Chants Sweep Preseason Sun Belt Awards; Picked to Finish Second in the East
NEW ORLEANS – Coastal Carolina football swept the 2022 Sun Belt All-Conference Preseason Awards, it was announced by the Sun Belt Conference office on Monday, as Grayson McCall was named the Preseason Offensive Player of the Year and Josaiah Stewart was tabbed the Preseason Defensive Player of the Year.
On top of their preseason player of the year honors, McCall and Stewart were both named to the preseason All-Sun Belt first team. The duo was joined on the first team by offensive lineman Willie Lampkin and defensive back D’Jordan Strong.
Earning a spot on the preseason All-Sun Belt second team was nose tackle Jerrod Clark.
In the 2022 Sun Belt Conference Football Preseason Coaches Poll, the Chants were picked to finish second in the East Division behind defending Sun Belt Champions Appalachian State.
The Chanticleers garnered two first-place votes and a total of 77 points to place ahead of Georgia State (68 points), Marshall (62), Georgia Southern (35), James Madison (31), and Old Dominion (25).
Louisiana (95) was picked to win the West Division, receiving 12 first-place votes.
Grayson McCall – Redshirt Junior
A two-time Sun Belt Conference Player of the Year (2020 and 2021), McCall picks up Preseason Offensive Player of the Year and preseason All-Sun Belt first-team accolades for the second consecutive season.
Named to both the Davey O’Brien National Quarterback Award and Maxwell Award preseason watch lists this season, the CCU signal-caller was also previously named a 2022 Preseason All-American by Athlon Sports and earned a spot on both the Athlon Sports and Phil Steele’s 2022 Preseason All-Sun Belt first teams earlier this offseason.
McCall set a new NCAA Division I FBS record in passing efficiency rating at 207.6 last season in 2021, eclipsing the previous two records set by Alabama’s Mac Jones (203.1) in 2020 and LSU’s Joe Burrow (202.0) in 2019. He enters the 2022 season as the active career leader in all of NCAA Division I FBS in career passing efficiency at 196.09.
The 2021 Blanchard-Rogers Trophy Winner, an award given out to the best player in the state of South Carolina, McCall ranked in the top 25 in all of NCAA Division I FBS in 2021 in several offensive categories including - passing efficiency (207.6), yards per pass attempt (11.92), completion percentage (73.0), passing yards per completion (16.32), points responsible for per game (17.6), passing touchdowns (27), passing yards per game (261.2), total offense per game (287.5), and points responsible for (194).
Having gone 20-2 over the last two years as Coastal’s starting quarterback, McCall is also a two-time All-Sun Belt first-team selection and a two-time semifinalist for both the Maxwell Award and the Davey O’Brien National Quarterback Award (2020 and 2021). He was also a top-10 finalist for the 2021 Johnny Unitas Golden Arm Award last season after being named a finalist for the Manning Award in 2020.
Josaiah Stewart - Sophomore
A 2021 Freshman All-American, earning a spot on the FWAA Freshman All-America team, ESPN’s 2021 College Football True Freshman All-American team, 247Sports True Freshman All-American, The Athletic’s 2021 College Football Freshman All-American team, and the 2021 Pro Football Focus (PFF) All-True Freshman team, Stewart was named the Sun Belt Conference Preseason Defensive Player of the Year and earned a spot on the preseason All-Sun Belt first team.
A 2021 Phil Steele All-American honorable mention selection last year as a true freshman, Stewart was named the 2021 Pro Football Network (PFN) Best Interior Defensive Lineman, Sun Belt Defensive Lineman of the Year, and Sun Belt Defensive Rookie of the Year.
A 2021 All-Sun Belt first team, the Massachusetts native shattered the CCU single-season sacks record with 12.5 sacks in his first collegiate season in 2021. His 12.5 sacks led the Sun Belt and were just one shy of the Sun Belt single-season record of 13.5 sacks. They also ranked fifth nationally and were the most by a true freshman in all of FBS on the year. He finished the season with 15.5 tackles-for-loss, which was the second-most in a single season in Coastal history, the most by a true freshman nationally, and ranked sixth in the Sun Belt. His 12.0 tackles-for-loss and 9.0 sacks in Sun Belt Conference play led the league.
Stewart recorded 43 total tackles on the year and forced three fumbles. He registered 3.5 sacks in a win over Kansas (Sept. 10) to set CCU’s single-game sacks record before topping that with 4.0 sacks in the road win at Georgia Southern (Nov. 6). He also set a new CCU single-game tackles-for-loss record with 5.0 versus the Eagles.
Willie Lampkin - Junior
Named to the 2022 Rimington Trophy preseason watch list, Lampkin was named to the preseason All-Sun Belt first team.
Lampkin, who enters his junior year having started and played in all of CCU’s 25 games the last two seasons, is a two-time All-Sun Belt second-team selection and was a member of the 2020 Football Writers Association of America (FWAA), ESPN, 247Sports, and The Athletic All-Freshman teams in his first season as a Chant in 2020. Tabbed a 2022 preseason all-conference first-team selection by both Phil Steele and Athlon Sports this year, Lampkin was the top-graded offensive lineman in eight different games last year for the Chanticleers. He totaled 20 knockdown blocks on the season and was the best offensive lineman in the 2021 Tailgreeter Cure Bowl win over Northern Illinois (Dec. 17), grading out at a team-high 98 percent with two knockdown blocks over 58 offensive snaps.
D’Jordan Strong – Super Senior
A two-time All-Sun Belt first-team selection (2020 and 2021) and the 2020 Sun Belt Conference Newcomer of the Year, Strong also earned a spot on the preseason All-Sun Belt first team for the second consecutive year.
Named to the 2022 East-West Shrine Bowl 1000 preseason list and both the 2022 Phil Steele and Athlon Sports Preseason All-Sun Belt second teams, Strong played and started in all 13 games for the Chanticleers in the defensive backfield last season. He led the team and was tied for second in the Sun Belt with 10 pass breakups on the year, while adding 26 tackles, including 19 solo stops on the season.
Strong recorded seven pass breakups in conference play, which ranked sixth in the Sun Belt, and anchored the “Black Swarm” defense that was second in the Sun Belt with the fewest passing yards allowed (190.3) and fewest points allowed per game (21.6). He registered a season-high four tackles and two pass breakups in the home win over UMass (Sept. 25) and also had four tackles in the 2021 Tailgreeter Cure Bowl win over Northern Illinois (Dec. 17).
Jerrod Clark – Redshirt Senior
Voted a team captain in the offseason, Clark was the lone Chant to be named to the preseason All-Sun Belt second team this year.
Named to the 2022 East-West Shrine Bowl 1000 preseason list, Clark has also been named to the 2022 Phil Steele Preseason SBC All-Conference fourth team and the 2022 Athlon Sports Preseason All-Sun Belt third team.
Last season, Clark played in all 13 games on the year, starting 11 contests on the defensive line. He totaled 33 tackles, including 4.0 tackles-for-loss, and 2.0 sacks, while adding two pass breakups and one quarterback hurry on the season.
Clark had a season-high seven tackles in the 2021 Tailgreeter Cure Bowl win over Northern Illinois (Dec. 17) and finished with four tackles, including three solo stops, in the road win at Buffalo (Sept. 18).
2022 Sun Belt Conference Football Media Days
Coastal Carolina will join the rest of the new-look Sun Belt Conference on Tuesday and Wednesday, July 26-27, at the 2022 Sun Belt Football Media Days, presented BuyB1.com, in New Orleans. The event will also be broadcast nationwide on ESPN+.
Chadwell and the Chants will be on the main stage at 3 p.m. ET/2 p.m. CT on Tuesday, July 26, which will be broadcast live on ESPN+.
Teal Nation can follow the Chants all day long on Twitter (@CoastalFootball) and Instagram (@coastalfootball).
Coastal will kick off the 2022 football season at home on Saturday, Sept. 3, versus Army at 7 p.m. ET.
2022 SUN BELT CONFERENCE FOOTBALL PRESEASON AWARDS
Preseason Offensive Player of the Year
Grayson McCall, Coastal Carolina
Preseason Defensive Player of the Year
Josaiah Stewart, Coastal Carolina
Preseason All-Sun Belt First Team Offense
QB – Grayson McCall, Coastal Carolina
RB – Rasheen Ali, Marshall
RB – Camerun Peoples, App State
OL – Willie Lampkin, Coastal Carolina
OL – Dalton Cooper, Texas State
OL – Austin Stidham, Troy
OL – Malik Sumter, Georgia State
OL – Cooper Hodges, App State
TE – Zack Kuntz, Old Dominion
WR – Ali Jennings, Old Dominion
WR – Kris Thornton, James Madison
WR – Tez Johnson, Troy
Preseason All-Sun Belt First Team Defense
DL – Josaiah Stewart, Coastal Carolina
DL – Javon Solomon, Troy
DL – Zi’Yon Hill, Louisiana
DL – Will Choloh, Troy
LB – Carlton Martial, Troy
LB – Blake Carroll, Georgia State
LB – Kivon Bennett, Arkansas State
DB – Darrell Luter Jr., South Alabama
DB – D’Jordan Strong, Coastal Carolina
DB – Antavious Lane, Georgia State
DB – Eric Garror, Louisiana
DB – Keith Gallmon, South Alabama
Preseason All-Sun Belt First Team Special Teams
K – Seth Keller, Texas State
P – Rhys Byrns, Louisiana
RS – Johnnie Lang, Arkansas State
AP – Chris Smith, Louisiana
Preseason All-Sun Belt Second Team Offense
QB – Chase Brice, App State
RB – Nate Noel, App State
RB – Tucker Gregg, Georgia State
OL – Travis Glover, Georgia State
OL – Kyle Hergel, Texas State
OL – Damion Daley, App State
OL – Pat Bartlett, Georgia State
OL – Nick Saldiveri, Old Dominion
TE – Aubry Payne, Georgia State
WR – Te’Vailance Hunt, Arkansas State
WR – Jalen Wayne, South Alabama
WR – Boogie Knight, ULM
Preseason All-Sun Belt Second Team Defense
DL – Richard Jubinor, Troy
DL – Thomas Gore, Georgia State
DL – Jerrod Clark, Coastal Carolina
DL – Justin Ellis, Georgia Southern
LB – Nick Hampton, App State
LB – Abraham Beauplan, Marshall
LB – Andre Jones, Louisiana
LB – Trey Cobb, App State
DB – Steven Jones Jr., App State
DB – Derrick Canteen, Georgia Southern
DB – Steven Gilmore, Marshall
DB – TJ Harris, Troy
Preseason All-Sun Belt Second Team Special Teams
K – Calum Sutherland, ULM
P – Anthony Beck II, Georgia Southern
RS – Camron Harrell, Southern Miss
AP – Amare Jones, Georgia Southern
2022 SUN BELT CONFERENCE FOOTBALL PRESEASON COACHES POLL
1. App State – 94 Points (10)
2. Coastal Carolina – 77 Points (2)
3. Georgia State – 68 Points (1)
4. Marshall – 62 Points
5. Georgia Southern – 35 Points (1)
6. James Madison – 31 Points
7. Old Dominion – 25 Points
1. Louisiana – 95 Points (12)
2. South Alabama – 79 Points (2)
3. Troy – 76 Points
4. Texas State – 41 Points
5. Southern Miss – 40 Points
6. Arkansas State – 37 Points
7. ULM – 24 Points
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