NEW ORLEANS – The Coastal Carolina football program had a total of six Chanticleers garner preseason All-Sun Belt accolades and was picked to finish fifth in the East Division in the annual preseason coaches’ poll, the league office announced today.
Picking up preseason first-team All-Sun Belt honors was defensive end Tarron Jackson while running back CJ Marable, tight end Isaiah Likely, defensive tackle C.J. Brewer, linebacker Teddy Gallagher, and placekicker Massimo Biscardi all earned second team recognition.
The preseason accolades continue to flood in for the redshirt senior defensive end with the preseason All-Sun Belt first team honor by the league’s coaches. Jackson has also been named to the preseason watch list for the 2020 Bronko Nagurski Trophy presented by LendingTree, the Football Writers Association of America (FWAA), in conjunction with the Charlotte Touchdown Club, and the Bednarik Award watch list, an award presented annually to the College Defensive Player of the Year by the Maxwell Football Club.
The fifth-year Chant was also a 2020 preseason first-team All-Sun Belt selection by Phil Steele, Athlon Sports, Lindy’s, and College Football News (CFN), and named to the 2020 College Football America Yearbook (CFA) Group of 5 Preseason Starting Lineup this preseason.
A two-time All-Sun Belt selection, earning first team honors in 2019 after third team recognition in 2018, Jackson led the Sun Belt and set a new Coastal single-season record with 10.0 sacks last season. His 72 yards lost from his 10.0 sacks was also a CCU single-season record. He also led the team and ranked fifth in the Sun Belt with 13.0 tackles-for-loss, of which 9.5 came in conference play, and was second on the team with a total of 60 tackles on the season. He added a school-record 13 quarterback hurries, forced two fumbles, and tallied two pass breakups from his defensive end position. A 2019 team captain, Jackson recorded five tackles or more in six of the Chants' 12 games on the season, including a career-high 10 stops in the home contest versus Georgia State on Oct. 12, 2019. Jackson capped off the season by tying the CCU single-game record of 3.0 sacks in the regular-season finale win over Texas State on Nov. 30, 2019.
The preseason All-Sun Belt second team honor is the sixth such award of the season for the senior running back, as Marable was also named to the 2020 Athlon Sports preseason All-Sun Belt first team and earned a spot on the preseason second-team for both Phil Steele and Lindy's Sports. He was also named to the CFN 2020 preseason All-Sun Belt team.
In his first season as a feature back last year, Marable led the team in rushing with 1,085 yards which ranked fourth in the Sun Belt. He etched his name in the CCU record books as he became just the fourth Chant to rush for over 1,000 yards in a single season. His 1,000-yard rushing season was only the sixth in school history joining De'Angelo Henderson (2014, 2015, and 2016), Lorenzo Taliaferro (2013), and Patrick Hall (2004). One of four team captains for 2019, Marable led the team in rushing attempts (204), rushing touchdowns (11), total touchdowns (14), and all-purpose yards (1418), while ranking second on the team in receptions (38) and receiving touchdowns (3). Marable, who ranked third in the Sun Belt in total touchdowns (14), fourth in scoring (86), and seventh in all-purpose yards per game (118.2), totaled six 100-yard rushing games on the season. His six 100-yard rushing games were the third-most in the Sun Belt, while his career-high game of 172 rushing yards at ULM on Nov. 23 last year was the seventh-most rushing yards in a game by a player in the Sun Belt in 2019. He also scored a touchdown either on the ground or through the air in 11 of CCU's 12 games on the season and has caught at least one pass in 20-straight games dating back to the 2018 season. In just two years at CCU, he has climbed to seventh all-time in CCU history with 1,804 career rushing yards (this doesn't include his 1,038 rushing yards on the ground at Presbyterian College as a freshman in 2017). Isaiah Likely
Already named to the 2020 preseason All-Sun Belt second team by Athlon Sports and third team by Phil Steele, Likely enters his third season at Coastal Carolina in 2020.
A 2019 John Mackey Award watch list member, Likely was named to the All-Sun Belt third team last year as a sophomore. Likely was one of just 21 players in all of the Sun Belt to record a 100-yard receiving game with 107 yards in the season-finale versus Texas State on Nov. 23. The tight end was a constant threat for the Chants' offense last year, as he hauled in at least one pass in all 12 games and has recorded a reception in 15-straight games dating back to his freshman year in 2018. He finished the season ranked among the league leaders in tight ends with 32 receptions, 431 receiving yards, and a team-high five touchdowns.
Recently named to the Wuerffel Trophy watch list, Brewer has also earned 2020 Phil Steele, Lindy's Sports, and Athlon Sports preseason All-Sun Belt second team honors this preseason.
Named to both the All-Sun Belt third team and the 2019 Phil Steele SBC All-Conference third team last season, he ranked third on the team with 54 total tackles, which included 16 solo stops. He also recorded 7.5 tackles-for-loss, which was third on the team, 3.0 sacks, and seven quarterback hurries. His breakout game came when he recorded a career-high 13 tackles, including six solo stops, 2.0 tackles-for-loss, and two quarterback hurries in the home contest versus Georgia State on Oct. 12.
Gallagher adds the preseason All-Sun Belt second team honor to his list of awards this preseason which includes already been named to the 2020 preseason All-Sun Belt first team by Phil Steele, and the preseason second-team by both Lindy’s Sports and Athlon Sports.
Despite missing the last game of the season due to a lower-body injury last year, Gallagher still earned third team honors his junior season. The linebacker led the team and ranked 10th in the Sun Belt in total tackles with 88 on the season. His average of 8.0 tackles per game ranked seventh in the Sun Belt, while his average of 8.9 stops per contest in conference play ranked fifth in the league. The California native recorded five tackles or more in nine of the 11 games in which he played in 2019, including a team-high 15 tackles at Georgia Southern (Oct. 19), 14 stops versus Georgia State (Oct. 12), and 10 tackles at both Kansas (Sept. 7) and Appalachian State (Sept. 28).
Biscardi picks up another preseason All-Sun Belt second team honor, having garnered second team recognition from Phil Steele, Lindy’s Sports, and Athlon Sports this preseason.
A 2018 All-Sun Belt third team pick as a freshman, Biscardi got off to a great start in 2019 when he was named the Sun Belt Special Teams Player of the Week (Sept. 2) following the season opener versus Eastern Michigan (Aug. 31).
The 2018 Lou Groza Award semifinalist, played in all 12 games last season, serving as the placekicker and kicking on kickoffs. He was second on the team in scoring with 79 points on 15 field goals and 34 extra-points made. He made 15-of-20 field goal attempts on the season, including a Coastal Carolina program-record 53-yard field goal in the season opener versus Eastern Michigan. He was 6-for-6 in field goal attempts from 40 yards or longer on the season and connected on seven-straight field goal attempts over a four-game span midway through the season. Biscardi also recorded 55 kickoffs for a total of 3,170 yards, an average of 57.6 yards per kickoff, and totaled 15 touchbacks on the year.
2020 Sun Belt Conference Preseason Football Teams
Preseason Offensive Player of the Year: Zac Thomas, (App State, Senior)
Preseason Defensive Player of the Year: Carlton Martial (Troy, Junior)
First Team Offense
QB - Zac Thomas, App State
RB - Elijah Mitchell, Louisiana
RB - Josh Johnson, ULM
OL - Noah Hannon, App State
OL - Baer Hunter, App State
OL - Cooper Hodges, App State
OL - Jarrett Horst, Arkansas State
OL - Shamarious Gilmore, Georgia State
TE – Josh Pederson, ULM
WR – Corey Sutton, App State
WR – Jonathan Adams, Arkansas State
WR – Kaylon Geiger, Troy
First Team Defense
DL – Demetrius Taylor, App State
DL – Tarron Jackson, Coastal Carolina
DL – Raymond Johnson III, Georgia Southern
DL – Will Choloh, Troy
LB – Rashad Byrd, Georgia Southern
LB – Joe Dillon, Louisiana
LB – Carlton Martial, Troy
DB – Shaun Jolly, App State
DB – Kenderick Duncan Jr, Georgia Southern
DB – Corey Straughter, ULM
DB – Dell Pettus, Troy
First Team Special Teams
K – Blake Grupe, Arkansas State
P – Rhys Byrns, Louisiana
RS - Wesley Kennedy III, Georgia Southern
Second Team Offense
QB - Levi Lewis, Louisiana
RB - Trey Ragas, Louisiana
RB - CJ Marable, Coastal Carolina
OL - Ryan Neuzil, App State
OL - Jacob Still, Arkansas State
OL - Max Mitchell, Louisiana
OL - O'Cyrus Torrence, Louisiana
OL - TJ Fiailoa, ULM
TE – Isaiah Likely, Coastal Carolina
WR – Thomas Hennigan, App State
WR – Cornelius McCoy, Georgia State
WR – Reggie Todd, Troy
Second Team Defense
DL – Forrest Merrill, Arkansas State
DL – C.J. Brewer, Coastal Carolina
DL – Dontae Wilson, Georgia State
DL – Zi'Yon Hill, Louisiana
LB – Teddy Gallagher, Coastal Carolina
LB – Trajan Stephens-McQueen, Georgia State
LB – Riley Cole, South Alabama
DB – Shemar Jean-Charles, App State
DB – Antonio Fletcher, Arkansas State
DB – Quavian White, Georgia State
DB – Eric Garror, Louisiana
Second Team Special Teams
K – Massimo Biscardi, Coastal Carolina
P – Anthony Beck II, Georgia Southern
RS - Eric Garror, Louisiana
2020 Sun Belt Football Coaches Predicted Championship Game Winner App State
2020 Sun Belt Football Coaches Predicted Order of Finish (First-place votes in parentheses)
East Division 1. App State (9) - 49 pts 2. Georgia Southern - 36 pts 3. Troy (1) - 32 pts 4. Georgia State - 20 pts 5. Coastal Carolina - 13 pts