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BOONE — App State senior quarterback Zac Thomas has been named to the watch list for the 2020 Davey O’Brien National Quarterback Award.

The list presented by The Davey O’Brien Foundation includes 30 of the nation’s top returning college quarterbacks. Thomas is one of 14 seniors on the national list and one of nine quarterbacks from a Group of Five program.

Thomas has a 22-3 record as a starter after leading App State to a 13-1 record and top-20 final ranking in 2019. He accounted for 35 touchdowns (28 passing) and 3,158 total yards (2,718 passing) last season, increasing his career totals to 67 total TDs (49 passing) and 5,779 total yards (4,790 passing).

In two seasons as a starter, he was named the Sun Belt Offensive Player of the Year in 2018 and a first-team All-Sun Belt pick by PFF College in 2019.

Sixteen semifinalists selected from the final watch list will be named on Nov. 10.

App State Track & Field teams earn USTFCCA All-Academic Honors

BOONE — App State’s men’s and women’s track & field teams have received All-Academic Team recognition from the United States Track & Field and Cross Country Coaches Association (USTFCCCA).

To be eligible for a national All-Academic Team honor, the team must possess a cumulative GPA of 3.00 or better.

In being honored for the ninth straight year, App State’s women posted a cumulative GPA of 3.42, the third-best mark in the Sun Belt, and App State’s men recorded a 3.11. Each team produced its highest semester GPA in recorded history during the 2020 spring semester.

App State’s Taylor, Jolly make Bednarik Award watch list

BOONE — App State senior defensive end Demetrius Taylor and junior cornerback Shaun Jolly have been named to the watch list for the Bednarik Award, which is presented to the top defensive player in college football.

Only 20 FBS programs and just four Group of Five programs had multiple selections. Moving forward from a 13-1 season with a top-20 national ranking, App State has a Bednarik candidate for the second straight year.

The Maxwell Football Club announced the watch list candidates for the award named in honor of Chuck Bednarik, a former standout at the University of Pennsylvania and with the Philadelphia Eagles.

Jolly already has been named a preseason All-American by the Walter Camp Football Foundation (first team), Street and Smith (second team) and Sporting News (second team). Taylor has been named a preseason All-Sun Belt choice by Street and Smith, Lindy’s and Athlon, among others.

Last season, as a sophomore and first-year starter, Jolly was named a second-team All-American by PFF College, which assigned him an overall performance grade of 91.7 that tied for first place nationally among 496 qualifying FBS cornerbacks. He intercepted five passes in 2019, tied for the FBS lead with two pick-six touchdowns and added eight PBUs, 45 tackles and 3.5 tackles for loss.

Taylor had 44 tackles, 13.0 tackles for loss, 7.0 sacks, eight QB hurries, four pass breakups, three forced fumbles, one interception and one fumble return for a touchdown last season. He earned several national defensive player of the week honors based on his 2019 performance against North Carolina and has 13.5 sacks among his 22.5 tackles for loss in 39 career games.

Semifinalists for the Bednarik Award will be announced Nov. 3.

App State’s Shaun Jolly named to Thorpe Award watch list

BOONE — App State junior cornerback Shaun Jolly has received more preseason recognition, as he’s been named to the Paycom Jim Thorpe Award watch list.

Last week, Jolly made the watch list for the Bednarik Award, which is presented to the top defensive player in college football. The Thorpe Award watch list includes 49 of the nation’s best defensive backs.

Jolly already has been named a preseason All-American by the Walter Camp Football Foundation (first team), Street and Smith (second team), Sporting News (second team) and Phil Steele (fourth team).

Last season, as a sophomore and first-year starter, Jolly was named a second-team All-American by PFF College, which assigned him an overall performance grade of 91.7 that tied for first place nationally among 496 qualifying FBS cornerbacks. He intercepted five passes in 2019, tied for the FBS lead with two pick-six touchdowns and added eight PBUs, 45 tackles and 3.5 tackles for loss.

A preseason watch list is compiled by the Oklahoma Sports Hall of Fame based on previous performance and preseason All-America lists. A screening committee, consisting of OSHOF members, monitor the watch list players and narrow the field to 10 to 15 semifinalists on the first Monday of November.

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