SAN MARCOS – Offensive lineman Dalton Cooper was named to the Athlon Sports 2022 All-Sun Belt Preseason First Team as the redshirt sophomore highlighted a group of 10 Bobcats to earn recognition by the publication.
Cooper, who started all 12 games last year at left tackle, was the youngest offensive lineman on the first team. He was an All-Sun Belt Third Team honoree last year as voted on by the head coaches.
Other Athlon Sports preseason honorees from Texas State included kicker Seth Keller (second team), wide receiver Marcell Barbee (third team), center Russell Baker (third team), offensive guard Kyle Hergel (third team), inside linebacker Sione Tupou (third team), outside linebacker Jordan Revels (third team), quarterback Layne Hatcher (fourth team), running back Calvin Hill (fourth team), and defensive lineman Nico Ezidore (fourth team).
Texas State was one of six Sun Belt teams to have double-digit selections on the publication’s preseason team. Georgia State and Troy led all schools with 13 selections.
Keller, out of Colleyville, Texas, was an All-Sun Belt Honorable Mention last year after hitting 15 of his 18 field goals (83.3 percent) and going 32-of-32 in PATs. He enters the 2022 season sixth in school history with 23 field goals made and within shot of the record of 36.
Among the third team selections, offensive linemen Baker and Hergel joinCooper in making the returning unit an experienced group. Baker (20 career collegiate starts) and Hergel (29) are two of the five Bobcats on the offensive line who have started more than 20 games at the collegiate level. Cooper has 24 career starts.
Barbee led the Bobcats in receptions a year ago, totaling 40 for 520 yards. The redshirt junior was also tied for the team lead in touchdown catches with five.
Tupou played in all 12 games last year, making eight starts, and tallied 76 tackles (20 solo) and 2.5 TFLs from the inside linebacker position. He ranked in the top-15 in the Sun Belt in tackles.
Revels, an All-Sun Belt honorable mention a year ago, is coming off a season in which totaled 59 tackles, 7.5 TFLs, 3.0 sacks seven quarterback hurries, one forced fumble, and one fumble recovery. He was the team leader in TFLs and sacks.
Among the fourth team representatives, Hatcher, an intra-Sun Belt transfer from Arkansas State, will be in his first season with Texas State in 2022. Hill was the team’s leading rusher a year ago while Ezidore had 39 tackles and 3.0 TFLs.
Under the direction of fourth-year head coach Jake Spavital, the Bobcats return 14 starters from last year’s team, including nine on offense. They will also welcome more than 25 transfers and freshmen.