The Sun Belt Conference announced its 2021 Preseason All-Sun Belt Football Teams, individual awards and Preseason Poll last Tuesday.
Coastal Carolina redshirt sophomore quarterback Grayson McCall was dubbed the Preseason Offensive Player of the Year, while Troy junior linebacker Carlton Martial was named the Preseason Defensive Player of the Year. McCall was the Sun Belt “Player and Freshman of the Year” in 2020, while both McCall and Martial are returning “All-Sun Belt First Team” honorees.
Coastal Carolina paced all conference programs with eleven preseason “All-Sun Belt” selections, including a conference-best seven “1st Team” picks. The Chanticleers were followed closely by Georgia State (10), App State (9) and Louisiana (9). Louisiana was picked to win its fourth-straight Sun Belt West Division title in the Preseason Coaches Poll, while capturing 9-of-10 first-place votes. Coastal Carolina and App State were tied atop the Sun Belt East Division ledger, though the Chanticleers claimed an edge with 6-of-10 first-place nods.
Coastal Carolina and Louisiana were Sun Belt co-champions in 2020, while App State won four-straight titles from 2016-19.
2021 SUN BELT CONFERENCE FOOTBALL PRESEASON COACHES POLL
T1. Coastal Carolina (6) – 44
T1. App State (4) – 44
3. Georgia State – 24
4. Georgia Southern – 20
5. Troy – 18
1. Louisiana (9) – 49
2. Arkansas State (1) – 38
3. South Alabama – 27
4. Texas State – 25
5. ULM – 11
Southern Conference Football
Samford quarterback Liam Welch has been named the Southern Conference Preseason Offensive Player of the Year and VMI linebacker Stone Snyder has been tabbed the Defensive Player of the Year in voting by the league’s nine head coaches. The coaches and media both selected Chattanooga to win the league, which is embarking upon its 100th season of football competition this fall.
The SoCon’s 2021 season gets underway with four games on Thursday, September 2nd, with the remaining five teams in action on Saturday, September 4th.
2021 Preseason Southern Conference Coaches Poll
|Team (1st-place votes)||Total|
|1. Chattanooga (4)||59|
|2. Samford (2)||52|
|3. VMI (2)||50|
|4. ETSU (1)||49|
|7. The Citadel||22|
|9. Western Carolina||8|