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Trojans earn Sun Belt honors

Troy senior offensive lineman Antonio Garcia and senior defensive end Rashad Dillard were named to the All-Sun Belt Conference Preseason Football Team, the league office announced Friday in advance of this weekend’s Sun Belt Football Media Day Festivities. The team was voted on by the league’s 11 head coaches and media representatives.

Garcia, who was named to the Outland Trophy Watch List, enters the 2016 season with 30 career starts, including 24 straight over the past two seasons. He has allowed just 5.5 sacks the past two seasons in over 1,400 snaps played. Garcia has recorded 68 knockdown blocks over that span and led an offensive line that ranked second in the Sun Belt in fewest sacks allowed. Dillard, a native of Greer, S.C., finished third in the league last season with 7.0 sacks, while checking in 13th with 9.0 tackles for loss.  He returned a fumble 33 yards for a touchdown in Troy’s victory at New Mexico State; the Trojans finished the season third nationally with five defensive touchdowns on the year. Dillard ranked second with 5.5 sacks against Sun Belt foes and recorded a sack in seven different games on the year.

Sun Belt Football Media Day opens on Sunday when the players and coaches will conduct a free clinic for the youth of New Orleans.  Troy Athletics will have live coverage on Twitter and Facebook of head coach Neal Brown’s address to the media at 10:30 a.m. Monday.