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Louisiana Football Earns Fourteen Selections on Sun Belt All-Conference Teams

Ragin’ Cajuns boast second-most selections in the Sun Belt

LAFAYETTE – Led by First Team All-Sun Belt Conference selections Elijah Mitchell and Chris Smith, No. 19-ranked Louisiana Football had 14 selections on the league’s All-Conference teams, the Sun Belt announced on Monday morning.
Louisiana’s 14 overall selections are tied for the second most in the conference and are the most in program history, surpassing last season’s 13 selections.
Mitchell has been superb all season, rushing for 751 yards and seven touchdowns. His yardage total ranks 29th nationally and third in the league, while his seven scores ranks 47th nationally and fourth in the conference. Mitchell, who is fifth in career rushing scores (40) among active FBS running backs, ranks fifth in that category in program history while ranking sixth in school history in career rushing yards.
Smith is one of the most electric kick returners in the nation, boasting 572 kick return yards and two scores. On the season, he ranks seventh nationally in return yards and is one of four FBS returners with two kick-return scores. A native of Louisville, Miss., Smith also picked up Third Team All-Conference honors for All-Purpose yards after totaling 1,042 yards this season, good for 42nd in the nation.
Representing Louisiana on the second team is Levi LewisTrey Ragas, O’Cyrus TorrenceMax MitchellZi’Yon HillBralen Trahan and Rhys Byrns.
Lewis has been spectacular this season, throwing for 2,128 yards, the 24th most nationally and third most in the Sun Belt, and 17 touchdowns, the 27th most in FBS. He enters the bowl game in second in program history with 52 career touchdowns and fourth in program history with 6,140 career passing yards.
Ragas has been equally as effective for Louisiana offense, ranking 22nd in the nation and second in the league with nine rushing scores and fifth in the Sun Belt with his 660 yards on the ground. The senior running back owns the third-most rushing yards (3,474) in program history and ranks sixth in career rushing touchdowns with 37.
Torrence and Mitchell were part of an offensive line that leads the league and ranks seventh nationally in tackles-for-loss allowed (3.80) and eighth nationally in sacks allowed (0.90). Joined by Ken Marks and Shane Vallot, who picked up Third Team All-Conference honors, the entire offensive line was named Joe Moore Award Semifinalists for their stellar play all year.
Defensively, Zi’Yon Hill and Bralen Trahan represented Louisiana on the Second Team. Hill ranks third on the team and leads all Louisiana defensive lineman with 42 total tackles and leads the team and is tied for 12th in the Sun Belt with 4.0 sacks.
Trahan ranks fourth on the team in total tackles with 41 and has been stellar in the backfield, tying for fourth nationally in passes defended (13), fifth nationally in interceptions (4) and 20th nationally in passes broken up (9).
Lorenzo McCaskill and Eric Garror picked up Third Team recognition for their stellar play on defense this season. McCaskill has produced three double-digit tackles performances on the year at linebacker and leads the team with 72 tackles, while Garror ranks second on the team, tied for sixth in the league and tied for the 27th nationally with his three interceptions this season.
Linebacker Ferrod Gardner, defensive lineman Tayland Humphrey, cornerback Mekhi Garner and safety Percy Butler all earned Honorable Mention honors.
Head coach Billy Napier‘s squad looks to pick up its second-straight bowl victory on Saturday, Dec. 26, when it faces UTSA in the SERVPRO First Responder Bowl at Gerald J. Ford Stadium in Dallas, Texas. Kickoff is slated for 2:30 p.m. CT and will be broadcast nationally on ABC.
More information on the game, including where to purchase tickets and parking passes, can be found on Louisiana’s Bowl Central page by clicking here.
Follow the Ragin’ Cajuns on Twitter, Facebook and Instagram (@RaginCajunsFB) to stay up-to-date on Louisiana Football.
All-Sun Belt First Team
Grayson McCall, Coastal Carolina, QB
CJ Marable, Coastal Carolina, RB
Elijah Mitchell, Louisiana, RB
Isaiah Likely, Coastal Carolina, TE
Jonathan Adams, Arkansas State, WR
Jaivon Heiligh, Coastal Carolina, WR
Jalen Tolbert, South Alabama, WR
Noah Hannon, App State, OL
Trey Carter, Coastal Carolina, OL
Shamarious Gilmore, Georgia State, OL
Austin Stidham, Troy, OL
Baer Hunter, App State, OL
Tarron Jackson, Coastal Carolina, DL
Demetrius Taylor, App State, DL
Raymond Johnson, Georgia Southern, DL
Jeffrey Gunter, Coastal Carolina, DL
C.J. Brewer, Coastal Carolina, DL
Carlton Martial, Troy, LB
Justin Rice, Arkansas State, LB
Riley Cole, South Alabama, LB
D’Jordan Strong, Coastal Carolina, DB
Shemar Jean-Charles, App State, DB
Shaun Jolly, App State, DB
Derrick Canteen, Georgia Southern, DB
Noel Ruiz, Georgia State, Kicker
Jack Martin, Troy, Punter
CJ Marable, Coastal Carolina, All Purpose
Chris Smith, Louisiana, Return Specialist
All-Sun Belt Second Team
Levi Lewis, Louisiana, QB
Trey Ragas, Louisiana, RB
Camerun Peoples, App State, RB
Josh Pederson, ULM, TE
Kawaan Baker, South Alabama, WR
Kaylon Geiger, Troy, WR
Sam Pinckney, Georgia State, WR
O’Cyrus Torrence, Louisiana, OL
Cooper Hodges, App State, OL
Dylan Bradshaw, Troy, OL
Willie Lampkin, Coastal Carolina, OL
Max Mitchell, Louisiana, OL
Will Choloh, Troy, DL
Zi’Yon Hill, Louisiana, DL
Forrest Merrill, Arkansas State, DL
Hardrick Willis, Georgia State, DL
Silas Kelly, Coastal Carolina, LB
Rashad Byrd, Georgia Southern, LB
D’Marco Jackson, App State, LB
Bralen Trahan, Louisiana, DB
Quavian White, Georgia State, DB
Terence Dunlap, Troy, DB
Jarron Morris, Texas State, DB
Antavious Lane, Georgia State, DB
Massimo Biscardi, Coastal Carolina, Kicker
Rhys Byrns, Louisiana, Punter
Jeremiah Haydel, Texas State, All Purpose
Jeremiah Haydel, Texas State, Return Specialist
All-Sun Belt Third Team
Zac Thomas, App State, QB
Destin Coates, Georgia State, RB
Daetrich Harrington, App State, RB
Thomas Hennigan, App State, WR
Marcell Barbee, Texas State, WR
Malik Williams, App State, WR
Roger Carter, Georgia State, TE
Ken Marks, Louisiana, OL
Ryan Neuzil, App State, OL
Aaron Dowdell, Georgia Southern, OL
Sam Thompson, Coastal Carolina, OL
Shane Vallot, Louisiana, OL
Nico Ezidore, Texas State, DL
Richard Jibunor, Troy, DL
Dontae Wilson, Georgia State, DL
Jeremiah Littles, South Alabama, DL
Jordan Strachan, Georgia State, LB
Lorenzo McCaskill, Louisiana, LB
Teddy Gallagher, Coastal Carolina, LB
Keith Gallmon, South Alabama, DB
Eric Garror, Louisiana, DB
Alex Spillum, Coastal Carolina, DB
Kaiden Smith, App State, DB
Dell Pettus, Troy, DB
Diego Guajardo, South Alabama, Kicker
Anthony Beck, Georgia Southern, Punter
Chris Smith, Louisiana, All Purpose
Jalen Virgil, App State, Return Specialist
Honorable Mentions
App State
Brendan Harrington, OLB
Ryan Huff, DB
Caleb Spurlin, DE
Henry Pearson, TE
Arkansas State
TW Ayers, DE/TE
Logan Bonner, QB
Brandon Bowling, WR
Layne Hatcher, QB
Coastal Carolina
Enock Makonzo, SPUR
Antwine Loper, OL
Reese White, RB
Steven Bedosky, OL
Georgia Southern
JD King, RB
Ryan Langan, LS
Shai Werts, QB
Anthony Wilson, S
Georgia State
Blake Carroll, LB
Cornelius McCoy, WR
Trajan Stephens-McQueen, LB
Malik Sumter, OL
Ferrod Gardner, LB
Tayland Humphrey, DL
Mekhi Garner, CB
Percy Butler, S
Austin Hawley, DB
Evan Henry, OL
Ty Shelby, DL
Traveion Webster, LB
South Alabama
Brandon Crum, TE
Carlos Davis, RB
Gi’Narious Johnson, DL
Nick Mobley, LB
Texas State
Russell Baker, OL
Dalton Cooper, OL  
Seamus O’Kelly, Punter
Brock Sturges, RB
Javon Solomon, DL
Kimani Vidal, RB
Reggie Todd, WR
K.J. Robertson, LB