Five Mean Green Players Earn Sun Belt Postseason Honors
DENTON, Texas - North Texas sophomore running back Lance Dunbar was named to the Sun Belt Conference first team offense, the league announced today. Dunbar was the only North Texas player named to the first team, while two junior offensive lineman Esteban Santiago and junior wide receiver Jamaal Jackson each earned second team honors and junior linebacker Craig Robertson and junior offensive lineman Kelvin Drake were chosen for honorable mention.
Dunbar rushed for 1,378 yards and a league-high 17 touchdowns, averaging 114.8 yards per game and 6.9 yards per carry. Despite only starting the final eight games of the season, he finished 16th in the nation in rushing and 11th in scoring. He was the only back in the Sun Belt to have eight, 100-yard rushing games and two, 200-yard rushing games. His rushing total was the fourth-highest in North Texas history and his touchdown total tied for second in school history.
Santiago was a leader of an offensive line unit that led the Sun Belt Conference and ranked 12th nationally in sacks allowed with just 12. He helped the team lead the league in rushing (185.2 yards per game) and was a key part of an offense that was one of only two in the nation to finish the year in the top 15 in sacks allowed as well as finish in the top 30 in rushing and top 50 in passing.
In his first season with the Mean Green, Jackson led the conference in total receptions with 71 and finished tied for first in touchdown receptions with six. He was also third in the league in receiving yards with 701 and finished second in kickoff return average with 27.2 yards per attempt.
Drake was a key contributor on the offensive line before missing the last two games of the season with an injury. He led the team with an average of 4.1 knockdowns per game. Robertson led the team in tackles and finished third in the league with a career-high 107 stops.
Troy quarterback Levi Brown earned the Sun Belt Player of the Year as well as the Offensive Player of the Year. Louisiana-Monroe linebacker Cardia Jackson and Middle Tennessee defensive lineman Chris McCoy shared the Defensive Player of the Year honors. Troy's Larry Blakeney and Middle Tennessee's Rick Stockstill were named co-Coaches of the Year.