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ASU's Aplin named SBC Preseason offensive Player of the Year

Arkansas State senior quarterback Ryan Aplin was named Sun Belt Conference Preseason Offensive Player of the Year and the Red Wolves were picked second in the preseason poll announced Monday as part of the league’s annual Media Days.
ASU’s Aplin Named SBC Preseason Offensive Player of the Year; Red Wolves Tabbed Second in Preseason Poll


NEW ORLEANS, La. (7/16/12) — Arkansas State senior quarterback Ryan Aplin was named Sun Belt Conference Preseason Offensive Player of the Year and the Red Wolves were picked second in the preseason poll announced Monday as part of the league’s annual Media Days.

Aplin, senior wideout Josh Jarboe, senior offensive lineman Zack McNight and senior defensive back Don Jones were all named to the Preseason All-SBC Team, which along with the preseason poll, is voted on by the league’s head coaches and selected media members.

Arkansas State received 85 points and two first place votes, just behind Florida International, which received five first place votes and 92 points to earn the nod as the preseason favorite in the league race. The Red Wolves won the Sun Belt Conference Championship a year ago after posting a perfect 8-0 record in league play during the 2011 season. Louisiana-Lafayette, Western Kentucky and Troy rounded out the top five in the poll, and FIU defensive lineman Tourek Williams was named the Preseason Defensive Player of the Year.

As a junior, Aplin was named 2011 Sun Belt Conference Player of the Year after completing 63.9 percent (304-of-476) of his passes for 3,588 yards and 19 touchdowns. He also led the Red Wolves in rushing with 588 yards and 10 touchdowns.

Aplin was also the 2011-12 Sun Belt Conference Male Student-Athlete of the Year and is a two-time All-Sun Belt Conference first-team selection. He will enter his senior season with 16 school records to his credit, including eight season, five single-game and three career marks. He enters his senior season as the SBC’s fourth all-time leader in total offense, completions and passing yards. Among active players, Aplin is the nation’s fifth leading player in career passing yards and completions, and fourth leading player in career total offense. He was recently named the USA Today Preseason Sun Belt Conference Player of the Year, and was named to Athlon’s, Blue Ribbon College Yearbook and Phil Steele’s preseason first-team All-Sun Belt Conference lists. Aplin is also on the Johnny Unitas Golden Arm Award Watch List and the Manning Award Watch List heading into the 2012 season.

Jarboe was a second-team All-Sun Belt Conference selection following the 2011 season after ranking second on the team with 54 receptions. His 54 catches were also 10th-most in the Sun Belt and ranked seventh in ASU history for a single season. He posted 730 receiving yards on the season to rank eighth in the conference and third on the team, including two 100-yard games. Jarboe played in every game, including nine as a starter, and caught multiple passes in each game, including four or more receptions in seven contests. He piled up a career-high 162 yards in the Red Wolves’ 47-3 victory over Memphis and had a career-high nine receptions in ASU’s 26-22 victory on the road against Western Kentucky.

McKnight started every game at right tackle for ASU’s offense that broke the school record for total offense in just 11 games last season. He was part of an ASU line line that led the way for a Red Wolves offense that ranked No. 1 in the Sun Belt and No. 24 in the nation in totaloffense, averaging almost 450 yards per game. McKnight also helped pave the way for ASU’s scoring attack that ranked No. 1 in the Sun Belt and No. 34 in the nation at 32.5 points per game and cleared the way for ASU’s rushing game that ranked No. 2 in the SBC.

During his junior season, Jones played in every game, including 10 as a starter. He recorded a career-high 54 tackles, the fourth most on the team, including 6.5 tackles for loss, which were the fifth most on an ASU defense that ranked No. 8 in the nation in that stat. Jones finished the season with one interception, one sack, three pass break-ups and one blocked kick. He returned his blocked punt against ULM for a touchdown and also returned a blocked punt for a touchdown against Troy. He recorded a career-high 10 tackles against Troy and posted at least 5 tackles in 5 other games, including a team-high eight stops in the GoDaddy.com Bowl.

Season tickets for ASU's 2012 football campaign are currently on sale at the ASU Ticket Office. The ticket office can be contacted at 870-972-ASU1, or tickets can be purchased online through A-State's official athletic Web site AStateRedWolves.com.


2012 Preseason Sun Belt Poll
As voted on by the league's 10 head coaches.

School - Points (First place votes in parentheses) 1. FIU - 92 (5) 2. Arkansas State - 85 (2) 3. Louisiana-Lafayette - 81 (2) 4. WKU - 70 (1) 5. Troy - 60 6. Louisiana-Monroe - 47 7. Middle Tennessee - 42 8. North Texas - 36 9. Florida Atlantic - 23 10. South Alabama - 14


2012 Preseason All-Sun Belt Team
As voted on by the league's 10 head coaches and selected media members.

Offense
Ryan Aplin (Arkansas State, Sr., QB)
Kedrick Rhodes (FIU, Jr., RB)
Alonzo Harris (Louisiana-Lafayette, So., RB) Josh Jarboe (Arkansas State, Sr., WR) Javone Lawson (Louisiana-Lafayette, Sr., WR) Eric Thomas (Troy, Jr., WR) Jack Doyle (WKU, Sr., TE) Zack McKnight (Arkansas State, Sr., OL) Rupert Bryan (FIU, Sr., OL) Caylin Hauptmann (FIU, Sr., OL) Leonardo Bates (Louisiana-Lafayette, Sr., OL) Cyril Lemon (North Texas, So., OL)

Defense
IsameFaciane (FIU, Jr., DL)
Tourek Williams (FIU, Sr., DL)
Tony Davis (Troy, Sr., DL)
Quanterus Smith (WKU, Sr., DL)
Winston Fraser (FIU, r-Sr., LB)
Kanorris Davis (Troy, Sr., LB)
Andrew Jackson (WKU, Jr., LB)
Don Jones (Arkansas State, Sr., DB)
Jonathan Cyprien (FIU, Sr., DB)
Melvin White (Louisiana-Lafayette, Sr., DB) Brynden Trawick (Troy, Sr., DB)

Special Teams
Brett Baer (Louisiana-Lafayette, Sr. PK) Will Atterberry (North Texas, Sr., P) John Evans (WKU, So., Return Specialist)

Preseason Offensive Player of the Year
Ryan Aplin (Arkansas State, Sr., QB)

Preseason Defensive Player of the Year
Tourek Williams (FIU, Sr., DL)

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