Nine Cajuns named to preseason SBC team

Quarterback Levi Lewis was a second-team preseason All-Sun Belt Conference pick, as well as being named to the Maxwell Award Watch List (national player of the year) and Davey O’Brien Award (top college quarterback) Watch List.

LAFAYETTE — The University of Louisiana had nine players selected to the Sun Belt Preseason All-Conference football teams, including four receiving first team honors.

The Ragin’ Cajuns were also selected to win the SBC West Division for the third consecutive season after receiving 49 total points and nine first-place votes in the SBC’s Preseason Coaches’ Poll.

Offensive lineman O’Cyrus Torrence, safety Bralen Trahan, punter Rhys Byrns and return specialist-running back Chris Smith were the four Ragin’ Cajuns to receive spots on the first team.

Torrence anchored an offensive line unit that ranked fifth nationally and first in the SBC in tackles-for-loss allowed (3.64) and seventh nationally and first in the league in sacks allowed (0.82).

Trahan led the Ragin’ Cajuns in passes defended (13), pass breakups (9) and interceptions (4), while ranking fourth on the team with 48 total tackles.

Byrns totaled 36 punts for 1,567 yards and sent four balls over 50 yards.

Smith meanwhile recorded 617 yards and two touchdowns on 23 kick returns in 2020, while also carrying the ball 62 times for 359 yards and a touchdown.

Ragin’ Cajuns quarterback Levi Lewis, offensive lineman Max Mitchell, defensive lineman and former Catholic High star Zi’Yon Hill, linebacker Lorenzo McCaskill and defensive back Eric Garror earned second team honors.

Lewis ranked 26th in the country with 2,274 yards and 20th nationally with 19 touchdowns, Mitchell started in 10 games at tackle in 2020, Hill recorded 49 tackles along with 5.0 tackles for loss and 4.0 sacks, McCaskill led the team with 83 total tackles and tied for third with 2.0 sacks, and Garror totaled three interceptions and added 23 tackles and three breakups.

Coastal Carolina quarterback Grayson McCall was named the SBC Preseason Offensive Player of the Year while Troy linebacker Carlton Martial was selected as the SBC Preseason Defensive Player of the Year.

The Chanticleers — who were picked to win the Sun Belt Conference’s East Division — had the most preseason selections with 11 players selected, including a league-high 11 honorees.

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