PFN’s All-Sun Belt team honors ahead of the 2022 college football season

The All-Sun Belt team honors offer up the best of the best from the Sun Belt Conference ahead of the 2022 college football season.

It’s a new-look All-Sun Belt team not just in its conference alignment but especially in its conference honors. Ahead of the 2022 college football season, Pro Football Network is proud to debut our All-Conference team honors for each of the 10 conferences and the FBS Independents.

Detailing out our projected top players, units, and teams ahead of the action, PFN’s team of draft evaluators and national college football analysts looked at who they each thought would be the conference’s best in 2022. The results are in, and here is the cream of the crop heading into the fall.

Follow along with all of our All-Conference Awards this preseason: AAC | ACC | B1G | Big 12 | Conference USA | MAC | Mountain West | Pac-12 | SEC | FBS Independent

Preseason All-Sun Belt football team honors for 2022

It’s important to note that these are awards and honors from Pro Football Network for each individual’s expected prowess on the field this season. This is in no way a projection of their NFL draft status nor a report on the specific conference awards given this preseason. These honors are from Pro Football Network, as judged by our team of college football analysts and draft evaluators projecting their success on the field in 2022.

  • Sun Belt Player of the Year
    Darrell Luter Jr., CB, South Alabama
  • Sun Belt Offensive Player of the Year
    Grayson McCall, QB, Coastal Carolina
  • Sun Belt Defensive Player of the Year
    Darrell Luter Jr., CB, South Alabama
  • Sun Belt Newcomer of the Year
    Kris Thornton, WR, James Madison

The Sun Belt is expected to see an influx in offensive talent this fall with the additions of Old Dominion, James Madison, and Marshall. However, it’s South Alabama CB Darrell Luter Jr. who earns the top spot as the Preseason Sun Belt Player of the Year. Luter is the darling of the analytics community because of his ability to stymie offensive passing attacks. He has a sticky brand of coverage that limited quarterbacks to a 0.0 passer rating when he was the primary coverage defender. Luter also has enough skill to make plays in the run game all the same. If he isn’t a nationally-known name now, he will be by the season’s end.

On offense, Grayson McCall is the obvious pick for the top offensive player. The Coastal Carolina quarterback is the nation’s active leader in passing efficiency and is on pace to set the all-time NCAA career mark in the statistic. He’s remarkably consistent and has taken charge of the multiple offensive scheme the Chanticleers run. McCall is accurate and has a strong arm as well as the football IQ to attack defenses in the triple-option attack when they call it.

Kris Thornton is set to announce himself to the world at James Madison. The JMU receiver went for over 1,000 yards last season along with his teammate Antwane Wells Jr. With Wells at South Carolina, there are literally 1,200 yards up for grabs in this offense. and Thornton is expected to see big-time numbers this fall. Thornton earns Newcomer of the Year, edging out Marshall RB Rasheen Ali and the ODU duo of Zack Kuntz and Ali Jennings as new stars entering the conference.

Offensive All-Sun Belt team and layer honors

  • Sun Belt QB of the Year
    Grayson McCall, Coastal Carolina
  • Sun Belt RB of the Year
    Rasheen Ali, Marshall
  • Sun Belt WR of the Year
    Kris Thornton, JMU
  • Sun Belt TE of the Year
    Zack Kuntz, Old Dominion
  • Sun Belt Offensive Line of the Year
    Appalachian State Mountaineers
  • Sun Belt Offensive Lineman of the Year
    Kyle Hergel, C, Texas State

Once again, McCall and Thornton are the picks at their respective positions as Ali grabs the RB of the Year and Kuntz the TE of the Year honors. Ali led the country in rushing touchdowns last year and is one of the more elusive running backs in the country. At 6’8″, Kuntz is a mismatch for any coverage defender as he also possesses one of the top athletic profiles of any player at any position nationwide.

The Appalachian State offensive line is back to dominate as the Mountaineers bring back four of five starters, including the dominant tackle duo of Anderson Hardy and Cooper Hodges. However, it’s Kyle Hergel at Texas State that takes the top individual honors. Hergel is a big man on the inside for the Bobcats as he’s equally impressive in both facets.

Defensive All-Sun Belt team and player honors

  • Sun Belt Defensive Line of the Year
    Troy Trojans
  • Sun Belt DL of the Year
    Josaiah Stewart, EDGE, Coastal Carolina
  • Sun Belt LB of the Year
    Carlton Martial, Troy
  • Sun Belt Secondary of the Year
    Louisiana Ragin’ Cajuns
  • Sun Belt CB of the Year
    Darrell Luter Jr., CB, South Alabama
  • Sun Belt S of the Year
    Keith Gallmon Jr., South Alabama

Luter paces the way as the top cornerback as he also has the conference’s top safety in Keith Gallmon Jr. alongside him. Gallmon patrols the middle of the field like a linebacker while he covers like a true bona fide free safety at others.

On the defensive line, the Troy Trojans are absolutely loaded with talent. They take home our Preseason Defensive Line of the Year award on the strength of their edge-rushing duo of Javon Solomon and Richard Jbinour. Their presence on the inside, however, is nearly as good as Will Choloh, Luis Medina, and Antonio Showers are expected to dominate once again.

Josaiah Stewart was as dominant as a true freshman last season. He ranked fifth nationally with 12.5 sacks and should only put on strength and speed in his second season. The final individual award heads to Carlton Martial from Troy. The longtime menace to Sun Belt offenses should finish his Troy career as college football’s all-time leader in tackles as he’s averaged over 100 per season over the past three years.

Special teams All-Sun Belt team and player honors

  • Sun Belt K of the Year
    Seth Keller, Texas State
  • Sun Belt P of the Year
    Ryan Hanson, Arkansas State
  • Sun Belt Specialist of the Year
    LaMareon James, PR/KR, ODU
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