Georgia State lands 10 preseason All-Sun Belt choices

Destin Coates rushed for 102 yards and a pair of touchdowns for Georgia State in the victory against Louisiana-Monroe in 2020.
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Destin Coates rushed for 102 yards and a pair of touchdowns for Georgia State in the victory against Louisiana-Monroe in 2020.

Credit: Hyosub Shin/hshin@ajc.com

The offensive promise of this year’s Georgia State football team is obvious from the choice of four players as first-team selections on the preseason All-Sun Belt Conference team that was announced Tuesday. Six other players were included on the second team, two on offense and four on defense.

Georgia State, which was 6-4 and won the LendingTree Bowl last season, returns 11 starters from the team that averaged a school-record 33.3 points per game. The Panthers return nine starters from a defense that ranked seventh in the nation in sacks, with 35.

Named to the first team were running back Destin Coates, guard Shamarious Gilmore, receiver Sam Pinckney and kicker Noel Ruiz. Second-team selections were tight end Roger Carter, receiver Cornelius McCoy, defensive linemen Hardrick Willis and Dontae Wilson, and defensive backs Antavious Lane and Quavian White.

The Panthers were picked to finish third in the East Division by the conference coaches, behind Coastal Carolina and Appalachian State, who tied for first, and ahead of Georgia Southern and Troy. Louisiana-Lafayette was picked to win the West Division.

Georgia State opens the season at noon Sept. 4 against Army at Center Parc Stadium.