#CCU QB Grayson McCall leads the way in SBC preseason honors

Jared Brown is one of four Chanticleers to be named preseason first-team All-SBC (CCU Football)

Three-time Sun Belt Conference Player of the Year Grayson McCall was named the 2023 Preseason Offensive Player of the Year on Monday, in advance of the conference’s media days in New Orleans this Tuesday and Wednesday. McCall headlines a group of six Preseason honorees for the Chanticleers: McCall, Sam Pinckney, Jared Brown, JT Killen, Will McDonald, and Matthew McDoom. 

McCall, Pinckney, Brown, and Killen all landed on the Preseason first team, while McDonald and McDoom were named to the second team, with McDoom’s nod coming as a return specialist. 

McCall, who is the first athlete to ever win conference Player of the Year three straight seasons, recorded a 24-to-2 touchdown-to-interception ratio in 2022, ranking among the best in all of the Football Bowl Subdivision. The Indian Trail, North Carolina, native has also thrown a touchdown pass in 23 consecutive games. Last season, McCall completed nearly 70% of his passes for 2,700 yards and 24 touchdowns. He also rushed 91 times for 195 yards and six scores.

In addition to the preseason honors, CCU was picked to finish third overall in the Sun Belt East Division standings with three first-place votes in the Preseason Coaches’ Poll. James Madison was tabbed first in the East, with Appalachian State second. However, due to their transition from FCS to FBS, the Dukes are not eligible to participate in the league’s championship game or a bowl. JMU’s request for a waiver was denied by the NCAA back in April. However, since the program is in its second transition year, the Dukes could wind up playing in the postseason if not enough teams finish 6-6 or better, leaving open spots.

Over in the West, defending Sun Belt Conference champion Troy was selected first, just ahead of South Alabama and Louisiana.

Preseason Offensive Player of the Year
Grayson McCall, Coastal Carolina (RS Sr., QB – Indian Trail, N.C.)
Preseason Defensive Player of the Year
Jason Henderson, Old Dominion (Jr., LB – Dingmans Ferry, Pa.) 

Preseason All-Sun Belt First Team Offense
QB – Grayson McCall, Coastal Carolina (RS Sr., QB – Indian Trail, N.C.)
RB – La’Damian Webb, South Alabama (Sr., RB – Opelika, Ala.)
RB – Frank Gore Jr., Southern Miss (Jr., RB – Miami, Fla.) 
OL – Isaiah Helms, App State (Sr., OL – Hudson, N.C.) 
OL – Khalil Crowder, Georgia Southern (6th Yr., OL – Carrollton, Ga.) 
OL – Travis Glover, Georgia State (RS Sr., OL – Vienna, Ga.)
OL – Nick Kidwell, James Madison (RS Sr., OL – Knoxville, Md.) 
OL – Logan Osburn, Marshall (RS Jr., OL – Ona, W.Va.) 
TE – Neal Johnson, Louisiana (Sr., TE – Mesquite, Texas) 
WR – Jared Brown, Coastal Carolina (RS So., WR – Lilburn, Ga.) 
WR – Sam Pinckney, Coastal Carolina (Super Sr., WR – Greenwood, S.C.)
WR – Khaleb Hood, Georgia Southern (5th Yr., WR – McDonough, Ga.) 

Preseason All-Sun Belt First Team Defense
DL – James Carpenter, James Madison (RS Jr., DL – Roanoke, Va.) 
DL – Owen Porter, Marshall (RS Sr., DL – Huntington, W.Va.)
DL – TJ Jackson, Troy (Jr., DL – Millbrook, Ala.) 
DL – Richard Jibunor, Troy (Sr., DL – Delta State, Nigeria) 
LB – JT Killen, Coastal Carolina (RS Sr., LB – Lake Wylie, S.C.)
LB – Marques Watson-Trent, Georgia Southern (RS Jr., LB – Beaver Falls, Pa.) 
LB – Eli Neal, Marshall (Sr., LB – Memphis, Tenn.) 
LB – Jason Henderson, Old Dominion (Jr., LB – Dingmans Ferry, Pa.) 
DB – Micah Abraham, Marshall (RS Sr., DB – Tampa, Fla.) 
DB – Yam Banks, South Alabama (Jr., DB – Ridgeland, Miss.)
DB – Jay Stanley, Southern Miss (Sr., DB – Greenwood, Miss.)
DB – Reddy Steward, Troy (Sr., DB – Decatur, Ala.)
Preseason All-Sun Belt First Team Special Teams
K – Dominic Zvada, Arkansas State (So., K – Chandler, Ariz.)
P – Ryan Hanson, James Madison (RS Jr., P – Elgin, Texas) 
RS – Milan Tucker, App State (RS Jr., RS – Lehigh Acres, Fla.) 
AP – Frank Gore Jr., Southern Miss (Jr., AP – Miami, Fla.) 

East Division
1. James Madison – 78 Points (4)
2. App State – 75 Points (4)
3. Coastal Carolina – 71 Points (3)
4. Marshall – 68 Points (2)
5. Georgia Southern – 52 Points (1)
6. Georgia State – 31 Points
7. Old Dominion – 17 Points

West Division
1. Troy – 92 Points (10)
2. South Alabama – 85 Points (4)
3. Louisiana – 64 Points
4. Southern Miss – 62 Points
5. Texas State – 36 Points
6. Arkansas State – 33 Points
7. ULM – 20 Points

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