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The University Star

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The University Star


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Photo Gallery: Sun Belt Media Day 2019


Senior linebacker Bryan London III addresses media members, Monday, July 22, 2019, at the Sun Belt Conference media day press conference. (Andrew Zimmel)

Texas State and the rest of the Sun Belt Conference met July 22 for media day at the Mercedes-Benz Superdome in New Orleans, Lousiana. Players and head coaches spoke about their teams, along with what fans can expect this upcoming season.

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  • Be on the lookout for more Sun Belt and Texas State content coming as the Bobcats kick off the season August 29 against Texas A&M at Kyle Field.

  • The Sun Belt has three first-year head coaches. Coach Jake Spavital is the second-youngest head coach to earn his first FBS job.

  • The first-year Texas State head coach, Jake Spavital, speaks on the lack of expectations for the team from the media and the expectations that they have for themselves. He also talked about how he has had seven quarterbacks in the NFL.

  • Zac Thomas comes into the season as the preseason favorite at his position. When he was asked if his team, Appalachian State, was the best team in the conference, he said “No, nothing is handed to you. Coming into this season everyone is 0-0. What matters is what we finish at the end of the year.” I also told him he had the second-best suit, and he said he was fine with that.

  • Tyler Bass was the most interesting player at media day for a number of reasons. 1. He had hands down the best suit. 2. He is only one of two kickers in the country that was brought to media day — the other is Cooper Rothe from Wyoming. 3. He told us he finishes top 20 when the team runs wind sprints.

  • When I asked what a “Chanticleer” was, Coach Chadwell shamed me for not reading the Canterbury Tales. The Chanticleer was the fiercest barnyard animal. When I asked his teammate who was the fiercest Chanticleer, all signs pointed to Jackson.

  • Head coach Jamey Chadwell wanted to bring the two players that represented Chanticleer football best. He also wanted to make sure his big boys got fed. Offensive Lineman Trey Carter said that the food at media day was worth the trip. Carter also has a “brand” on his upper thigh that he and some of his teammates got — a commitment to Coastal.

  • Georgia Southern’s Kindle Vildor played in all 13 games as a junior and is returning to a defense that was one of the best in the Sun Belt a year ago. “We don’t take no plays off in practice. If you practice fast, then you’ll play fast,” Vildor said.

  • Texas State, for the first time in a while, feels real optimism with head coach Jake Spavital calling the shots. The Bobcats have arguably one of the most experienced teams in the conference. Now, one of the team’s biggest challenges is turning that experience into wins.

  • The South Alabama University Jags are getting a new stadium soon to go along with a team with a newer identity under Steve Campbell, who went 3-9 in his first season in Mobile. The Jags have a quarterback battle that is going into fall camp. The team has enough upside to surprise some fans outside of Alabama.

  • The University of Lousiana at Monroe was one of the four bowl-eligible teams to not receive a bid last season. This year, the Warhawks return quarterback Caleb Evans and their entire offensive line.

  • The University of Lousiana at Lafayette Ragin’ Cajuns hit it out of the park with the hire of former Nick Saban and Dabo Swinney assistant, Billy Napier. This year, the Cajuns look to build on their success and go to a bowl game again after a 7-7 season last year.

  • The Arkansas State Red Wolves are looking to repeat as West Division champions. With head coach Blake Anderson now being the most tenured head coach in the conference, fans can expect the Wolves to be a formidable team again this season.

  • The Troy Trojans are coming into this season with a new head coach, a quarterback battle that is still up in the air and a defense that could be in a transition year.

  • The Nov. 16 matchup against Appalachian State is on every Georgia State fan’s calendar. With senior quarterback Dan Ellington back under center, the Panthers may have a chance for growth this season in the East Division.

  • Georgia Southern has what some believe to be one of the more interesting teams in the Sun Belt. After going 2-10 in 2017, the Eagles bounced back and won 10 games last season. Recent success and a chance to play for the title is something that head coach Chad Lunsford is chasing this season.

  • Unlike Appalachian State, Coastal Carolina comes in as a projected bottom feeder of the conference. However, new head coach Jamey Chadwell returns after being the interim coach in 2017. There are a lot of question marks around this team, but coach Chadwell was optimistic about where the program is headed.

  • Appalachian State is coming off its first conference title game in Sun Belt history and has what some believe to be the best quarterback in the Sun Belt in Zac Thomas. They are the media pick to win the title and repeat as champions.

  • The Sun Belt has the best three-year bowl winning percentage, the best out of all 10 FBS Conferences.

  • The Sun Belt Conference parade for helmets, showing off the stylistic diversity of the different teams.

  • Former Sun Belt Commissioner Wright Waters, Executive Director of the Football Bowl Association, tells members of the media about the partnership between ESPN and College Football and the content that the pair is putting out for the 150 Anniversary of College Football.

  • Conference Commissioner Keith Gill gives his “State of the Conference” speech before coaches and players begin interviews. Gill told the members of the media that the conference was strong and that Sun Belt Football was going to continue to grow.

  • Unlike any other conference, the winner of the Sun Belt Championship MVP gets to wear his award. Last year, Appalachian State running back Darrynton Evans wore the first belt.

  • The Sun Belt Championship Trophy on display. The inaugural championship took place last season when Appalachian State took the trophy home with a 30-19 win over Louisiana.

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