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 Draft Scout College Football Player News: Arkansas State
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  2022 PRESEASON WUERFFEL TROPHY (COMMUNITY SERVICE) WATCHLIST: Eddie Smith, Arkansas State, Jr., DB,...Member of the 2021 Illinois team before transferring to Arkansas State...Played in four games at Illinois as a redshirt sophomore in 2021, recording four tackles (all solo stops)...Spent the 2018-20 seasons at Alabama...Recognized as a versatile defender for Alabama in 2020 who could multiple positions in the secondary. - Arkansas State Football

rJr/2024 SS Eddie SmithArkansas State
News Source: Arkansas State Football
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  2022 PRESEASON ROTARY LOMBARDI AWARD WATCHLIST: Kivon Bennett, Arkansas State, Rs Sr LB,...Bennett ranked first on the team and sixth in the Sun Belt with 8.0 sacks for 42 yards in 2021. He led the team with 16.5 tackles for loss and also had a team-high five quarterback hurries. Bennett is the first Lombardi Trophy Watch List honoree for A-State since Chris Stone was on the initial list in 2015. - Arkansas State Football

rSr/2023 OLB Kivon BennettArkansas State
News Source: Arkansas State Football
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  Arkansas State's Kivon Bennett was long aware he'd be changing positions this offseason. It was a move he and Red Wolves Coach Butch Jones had planned upon his arrival in Jonesboro last spring. But knowing he would transition from defensive end to outside linebacker didn't necessarily make the shift easy for Bennett. He acknowledged throughout spring camp that he was still making mistakes and trying to "not bash [himself] too much" for them.

Fast forward a few months and the preseason All-Sun Belt Conference selection said he believes he's in a much better place. "I'm where I need to be," Bennett told the Arkansas Democrat-Gazette when asked about his position change. "I felt way more confident over the summer, even though we haven't had pads on...I know it's going to be different when the game comes. It's probably going to take me maybe the first game or so [to adjust], but I'm not too worried about it." Going into his final collegiate season, Bennett said he is hoping to cement himself as an NFL prospect, and there's a consensus both inside and outside the program that playing linebacker will give Bennett the best chance to reach that level. - Northwest Arkansas Times


rSr/2023 OLB Kivon BennettArkansas State
News Source: Northwest Arkansas Times
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  2022 PRESEASON RAY GUY WATCHLIST: Ryan Hanson - Arkansas State,... Last season (2021), Hanson (6-2, 218) completed his second season at A-State with 68 punt attempts covering 2,995 yards. He ranked third in the Sun Belt with an average of 44.04 yards per punt. He recorded 21 punts inside the opponent's 20-yard line and also had 17 punts covering at least 50 yards, including a career-long of 73 yards, the longest punt of the 2021 season in the league. He was named Third Team All-Sun Belt Conference, Phil Steele Second Team All-Sun Belt and PFF Second Team All-Sun Belt following the 2021 season. This is the ninth time an A-State punter has appeared on the Ray Guy Preseason Award Watch List, the seventh time since 2014. - Arkansas State Football

rSo/2025 P Ryan HansonArkansas State
News Source: Arkansas State Football
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  Arkansas State football is picked to finish 6th in the Sun Belt Preseason Coaches Poll, released Monday afternoon. Louisiana is picked to repeat as West Division Champions with 12 out of 14 first-place votes, followed by South Alabama (2 first-place votes), Troy, Texas State, Southern Miss, Arkansas State and ULM rounding out the list. The Red Wolves finished fifth in the Sun Belt West last year, going 1-7 in SBC play.

A-State had three players represented in the All-Sun Belt Preseason teams: Linebacker Kivon Bennett (First Team Defense), return specialist Johnnie Lang (First Team Special Teams) and wide receiver Te'Vailance Hunt (Second Team Offense). Bennett had a monster year at defensive end for the Red Wolves, ranking second in the Sun Belt with 16.5 tackles for a loss and fourth with 8 sacks. He'll change positions to linebacker for the upcoming season. - Kait8.com


rSr/2023 OLB Kivon BennettArkansas State
News Source: Kait8.com
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  2022 PRESEASON DOAK WALKER AWARD CANDIDATE: Johnnie Lang, Jr. (Sr.), Arkansas State,...Running back Johnnie Lang Jr. (5-8, 186) played four seasons at Iowa State before transferring to Arkansas State. Was named a Phil Steele and PFF First Team All-Sun Belt punt returner … Played in all 12 games with three starts at running back for Arkansas State … Led the Red Wolves with 124 punt return yards on 15 attempts, including a 63-yard return for a touchdown against Tulsa … Finished first in the Sun Belt Conference with a punt return average of 8.3 yards per return … Finished the year ranked second on the team with 263 rushing yards on 65 carries …At East Lake High School (Salt Lake City, Utah), Lange led the team to a Class 4A state championship as a senior. He played quarterback in a triple option offense, rushed for 1,788 yards, averaging 12. 7 yards per carry, and 23 touchdowns. - Arkansas State Football

rSr/2023 RB Johnnie LangArkansas State
News Source: Arkansas State Football
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  2022 PRESEASON BILETNIKOFF AWARD WATCH LIST: Te'Vailance Hunt, Arkansas State,...Hunt was a Third Team All-Sun Belt Conference selection last season, as well as a Phil Steele and PFF all-conference choice after hauling in 51 receptions for 740 yards and six touchdowns. His 67.3 receiving yards per game ranked sixth in the Sun Belt, while his six receiving touchdowns were the seventh most in the league. He has been named 2022 preseason all-conference by publications such as Phil Steele's and Athlon Sports. - Arkansas State Football

rSr/2023 WR TeVailance HuntArkansas State
News Source: Arkansas State Football
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  Arkansas State football looks set to be a part of EA Sports' world-renowned College Football video game series for the first time since 2013. Arkansas State confirmed to Region 8 Sports the school was contacted by EA, and the school "sent assets to EA in order to help replicate the various elements in the game." A-State wouldn't say which assets were sent, but sources say EA Sports have already been out to Centennial Bank Stadium, taking pictures of the venue. Other assets could include logos and uniforms. Extra Points reports several schools have been sending audio assets, including fight songs, to EA.

According to a memo sent out by College Licensing Company (CLC) in February, obtained by Matt Brown with Extra Points, "nearly 120 institutions, athletic conferences and bowl games" have "conceptually approved participation," with an industry expectation being that every FBS institution will be in the game when the game launches, which is reportedly Summer of 2023. The last college football video game released was NCAA Football 14, the last game Arkansas State, licensed by CLC, was included in. - Kait8.com


So/2025 TE Emmanual StevensonArkansas State
News Source: Kait8.com
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  We're just a couple of weeks away from Sun Belt Media Days in New Orleans. The Red Wolves revealed their speaking lineup Sunday morning. Linebacker Kivon Bennett and quarterback James Blackman will head to the Big Easy, they'll represent the Red Wolves along with head coach Butch Jones. Bennett recorded 16 and a half tackles for a loss in 2021, leading the conference with 8 sacks. The defensive end/linebacker had 58 stops plus a scoop and score. Blackman's 2022 was cut short due to injury, playing in the first six games of the season. He completed 59.5 percent of his passes, throwing for 1,344 yards with 8 touchdowns to 4 interceptions. - Kait8.com

rSr/2023 OLB Kivon BennettArkansas State
News Source: Kait8.com
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  A busy and productive spring for the Arkansas State football team has carried over into the summer, but not just on the fields, in campus classrooms or the many student-athlete enhancement areas comprising Centennial Bank Athletics Operations Center. The Red Wolves have been extremely active in community-service projects as part of their new "Champions in the Community" program established this past spring by head coach Butch Jones and his A-State coaching and support staff. Like Jones' "4th and 1" program, the "Champions in the Community" initiative provides an opportunity for student-athletes to gain rewarding growth as individuals in A-State's football program. At the same time, it goes hand-in-hand with Jones' conviction that the football program and community are inherently linked together as integral parts necessary to develop a winning culture.

The Red Wolves community-service efforts are backing up something Jones has been vocal about since his arrival in Northeast Arkansas - the support the football program and community provide each other are extremely important, so giving back is going to be a priority for A-State's football program. "I'm proud of the way our players and the community have both embraced this outreach, service and involvement," said Jones. "We're doing things weekly in Jonesboro and the surrounding areas, so we're excited our players are getting out there and embedding themselves in our community." - Arkansas State Football


Jr/2024 CB Leon JonesArkansas State
News Source: Arkansas State Football
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  Ole Miss offensive lineman Jordan Rhodes has entered the NCAA transfer portal according to On3. Rhodes, a former South Carolina transfer, joined the Rebels last year. He played in 12 games for Ole Miss last season and made one start. He'll be a graduate transfer. Rhodes, a Georgia native, was a three-star recruit in the 2017 recruiting class. - On3.com

rSr/2023 OG Jordan RhodesArkansas State
News Source: On3.com
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  Former Arkansas State football standout defensive end and First Team All-Sun Belt Conference selection Chris Odom was announced Wednesday as the United States Football League's (USFL) Defensive Player of the Year. Playing for the Houston Gamblers, Odom racked up a USFL-best 12.5 sacks to go along with 8.0 tackles for loss, 43 tackles and six forced fumbles during the league's inaugural season. Additionally, A-State's second all-time leader in career blocks (5) posted four blocked field goals on the year for Houston.

Odom, who has also spent time in the National Football League (NFL), Canadian Football League (CFL) and Alliance of American Football (AAF), led a Gamblers' defense that ranked first in the league in forced fumbles (14), tied for first in interceptions (13) and second in sacks (26). The Arlington, Texas, native finished his career at Arkansas State in 2016 and is currently ranked 10th in career sacks (16.5) and second in blocked kicks (5) in school history. - Arkansas State football


Sr/2017 DE Chris OdomArkansas State
News Source: Arkansas State football
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  With the 2022 Arkansas State football season set begin Sept. 3rd with a home game against Grambling State, kickoff times and television designations were announced Thursday for the Red Wolves' first three contests of the year. The Red Wolves will begin their second season under head coach Butch Jones with three consecutive non-conference games to begin September, including Ohio State and Memphis in addition to Grambling State. Playing its season and home opener at Centennial Bank Stadium for the seventh time over the last 10 years, A-State's game against Grambling State will kickoff at 6:00 p.m. and appear on ESPN3.

One week later, A-State will travel to Columbus to face eight-time national champion Ohio State for the first time in school history on Sept. 10th. The game is slated to start at 11:00 a.m. CT, and will be televised on the Big Ten Network. Arkansas State will remain on the road the next week as well to play its 61st all-time game versus Memphis on Sept. 17th. The contest at Simmons Bank Liberty Stadium will kickoff at 6:00 p.m. and be broadcast on ESPN+. - Kait8.com


rJr/2024 OLB King MwikutaArkansas State
News Source: Kait8.com
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  Quarterback James Blackman started 24 games at Florida State over four seasons and is tied for 10th in Seminoles history with 43 touchdown passes. That's not the kind of resume you usually find with Sun Belt quarterbacks. Blackman took over as the FSU starter as a true freshman in 2017 after Deondre Francois was lost for the season in the opener. He threw for 186 yards per game with 19 touchdowns and 11 interceptions. Then Florida State started to fall apart.

Jimbo Fisher quit at the end of 2017 to take the Texas A&M job. Willie Taggart went 9-12 and was fired at the end of his second year. And then Mike Norvell went 3-6 in his first season and Blackman's last in Tallahassee. Blackman never had a chance to get settled after getting thrown in freshman year, and then he was in a quarterback battle at Arkansas State last year, making five starts. Now in his sixth college season, he's finally locked in as the starter as a 6-foot-5, 190-pound veteran who's been through a lot. That's a ton of experience for a former top-400 national recruit. He might bring a little something to this game. - Cleveland Plain Dealer


rSr/2023 QB James BlackmanArkansas State
News Source: Cleveland Plain Dealer
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  James Blackman and Jaxon Dailey exist on drastically different planes. The former is entering his sixth year of college football at his second school, once again looking to stake his claim to a starting spot. The latter is an early enrollee who could just have easily spent this weekend at his senior prom instead of Arkansas State's spring game. On a day that provided few highlights, most of the attention was on the two guys in white -- quarterbacks wore white jerseys rather black or red as the rest of teammates did -- as the Red Wolves wrapped up the last of their 15 spring practices with a full-length intrasquad scrimmage at Centennial Bank Stadium on Saturday afternoon.

Blackman's Black squad, comprised of the first-team offense and second-team defense, grabbed a 30-28 win in overtime, and ASU Coach Butch Jones praised the 6-5 redshirt senior not only for his play but also for his leadership in completing a game-tying drive, adding the necessary two-point conversion and then converting another in the overtime period. "He's very calm, he's been very collected and he's on a mission," Jones said of Blackman. "We've spoken about being a CEO quarterback ... an individual who owns the team, owns the offense and has high demands. He's the leader." Blackman completed 26 of 39 passes for 312 yards and 3 touchdowns, including a 40-yarder to Jeff Foreman with less than two minutes remaining. It was the first time Blackman had played in front of fans since early October 2021 when he suffered a shoulder injury against Coastal Carolina. - Northwest Arkansas Times


rSr/2023 QB James BlackmanArkansas State
News Source: Northwest Arkansas Times
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