CONWAY, S.C. – Coastal Carolina football had a total of seven student-athletes named to the preseason Athlon Sports’ 2020 All-Sun Belt Team, it was announced today.
Returning seniors CJ Marable and Tarron Jackson headlined the group with first-team honors, while five other returners in Trey Carter, Isaiah Likely, C.J. Brewer, Teddy Gallagher, and Massimo Biscardi were all named to the second team for their respective areas.
In his first season as a feature back, Marable led the team in rushing with 1,085 yards in 2019 which ranked fourth in the Sun Belt. He etched his name in the CCU record books as he became just the fourth Chant to rush for over 1,000 yards in a single season. His 1,000-yard rushing season was only the sixth in school history joining De’Angelo Henderson (2014, 2015, and 2016), Lorenzo Taliaferro (2013), and Patrick Hall (2004).
One of four team captains for 2019, Marable led the team in rushing attempts (204), rushing touchdowns (11), total touchdowns (14), and all-purpose yards (1418), while ranking second on the team in receptions (38) and receiving touchdowns (3).
Marable, who ranked third in the Sun Belt in total touchdowns (14), fourth in scoring (86), and seventh in all-purpose yards per game (118.2), totaled six 100-yard rushing games on the season. His six 100-yard rushing games were the third-most in the Sun Belt, while his career-high game of 172 rushing yards at ULM on Nov. 23 last year was the seventh-most rushing yards in a game by a player in the Sun Belt in 2019. He also scored a touchdown either on the ground or through the air in 11 of CCU’s 12 games on the season and has caught at least one pass in 20-straight games dating back to the 2018 season. In just two years at CCU, he has climbed to seventh all-time in CCU history with 1,804 career rushing yards (this doesn’t include his 1,038 rushing yards on the ground at Presbyterian College as a freshman in 2017).
A two-time All-Sun Belt selection, earning first-team honors in 2019 after third-team recognition in 2018, Jackson led the Sun Belt and set a new Coastal single-season record with 10.0 sacks last season. His 72 yards lost from his 10.0 sacks was also a CCU single-season record. He also led the team and ranked fifth in the Sun Belt with 13.0 tackles-for-loss, of which 9.5 came in conference play, and was second on the team with a total of 60 tackles on the season. He added a school-record 13 quarterback hurries, forced two fumbles, and tallied two pass breakups from his defensive end position.
Named a 2019 team captain, Jackson recorded five tackles or more in six of the Chants’ 12 games on the season, including a career-high 10 stops in the home contest versus Georgia State on Oct. 12. Jackson capped off the season by tying the CCU single-game record of 3.0 sacks in the regular-season finale win over Texas State on Nov. 30.
A two-time All-Sun Belt honorable mention selection in 2017 and 2018, the 2019 Rimington Trophy watch list member earned third-team honors last season. Carter, who played in and started all 12 games upfront for CCU last year, has played in and started all 36 games over the last three years for the Chants.
One of two offensive captains a year ago, Carter played both at the center and right guard positions in 2019 for the CCU offense which recorded over 400 yards of total offense four times, including a season-high 636 yards in the road win at UMass on Sept. 21.
Carter graded out as the top offensive lineman for CCU in 11 of the 12 games last season. He had a team-high 14 knockdowns in the road win at Kansas, the Chants’ first-ever win over a Power 5 opponent, 12 in the home win over Troy, and 11 more in the road contest at Arkansas State. Behind Carter and the offensive line unit, the Chants were 23-for-29 (79.3 percent) on fourth-down attempts which was the second-best percentage in the Sun Belt and third nationally. The 23 fourth-down conversions were the third-most nationally behind only Army and Navy with 24.
A 2019 John Mackey Award watch list member, Likely was named to the All-Sun Belt third team last year as a sophomore. Likely was one of just 21 players in all of the Sun Belt to record a 100-yard receiving game with 107 yards in the season-finale versus Texas State on Nov. 23.
The tight end was a constant threat for the Chants’ offense last year, as he hauled in at least one pass in all 12 games and has recorded a reception in 15-straight games dating back to his freshman year in 2018. He finished the season ranked among the league leaders in tight ends with 32 receptions, 431 receiving yards, and a team-high five touchdowns.
Moving into a full-time starting role in 2019, Brewer was named to the All-Sun Belt third team. He finished third on the team with 54 total tackles and 7.5 tackles-for-loss. He also added 3.0 sacks, eight quarterback hurries, and three pass breakups while lining up for the Chants on the defensive line in all 12 games.
Brewer got stronger as the season wore on, as the Georgia native totaled 43 tackles over the eight Sun Belt Conference games, an average of 5.4 per contest. He registered five tackles or more in five contests on the year highlighted by a career-high 13 stops at home versus Georgia State on Oct. 12. He also added six tackles at Appalachian State (Sept. 28), at Georgia Southern (Oct. 19), and versus Troy (Nov. 2).
Despite missing the last game of the season due to a lower-body injury, Gallagher still earned third-team honors his junior season. The linebacker led the team and ranked 10th in the Sun Belt in total tackles with 88 on the season. His average of 8.0 tackles per game ranked seventh in the Sun Belt, while his average of 8.9 stops per contest in conference play ranked fifth in the league.
The California native recorded five tackles or more in nine of the 11 games in which he played in 2019, including a team-high 15 tackles at Georgia Southern (Oct. 19), 14 stops versus Georgia State (Oct. 12), and 10 tackles at both Kansas (Sept. 7) and Appalachian State (Sept. 28).
A 2018 All-Sun Belt third team pick as a freshman, Biscardi got off to a great start in 2019 when he was named the Sun Belt Special Teams Player of the Week (Sept. 2) following the season opener versus Eastern Michigan (Aug. 31). The 2018 Lou Groza Award semifinalist, played in all 12 games last season, serving as the placekicker and kicking on kickoffs. He was second on the team in scoring with 79 points on 15 field goals and 34 extra-points made. He made 15-of-20 field goal attempts on the season, including a Coastal Carolina program-record 53-yard field goal in the season opener versus Eastern Michigan. He was 6-for-6 in field goal attempts from 40 yards or longer on the season and connected on seven-straight field goal attempts over a four-game span midway through the season. Biscardi also recorded 55 kickoffs for a total of 3,170 yards, an average of 57.6 yards per kickoff, and totaled 15 touchbacks on the year.
The Chants’ scheduled season opener is Saturday, Sept. 5, versus South Carolina at Williams Brice Stadium in Columbia, S.C.