ATLANTA -- Georgia State punter Brandon Wright and offensive tackle Hunter Atkinson were named to the Preseason All-Sun Belt Conference football team, selected by the league head coaches and media and announced Thursday.

Wright, the senior from Atlanta and one of the nation's top punters, was tabbed to the first team, while Atkinson, the senior left tackle from Flowery Branch, appeared on the second team.

In 2018, Wright ranked third in the FBS in both punting average (48.2) and net (42.8). His season punting average of 48.2 yards per kick was not only set a new Sun Belt Conference record but it was the eighth-best season mark in FBS history. His net was the second-best mark in Sun Belt annals.

Wright was a first team All-Sun Belt selection in 2018 and a semifinalist for the Ray Guy Award as the top punter in FBS, becoming the first GSU player to be named a semifinalist for a major college football award.

Atkinson enters his fourth season as the Panthers' left tackle, having started 36 straight games. He earned third-team All-Sun Belt honors in 2018 as he provided leadership for a unit that started three redshirt freshmen much of the season. He helped pave the way for the top rushing season in school history as the Panthers set GSU records for rushing yards (2,057) and rushing touchdowns (21), improving by nearly 60 yards per game over the previous season.

The Panthers open preseason camp on Aug. 1 in preparation for their Aug. 31 season opener at Tennessee (3:30 p.m. on ESPNU). Georgia State's home opener is set for Saturday, Aug. 7 vs. Furman at 7 p.m. at Georgia State Stadium (ESPN3).

Season tickets are on sale now for Georgia State's six-game home slate. Call 404-413-4020 or visit

2019 Sun Belt Conference Preseason Football Teams


Preseason Offensive Player of the Year: B.J. Smith (Troy, Senior)

Preseason Defensive Player of the Year: Kindle Vildor (Georgia Southern, Senior)


First Team Offense

QB - Zac Thomas (Appalachian State, Junior)

RB - Darrynton Evans (Appalachian State, Junior)

RB - B.J. Smith (Troy, Senior)

WR - Corey Sutton (Appalachian State, Junior)

WR - Kirk Merritt (Arkansas State, Senior)

WR - Ja'Marcus Bradley (Louisiana, RS-Senior)

TE - Javonis Isaac (Arkansas State, RS-Junior)

OL - Noah Hannon (Appalachian State, Junior)

OL - Victor Johnson (Appalachian State, Senior)

OL - Kevin Dotson (Louisiana, RS-Senior)

OL - Robert Hunt (Louisiana, RS-Senior)

OL - Kirk Kelley (Troy, Senior)


First Team Defense

DL - William Bradley-King (Arkansas State, RS-Junior)

DL - Forrest Merrill (Arkansas State, Junior)

DL - Raymond Johnson (Georgia Southern, Junior)

DL - Tyree Turner (South Alabama, Senior)

LB - Akeem Davis-Gaither (Appalachian State, Senior)

LB - Jordan Fehr (Appalachian State, Senior)

LB - Bryan London II (Texas State, Senior)

DB - Desmond Franklin (Appalachian State, Senior)

DB - Jerry Jacobs (Arkansas State, Junior)

DB - Monquavion Brinson (Georgia Southern, Senior)

DB - Kindle Vildor (Georgia Southern, Senior)


First Team Special Teams

K - Tyler Bass (Georgia Southern, RS-Senior)

P - Brandon Wright (Georgia State, RS-Senior)

RS - Tra Minter (South Alabama, Senior)


Second Team Offense

QB - Caleb Evans (ULM, Senior)

RB - Elijah Mitchell (Louisiana, Junior)

RB - Trey Ragas (Louisiana, RS-Junior)

WR - Omar Bayless (Arkansas State, RS-Senior)

WR - Kawaan Baker (South Alabama, Junior)

WR - Tray Eafford (Troy, Junior)

TE - Collin Reed (Appalachian State, Senior)

OL - Jacob Still (Arkansas State, RS-Junior)

OL - Hunter Atkinson (Georgia State, RS-Senior)

OL - T.J. Fiailoa (ULM, RS-Junior)

OL - Aaron Brewer (Texas State, Senior)

OL - Tristan Crowder (Troy, Senior)


Second Team Defense

DL - Kevin Thurmon (Arkansas State, RS-Senior)

DL - Tarron Jackson (Coastal Carolina, RS-Junior)

DL - Zi'Yon Hill (Louisiana, RS-Sophomore)

DL - Jarvis Hayes (Troy, Senior)

LB - Jacques Boudreaux (Louisiana, Senior)

LB - Nikolas Daniels (Texas State, Senior)

LB - Carlton Martial (Troy, Sophomore)

DB - Josh Thomas (Appalachian State, Senior)

DB - B.J. Edmonds (Arkansas State, Senior)

DB - Darreon Jackson (Arkansas State, RS-Senior)

DB - Michael Jacquet III (Louisiana, RS-Senior)


Second Team Special Teams

K - Tyler Sumpter (Troy, Junior)

P - Cody Grace (Arkansas State, RS-Senior)

RS - Darrynton Evans (Appalachian State, Junior)