in the program’s history Saturday, Aug. 30, against the Montana State Bobcats at Centennial Bank Stadium in Jonesboro, Ark. Opening kickoff for the season opener is scheduled for 6 p.m. (CT).
Season tickets for the upcoming 2014 campaign are now on sale at the A-State Ticket Office, located at the Convocation Center’s lower red entrance. The ticket office can also be contacted at 870-972-2781 and tickets may be purchased online at tickets.astate.edu.