Georgia State Sets Program High with 14 All-Sun Belt Honorees

Georgia State Sets Program High with 14 All-Sun Belt Honorees

Photo: Jordan Crawford of

Georgia State football broke another record under head coach Shawn Elliott on Monday morning when they had 14 Panthers named to the 2020 All-Sun Belt postseason honors, a new high mark for the program.

Offensive lineman Shamarious Gilmore became the first player in Georgia State history to earn all-conference honors in all four years of his career, earning a First Team placement for 2020 after making the Third Team in 2019 and earning Honorable Mention acclaims in both 2017 and 2018. The senior from Riverdale, GA started all 10 games for the Panthers in 2020 and once again anchored the offensive line from his left guard position. Joining Gilmore on the First Team from Georgia State was kicker Noel Ruiz. The grad transfer from North Carolina A&T finished the season 11-14 on field goals, with a long of 46, and 30-31 on extra points.

Sophomore wide receiver Sam Pinckney earned a place on the All-Sun Belt Second Team after his standout 2020 season. The Greenwood, SC native tallied 753 receiving yards and six touchdowns on the season to lead the Panthers in both categories. His 83.7 receiving yards per game was third-highest in the Sun Belt. Pinckney was joined on the Second Team by a trio of Panther defenders – junior defensive end Hardrick Willis, junior cornerback Quavian White and freshman safety Antavious Lane. Willis had 5.5 sacks on the season and his sack in the 4th quarter against South Alabama gave him 11.5 on his career, which made him the new all-time leader at Georgia State. Lane and White co-led the Panthers with three interceptions apiece and were the team’s third and fourth-leading tacklers respectively. Willis was an All-Sun Belt Honorable Mention last season while this was the first all-conference recognition for Pinckney, Lane and White.

After taking the reins from last season’s leading rusher in the Sun Belt, Georgia State’s Tra Barnett, junior running back Destin Coates picked up a place on the All-Sun Belt Third Team. Coates was the conference’s second-leading rusher in 2020, averaging 81.5 rushing yards per game and scoring six rushing touchdowns. After being named an Honorable Mention in 2019, Georgia State’s ever-reliable tight end Roger Carter earned his second straight all-conference honor when he was also named to the Third Team. The senior from Columbia, SC finished the season with 256 receiving yards and four touchdowns. Senior defensive lineman Dontae Wilson also moved up from the Honorable Mention list in 2019 to the Third Team in 2020. #52 has been a cog in the middle of the defense all four years in Atlanta and he provided another strong season, splitting his time between defensive end and nose guard. Lastly, edge rusher Jordan Strachan was named to the All-Sun Belt Third Team for his conference-leading 9 sacks on the year. That sack total is also a Georgia State single-season record.

Junior center Malik Sumter made the Honorable Mention list for the second year running for his consistent work manning the middle of the Panthers’ offensive line. Wide receiver Cornelius McCoy made an All-Sun Belt team for the third straight season with his placement among the Honorable Mentions in 2020. He was previously on the Third Team in 2019 he and was named to the Honorable Mention team for the first time as a freshman in 2018. The junior wideout played in just six of the Panthers’ 10 games but was second on the team with 359 receiving yards. The inside linebacker tandem of Trajan Stephens-McQueen and Blake Carroll both found themselves earning Honorable Mention status. Carroll, a junior from Lawrenceville, GA, was the team’s leading tackler with 72. Stephens-McQueen, a senior from Charlotte, NC and the program’s fourth-leading tackler over his career, was second with 58 tackles. McQueen was also second on the team with 8 tackles for loss.

The full list of the All-Sun Belt teams is as follows:

Player of the Year

Grayson McCall, Coastal Carolina

Offensive Player of the Year

Jonathan Adams, Arkansas State

Defensive Player of the Year

Tarron Jackson, Coastal Carolina

Freshman of the Year

Grayson McCall, Coastal Carolina

Newcomer of the Year

D’Jordan Strong, Coastal Carolina

Coach of the Year

Jamey Chadwell, Coastal Carolina

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

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