JONESBORO, Ark. (12/6/17) – Arkansas State senior defensive end Ja'Von Rolland-Jones has repeated as the Sun Belt Conference Player of the Year, while junior quarterback Justice Hansen has been named the Offensive Player of the Year to highlight a school-record 19 A-State selections to the 2017 All-Sun Belt Conference Team.

The All-Sun Belt Conference Team, announced Wednesday by the league office, features a conference-high 18 A-State players, including senior Blaise Taylor as both a first-team defensive back and third-team return specialist.

The Red Wolves placed five players on the first team, including Hansen, Blake Mack (Sr., TE), Lanard Bonner (Jr., OL) and Rolland-Jones in addition to Taylor.  A-State’s second-team choices were made up of Chris Murray (Sr., WR), Ronheen Bingham (Jr., DE), Kyle Wilson (Sr., LB) and Justin Clifton (Jr., DB).

Joining Taylor on the third team for Arkansas State were Justin McInnis (Jr., WR), Jaypee Philbert (Sr., OL), Caleb Caston (Sr., DE), Sawyer Williams (Soph., K) and Cody Grace (Soph., P).  Representing the squad as honorable mention selections were Omar Bayless (Soph., WR), B.J. Edmonds (Soph. DB), Dee Liner (Sr., DL) and Jacob Still (Fr., OL).

Rolland-Jones is the second player in school history and third Sun Belt player to ever win the league’s Player of the Year multiple times.  Including A-State’s Ryan Aplin (2011-12) and North Texas’ Brandon Kennedy (2002-03), all three players have earned the honor in back-to-back seasons.

Arkansas State’s four all-time Sun Belt Conference Player of the Year selections are also the most in league history.  North Texas has the second most with three (Kennedy and Jamario Thomas in 2004).  Rolland-Jones and Aplin have combined to give an A-State player the award four of the last seven seasons.

Rolland-Jones, a four-time all-conference selection, is both the Arkansas State and Sun Belt Conference all-time leader in career sacks with 43.5 to his credit, leaving him only one shy of breaking the NCAA FBS record (44.0) currently held by Terrell Suggs (Arizona State, 2000-02).  This season alone, he is ranked second in the nation in sacks (1.18 per game) and seventh in tackles for loss (1.7 per game).

Hansen becomes the second Arkansas State player to ever be named the Sun Belt’s Offensive Player of the Year, joining Danny Smith in 2002.  This is the second time in school history that the Red Wolves have seen individuals win both the Player of the Year and Offensive or Defensive Player of the Year in the same season.  Aplin was tabbed with the league’s highest recognition in 2011 when former defensive end Brandon Joiner was also named the Defensive Player of the Year.

Hansen has enjoyed one of the most prolific offensive years in Sun Belt Conference history, setting the league’s single-season record for both passing touchdowns (34) and touchdowns responsible for (40).  He is ranked among the top 10 players in the nation in points responsible for per game (2nd), total offense average (3rd), completions per game (6th), passing average (6th) and passing touchdowns (7th).  He is also listed No. 17 in the country in passing efficiency (153.7).

Following Arkansas State in number of both players and selections on the all-conference team this year were Troy (17 players/18 selections), Appalachian State (17), New Mexico State (11), Idaho (10), Louisiana (10), Georgia State (9), South Alabama (9), ULM (7 players/8 selections), Texas State (7), Georgia Southern (7) and Coastal Carolina (7).

Earning other individual honors around the league were South Alabama’s Jeremy Reaves as Defensive Player of the Year, NMSU’s Ron LaForce as Newcomer of the Year, Troy’s Marcus Jones as Freshman of the Year and Troy’s Neal Brown as Coach of the Year.

Arkansas State will play in its seventh consecutive bowl game when it faces Middle Tennessee in the 2017 Camellia Bowl on Dec. 16 at 7 p.m.


Football All-Conference Teams and Individual Awards

 Player of the Year

Ja'Von Rolland-Jones, Arkansas State

Offensive Player of the Year

Justice Hansen, Arkansas State

Defensive Player of the Year

Jeremy Reaves, South Alabama

Newcomer of the Year

Ron LaForce, New Mexico State

Freshman of the Year

Marcus Jones, Troy

Coach of the Year

Neal Brown, Troy

 All-Sun Belt First Team Offense

Justice Hansen (Arkansas State, QB, Jr.)

Jalin Moore (Appalachian State, RB, Jr.)

Aaron Duckworth (Idaho, RB, Sr.)

Ike Lewis (Appalachian State, WR, Sr.)

Penny Hart (Georgia State, WR, RS-So.)

Jaleel Scott (New Mexico State, WR, RS-Sr.)

Blake Mack (Arkansas State, TE, Sr.)

Colby Gossett (Appalachian State, OL, Sr.)

Beau Nunn (Appalachian State, OL, Sr.)

Victor Johnson (Appalachian State, OL, So.)

Lanard Bonner (Arkansas State, OL, RS-Jr.)

Steven Rowzee (Troy, OL, Sr.)

 All-Sun Belt First Team Defense

Tee Sims (Appalachian State, DL, Sr.)

Ja'Von Rolland-Jones (Arkansas State, DL, RS-Sr.)

Aikeem Coleman (Idaho, DL, Sr.)

Cedric Wilcots II (New Mexico State, DL, RS-So.)

Hunter Reese (Troy, DL, Jr.)

Eric Boggs (Appalachian State, LB, Sr.)

Tony Lashley (Idaho, LB, Jr.)

Dalton Herrington (New Mexico State, LB, Sr.)

Clifton Duck (Appalachian State, DB, So.)

Blaise Taylor (Arkansas State, DB, Sr.)

Jeremy Reaves (South Alabama, DB, Sr.)

Blace Brown (Troy, DB, Jr.)

 All-Sun Belt First Team Special Teams

Gavin Patterson (South Alabama, PK, Jr.)

Corliss Waitman (South Alabama, P, Jr.)

Marcus Green (ULM, Return Specialist, Jr.)

Marcus Green (ULM, All-Purpose, Jr.)

 All-Sun Belt Second Team Offense

Taylor Lamb (Appalachian State, QB, Sr.)

Larry Rose III (New Mexico State, RB, Sr.)

Jordan Chunn (Troy, RB, Sr.)

Chris Murray (Arkansas State, WR, Sr.)

Jamarius Way (South Alabama, WR, Jr.)

Deondre Douglas (Troy, WR, Jr.)

Gabe Schrade (Texas State, TE, Sr.)

Noah Johnson (Idaho, OL, So.)

Kevin Dotson (Louisiana, OL, So.)

Noah Fisher (South Alabama, OL, Jr.)

Deontae Crumitie (Troy, OL, Jr.)

Tristan Crowder (Troy, OL, So.)

 All-Sun Belt Second Team Defense

Ronheen Bingham (Arkansas State, DL, Jr.)

Logan Hunt (Georgia Southern, DL, Jr.)

Jamal Stadom (Troy, DL, Sr.)

Trevon Sanders (Troy, DL, Jr.)

Kyle Wilson (Arkansas State, LB, Sr.)

Shane Johnson (Coastal Carolina, LB, Sr.)

Kaden Elliss (Idaho, LB, Jr.)

Tron Folsom (Troy, LB, So.)

Tae Hayes (Appalachian State, DB, Jr.)

Justin Clifton (Arkansas State, DB, Jr.)

Monquavion Brinson (Georgia Southern, DB, So.)

Ron LaForce (New Mexico State, DB, Jr.)

 All-Sun Belt Second Team Special Teams

Tyler Bass (Georgia Southern, PK, RS-So.)

Cade Coffey (Idaho, P, RS-Fr.)

Marcus Jones (Troy, Return Specialist, Fr.)

Marcus Jones (Troy, All-Purpose, Fr.)

 All-Sun Belt Third Team Offense

Tyler Rogers (New Mexico State, QB, RS-Sr.)

Osharmar Abercrombie (Coastal Carolina, RB, Sr.)

Trey Ragas (Louisiana, RB, RS-Fr.)

Justin McInnis (Arkansas State, WR, Jr.)

Malcolm Williams (Coastal Carolina, WR, Jr.)

RJ Turner (ULM, WR, So.)

Chase Rogers (Louisiana, TE, Fr.)

Jaypee Philbert (Arkansas State, OL, Sr.)

Grant Horst (Louisiana, OL, Sr.)

Frank Sutton (ULM, OL, Sr.)

Aaron Brewer (Texas State, OL, So.)

Kirk Kelley (Troy, OL, So.)

 All-Sun Belt Third Team Defense

Caleb Fuller (Appalachian State, DL, Sr.)

Caleb Caston (Arkansas State, DL, Sr.)

Marterious Allen (Georgia State, DL, Jr.)

Joe Dillon (Louisiana, DL, So.)

Devan Stringer (Appalachian State, LB, Sr.)

Michael Shaw (Georgia State, LB, RS-Jr.)

Frankie Griffin (Texas State, LB, Jr.)

A.J. Howard (Appalachian State, DB, Sr.)

Chandon Sullivan (Georgia State, DB, Sr.)

Tracy Walker (Louisiana, DB, Sr.)

Shamad Lomax (New Mexico State, DB, So.)

Cedarius Rookard (Troy, DB, Jr.)

 All-Sun Belt Third Team Special Teams

Sawyer Williams (Arkansas State, PK, RS-So.)

Cody Grace (Arkansas State, P, RS-So.)

Blaise Taylor (Arkansas State, Return Specialist, Sr.)

Glenn Smith (Georgia State, All-Purpose, Sr.)

 All-Sun Belt Conference Honorable Mention

Anthony Flory (Appalachian State, LB, Jr.), Thomas Hennigan (Appalachian State, WR, Fr.), Collin Reed (Appalachian State, TE, So.), Myquon Stout (Appalachian State, DL, Jr.), Omar Bayless (Arkansas State, WR, So.), B.J. Edmonds (Arkansas State, DB, So.), Dee Liner (Arkansas State, DL, Sr.), Jacob Still (Arkansas State, OL, Fr.), Trey Carter (Coastal Carolina, OL, RS-Fr.), Chris Jones (Coastal Carolina, WR, Sr.), Silas Kelly (Coastal Carolina, LB, RS-Fr.), Evan Rabon (Coastal Carolina, P, Jr.), Wesley Fields (Georgia Southern, RB, Jr.), Raymond Johnson III (Georgia Southern, DL, Fr.), Curtis Rainey (Georgia Southern, OL, Jr.), Shai Werts (Georgia Southern, QB, RS-Fr.), Shamarious Gilmore (Georgia State, OL, RS-Fr.), Julien Laurent (Georgia State, DL, RS-Sr.), Connor Manning (Georgia State, QB, RS-Sr.), Bryan Williams (Georgia State, DB, RS-Sr.), Arie Anderson (Idaho, DL, Sr.), Ed Hall (Idaho, LB, Jr.), Leonard Hazewood (Idaho, LB, Sr.), Alfonso Onunwor (Idaho, WR, Sr.), Ja’Marcus Bradley (Louisiana, WR, So.), Raynard Ford (Louisiana, TE, Sr.), Taboris Lee (Louisiana, DL, Sr.), Kevon Perry (Louisiana, DL, Sr.), Caleb Evans (ULM, QB, So.), David Griffith (ULM, LB, Jr.), Caleb Tucker (ULM, DL, RS-Sr.), Brian Williams (ULM, WR, Sr.), OJ Clark (New Mexico State, WR, RS-So.), Terrill Hanks (New Mexico State, LB, Jr.), Roy Lopez (New Mexico State, DL, So.), Anthony Muse (New Mexico State, WR, RS-So.), Bull Barge (South Alabama, LB, Jr.), Nigel Lawrence (South Alabama, DB, Jr.), Finessé Middleton (South Alabama, DL, Sr.), Darrell Songy (South Alabama, LB, Sr.), Elijah King (Texas State, WR, Sr.), Bryan London II (Texas State, LB, So.), Gabe Loyd (Texas State, LB, Sr.), Jordan Mittie (Texas State, DL, So.), Antione Barker (Troy, DL, So.), Brandon Silvers (Troy, QB, Sr.), Marcus Webb (Troy, DL, So.) , Damion Willis (Troy, WR, Jr.)