Davis Gaither, Evans highlight all conference selections with POTY awards


Lynette Files

Junior RB Darrynton Evans makes a cut during the 34-31 win over UNC in Chapel Hill Sept. 21.

Zack Antrum, Senior Reporter

After an 11-1 regular season finish, two away wins against Power 5 schools UNC and South Carolina, and a ticket to its second straight Sun Belt Championship game, App State football enjoyed sweeping success in the All-Sun Belt awards. 

Senior linebacker Akeem Davis-Gaither was named Sun Belt Defensive Player of the Year, junior running back Darrynton Evans was named Sun Belt Offensive Player of the Year and the Mountaineers were strongly represented on each all-Sun Belt team.

Davis-Gaither registered 85 tackles with 13.5 tackles for losses in the regular season. He also had 4.5 sacks, six quarterback hurries, an interception and the game winning block on a field goal against UNC. 

Evans has scored 20 touchdowns this season which places him second in the conference and is second in the Sun Belt in all purpose yards with 1,740, including 1,250 rushing yards.

Along with Evans, offensive linemen Noah Hannon and Victor Johnson were named to the first team offense.

Davis-Gaither was joined by defensive lineman Demetrius Taylor and cornerback Shaun Jolly on the defensive first team.

On the second team were linebacker Jordan Fehr, safety Josh Thomas, receiver Thomas Hennigan, receiver Corey Sutton, offensive lineman Baer Hunter, offensive lineman Cooper Hodges, and Evans also made the list a return specialist and an all purpose back. 

Quarterback Zac Thomas, safety Desmond Franklin and defensive lineman E.J. Scott were named to the third team and offensive lineman Ryan Neuzil, linebacker Noel Cook, receiver Malik Williams and running back Marcus Williams Jr. received honorable mention.


The Mountaineers host Louisiana-Lafayette on Saturday, Dec. 7 in the Sun Belt Championship at 12 p.m. at Kidd Brewer Stadium. The game will be aired on ESPN.