Georgia Southern places 9 players on All-Sun Belt Conference football teams

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Georgia Southern nose tackle C.J. Wright (in blue) fights to get to Coastal Carolina quarterback Bryce Carpenter (with football) on Nov. 6 at Paulson Stadium in Statesboro.
Georgia Southern nose tackle C.J. Wright (in blue) fights to get to Coastal Carolina quarterback Bryce Carpenter (with football) on Nov. 6 at Paulson Stadium in Statesboro.

Nine Georgia Southern football players were honored by the league coaches and members of the media as the Sun Belt Conference announced on Thursday the selections for its 2021 all-conference teams.

Senior nose tackle C.J. Wright and redshirt-junior punter Anthony Beck II were both chosen for the second team. For Beck, a South Effingham High graduate, it's his second All-SBC honor as he made the third team last season. It's the first all-conference honor for Wright.

Georgia Southern punter Anthony Beck II.
Georgia Southern punter Anthony Beck II.

True freshman linebacker Eldrick Robinson II, redshirt-junior offensive lineman Khalil Crowder and redshirt-sophomore safety Anthony Wilson were picked third team.

Four Eagles — redshirt-senior running back Logan Wright, sixth-year senior offensive lineman Aaron Dowdell, redshirt-senior defensive lineman Justin Ellis and junior receiver Khaleb Hood — earned honorable mention recognition.

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Coastal Carolina redshirt sophomore quarterback Grayson McCall was named the Sun Belt Player of the Year. The honors were voted upon by the conference’s 10 head football coaches and select media representatives.

South Alabama junior wide receiver Jalen Tolbert was named the Offensive Player of the Year; Appalachian State senior linebacker D’Marco Jackson was selected as the Defensive Player of the Year; App State graduate student quarterback Chase Brice was dubbed the Newcomer of the Year; Louisiana freshman running back Montrell Johnson was picked as the Freshman of the Year and Louisiana head coach Billy Napier was honored as the Coach of the Year.

App State and host Louisiana play Saturday for the SBC championship.

Sun Belt East Division champion App State and Sun Belt West Division champion Louisiana paced all Sun Belt programs with 19 and 16 All-Sun Belt honorees, respectively. Coastal Carolina (13) also produced double-digit honorees. The Mountaineers (9), Chanticleers (8) and Ragin’ Cajuns (4) were the only programs to claim more than two All-Sun Belt first-team selections.

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Georgia Southern, which finished 3-9 overall and 2-6 in the SBC, did not have any players on the first team.

Georgia State redshirt senior offensive lineman Shamarious Gilmore (first team) and Coastal Carolina super senior offensive lineman Trey Carter (third team) became the first five-time All-SBC picks with this year's selections.

Second team

Beck started all 12 games as the punter and holder and set a school record with a 44.3-yard average for the season. He also had a school-record 17 punts of 50 yards or longer. Beck placed 23 punts inside the 20 as opposed to just two touchbacks, and saw 29 punts fair caught.

C.J. Wright was a second-team All-Sun Belt selection by the league and Pro Football Focus. He started all 12 games at nose tackle and posted 36 total tackles, leading the team with eight tackles for loss and five sacks, along with two quarterback hurries.

Appalachian State running back Nate Noel (20) tries to run past Georgia Southern safety Anthony Wilson last Saturday at Kidd Brewer Stadium in Boone, N.C.
Appalachian State running back Nate Noel (20) tries to run past Georgia Southern safety Anthony Wilson last Saturday at Kidd Brewer Stadium in Boone, N.C.

Third team

Crowder started and played in 11 games, totaling 720 snaps (680 on offense, 40 on special teams).

Georgia Southern true freshman inside linebacker Eldrick Robinson II.
Georgia Southern true freshman inside linebacker Eldrick Robinson II.

Robinson played in 11 games, starting the final nine after injuries at inside linebacker to upperclassmen. He tallied 74 tackles, including 5.5 for loss and half a sack, and added two interceptions, four quarterback hurries and two pass breakups.

Wilson started all 12 games at safety and led the team with 78 tackles, including 4.5 tackles for loss and one sack.

Georgia Southern receiver Khaleb Hood (7) carries the ball past BYU defensive back Morgan Pyper (10) during the  game Nov. 20, 2021, in Statesboro.
Georgia Southern receiver Khaleb Hood (7) carries the ball past BYU defensive back Morgan Pyper (10) during the game Nov. 20, 2021, in Statesboro.

Honorable mention

Dowdell, who returned to the team as a super senior, earned honorable mention accolades from the conference and Pro Football Focus. He started all 12 games at left guard for a team-high 848 total snaps (792 on offense, 56 on special teams).

Georgia Southern defensive end Justin Ellis.
Georgia Southern defensive end Justin Ellis.

Ellis started all 12 games and led the defensive line with 37 total tackles, including 7.5 tackles for loss and five sacks. Ellis also had four quarterback hurries, a forced fumble and a pass breakup.

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Hood, a slotback and kick returner, is an honorable mention wide receiver from the conference and Pro Football Focus. He started all 12 games, playing 772 total snaps (657 on offense, 115 on special teams). Hood led the run-heavy Eagles offense with 41 catches for 497 yards for an average of 12.6 yards. He also rushed 13 times for 77 yards and a touchdown.

Georgia Southern running back Logan Wright
Georgia Southern running back Logan Wright

Logan Wright was also honorable mention after leading the team with 793 yards rushing and with eight touchdowns. He played in all 12 games, starting seven. He ran the ball 150 times and caught 17 passes for 180 yards. Wright earned SBC Offensive Player of the Week honors after carrying the ball 10 times for 214 yards and two touchdowns against Arkansas State.

Nathan Dominitz is the Sports Content Editor of the Savannah Morning News and savannahnow.com. Email him at ndominitz@savannahnow.com. Twitter: @NathanDominitz

This article originally appeared on Savannah Morning News: Georgia Southern players on All-Sun Belt Conference football teams

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