App State linebacker picked as preseason DPOY
BOONE — Appalachian State senior linebacker John Law was tabbed as the Sun Belt’s Preseason Defensive Player of the Year on Friday.
Law is the sixth Mountaineer player to receive preseason recognition from the Sun Belt.
As a junior last season, Law was a first-team, all-Sun Belt performer with 72 tackles, 9.5 tackles for loss and four quarterback sacks. Law is currently ranked 20th among all active players in the nation with 236 career tackles.
Joining Law on the preseason all-Sun Belt first team were fellow linebacker Eric Boggs, quarterback Taylor Lamb and offensive lineman Parker Collins. Running back Marcus Cox and offensive lineman Colby Gossett were on the preseason second team.
Boggs led the team in tackles last year with 104 which ranked him fifth overall in the Sun Belt.
For Lamb, being named a preseason all-conference player recently followed up his addition to the Davey O’Brien Watch List, an award given to the top quarterback in the nation. Lamb threw for 31 touchdowns last season, a single-season record at App State.
The tandem of Collins and Gossett on the o-line is one of the many reasons why the Mountaineers are considered to have one of the best offensive lines in the country. Collins gave up just one sack last year and is a preseason member of the Outland Trophy Watch List, awarded to the best lineman in the nation. For Gossett, he did not allow a single sack last season and as a whole, the o-line gave up just 11 sacks.
Last but not least, Cox has been one of the most steady, hard-working and talented tailbacks in the nation during his career at App State. Cox ran for 1,423 yards last year which ranked him 13th in the nation. He needs only 717 rushing yards this year to become the Mountaineers’ all-time leading rusher. Kevin Richardson currently holds that record with 4,804 yards.
Yosef Club sets all-time record for donations
BOONE — The Yosef Club, Appalachian State University athletics’ fundraising arm, generated an all-time record of $3,227,769 in annual giving during the 2015-16 fiscal year, director of athletics Doug Gillin announced on Monday.
Thanks to generous support from Appalachian State athletics’ supporters, a total of $4,786,027 in overall support was raised – increasing last year’s figure by 22 percent. In addition to Yosef Club members, the organization’s volunteers and staff played a giant part in the record-breaking year.
“Being able to achieve an all-time record in annual giving two fiscal years in a row is a tremendous achievement for Appalachian State athletics and the Yosef Club,” said Gillin. “An achievement of this magnitude wouldn’t be possible without the enthusiastic support of App Nation. We sincerely thank Yosef Club members for providing our student-athletes with the continued opportunity to excel in the classroom and on the fields of play. In particular, I would like to thank Gerald Adams for his significant contribution to our efforts in achieving this goal. “
Gillin continued, “In the landscape of intercollegiate athletics, fan support is crucial to the growth of our Athletic Department. The App Nation continues to rally behind the Mountaineers in record numbers. The future is incredibly bright for Appalachian athletics.”
To join, visit appstatesports.com/yosefclub or call the Yosef Club office at 828-262-3108.
Mountaineers favored to win Sun Belt
NEW ORLEANS — Appalachian State University football was picked to win the Sun Belt Conference in 2016 by the league’s coaches, the conference announced on Thursday.
Appalachian being picked as conference favorites comes as no surprise. The Mountaineers return 17-of-22 starters on the offensive and defensive sides from the 2015 team that won the most games in Sun Belt Conference history with 11 victories while capturing the 2015 Raycom Media Camellia Bowl. The Apps’ lone setbacks came to national runner-up Clemson and Sun Belt Champion, Arkansas State.
Appalachian set a new record for victories by a team in its first season as a full-fledged member of NCAA Division I FBS (previously Division I-A) after transitioning from Division I FCS (previously I-AA) and the first team to win a bowl game in its initial season as a full-fledged FBS squad.
The Mountaineers and defending league champion, Arkansas State, were tied with five first-place votes apiece, but the Mountaineers edged the Red Wolves, 114-110, in total number of points, placing the Red Wolves to second place. Last season’s preseason favorite, Georgia Southern, was voted into the third slot with one first-place vote. Georgia State was picked to finish fourth while Troy and UL Lafayette were tied to finish fifth at 70 points.
Rounding out the preseason poll are South Alabama (7th), Idaho (8th), New Mexico State (9th), Texas State (10th) and UL Monroe (11th).
Last season, the Black and Gold were selected to finish fourth in the league and went on to finish second to their only Sun Belt loss of the season, Arkansas State. The last team picked to win the conference and go on to win the title was UL Lafayette in 2013. But the 2013 title was later vacated, making Troy’s 2009 SBC title run the official last time a team has won after they were favored in the preseason.
Seven different times has the team selected to win the league championship went on to claim the league trophy, while four preseason favorites have won the championship outright.
Fans can also still enjoy the perks that come with being a Yosef Club member by joining for the 2016 membership year, which runs through Dec. 31, 2016. Yosef Club membership comes with access to exclusive seating and parking for Appalachian State football (at certain membership levels). Additionally, Yosef Club members at the $100 annual and above will be eligible to participate in July’s single-game tickets pre-sale.
To join the Yosef Club today, visit appstatesports.com or call the Yosef Club office at (828) 262-3108.
2016 Sun Belt Football Coaches Predicted Order of Finish (first place votes)
1. Appalachian St. (5) – 114 pts
2. Arkansas State (5) – 110 pts
3. Georgia Southern (1) – 98 pts
4. Georgia State – 73 pts
5. Troy – 70 pts
5. UL Lafayette – 70 pts
7. South Alabama – 62 pts
8. Idaho – 48 pts
9. New Mexico St. – 37 pts
10. Texas State – 30 pts
11. UL Monroe – 14 pts
Nathan Ham can be reached at 336-489-3062.