10 Sun Belt Football Players We’re Gonna Miss in 2018
Many of the Sun Belt’s longtime stars are moving on. And we miss them already.
Every Sun Belt football fan has a warm memory of a long departed player – not necessarily a super star. For example, they guy I think about most is Arkansas State field goal kicker Josh Arauco, whose precise but meagerly powered boots barely floated over crossbars from 2006 to 2009. His 58 career field goals still rank second in the Sun Belt.
My brother was such a big fan of Arauco, he purchased an Arauco jersey. We’d joke that “Arauco Distance” was beneath the goal post. But if the offense managed to get Josh to the 15 yard line, the dude was money.
Now a new generation of stars is setting on the Sun Belt. Man, it feels like some of these guys have been around since the 1980s. But they’re gone now. Here are ten, like Scarecrow, we’ll miss most (listed in no particular order).
10. Taylor Lamb, QB, Appalachian State
Lamb was freaky-accurate and scary-consistent in his four years with the Mountaineers, completing 60% of his passes all four years while delivering 90 TDs, which ranks 1st all-time in the Sun Belt.
9. Jordan Chunn, RB, Troy
The 235 pound Mega-Chunn was the top threat for Troy’s ballistic offense since 2013, piling on 3,100 bone-breaking yards and 47 rushing scores, which ranks 2nd all-time in the SBC.
8. Jeremy Reaves, DB, South Alabama
Reaves, the 2017 SBC Defensive Player of the Year, might be among the top five defensive back to play in the Sun Belt, staring three years for the Jags and racking up 8 interceptions.
7. Blaise Taylor, DB, Arkansas State
Where Blaise lacked in prototype cornerback height, he made up for in brains, becoming the only FBS player in the nation to earn both his bachelor’s and master’s degrees before the start of his true senior season.
6. Frank Sutton, OL, ULM
The 6-3, 305 behemoth played on too many bad Warhawks teams, but Big Frank was the tank that made ULM quarterbacks dangerous, especially in 2017.
5. Brandon Silvers, QB, Troy
Silvers is one of those guys who seemed to be in the conference for thirty years. In his four year career, Silvers slung for over 10,000 yards and 71 TDs, leading the Trojans to an SBC title in 2017.
4. Tee Sims, DL, Appalachian State
For two fearsome seasons, the lightening fast Sims punished Sun Belt quarterbacks with 165.5 sacks, good for 13th all-time in the conference.
3. Larry Rose III, RB, New Mexico State
For awhile, it appeared that the 2015 Offensive Player of the Year was going to shatter every SBC rushing record ever chiseled. Nagging injuries created a modest pad in his legend, though Rose ended his college career with 5,720 yards from scrimmage, best ever in the Belt.
2. Chandon Sullivan, DB, Georgia State
The Panthers have evolved to become a dangerous team in the Sun Belt, thanks in no small part to its stingy secondary. Sullivan, a speedy corner with enviable 6-2 size, provided consistent lockdown coverage for four solid seasons.
1. Ja’Von Rolland-Jones, DL, Arkansas State
The 2016 and 2017 Sun Belt Player of the Year ranks first all-time in the SBC for TFL (63), sacks (42) and forced fumbles (10). Rolland-Jones leaves college among the game’s most prolific defensive players.
A former notary public, Jeremy Harper is a professional writer and Chief Instigator for Storm the Castle Creative. He spends much of his free time staring blankly into space.