Trojans named to Preseason All-Sun Belt Team

Published 10:55 am Thursday, June 6, 2024

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It’s only June but Preseason All-Conference Teams are already being rolled out and Athlon Sports was the first to release its 2024 Preseason All-Sun Belt Team this week with a number of Troy Trojans making the list.

Troy punter Robert Cole, offensive lineman Daniel King, tight end Ethan Conner, defensive lineman Luis Medina, linebacker Jordan Stringer, kicker Scott Taylor Renfroe, running back Damien Taylor, receiver Devonte Ross, center Eli Russ, bandit Phillip Lee and linebacker Brendan Jackson were all named to the Preseason All-Sun Belt Team.

King is the only Trojan that was named to the First-Team All-Sun Belt. The senior is coming off a 2023 season that saw him earned Second-Team All-Sun Belt after being rated by Pro Football Focus (PFF) as Troy’s top pass and run blocker. He allowed just five sacks and was called for just three penalties on the season. He helped pave the way for Kimani Vidal’s record-breaking season, as well. He is in his third season as a starter at offensive guard for Troy after starting his college career at Georgia Military College.

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Cole was named Second-Team All-SBC. In 2023, he ranked third in the conference with a 42.3 yard-per-punt average. He also boasted 13 kicks of 50 yards or more and 14 of his punts landed inside the 20-yard line. Cole is entering his second year as Troy’s punter after starting his career at New Mexico Military Institute.

Conner, Medina, Stringer and Renfroe earned Third-Team All-Sun Belt honors. Conner caught 16 passes for 168 yards and four touchdowns in his first year at Troy last season. He started his career at East Mississippi Community College, where he played both quarterback and tight end. After missing all but three games as a sophomore in 2022, Medina played in all 14 games last season. He tallied 23 tackles, two tackles-for-loss and a sack. Stringer started six games in 2023 and recorded 68 tackles, 4.5 tackles-for-loss, 1.5 sacks, an interception and a forced fumble. His 591 snaps in 2023 is the most of any returning player on defense this season. Renfroe, a Troy native, won the field goal kicking job last season and finished the season 19-of-24 with his 19 makes being the second-most in a season in school history. He also tied the school record with four field goals in a game and made all 50 of his PATs.

Taylor, Ross, Russ, Lee and Jackson were all named Fourth-Team All-Sun Belt. Taylor was Troy’s primary backup running back – behind Vidal – in 2023. He recorded 346 yards and one touchdown on 67 carries along with four catches for nine yards and a score. Russ came to Troy from Oklahoma State last season and he started in 13 games, allowing just three sacks in 466 pass blocking situations. He didn’t allow a single hit on the quarterback in 11-of-13 games he played in. Ross caught 40 passes for 428 yards and three touchdowns as a sophomore in 2023.

Lee played in eight games in 2023 before an injury sidelined him for the remainder. He recorded 15 tackles, three tackles-for-loss and 1.5 sacks before the injury. He’s the third highest ranked returning player on Troy’s defense, according to PFF. Jackson is entering his first season at Troy after transferring from Gardner-Webb. He earned All-Big South honors last season at Gardner-Webb, recording 71 tackles, 11.5 tackles-for-loss and four sacks. He also played running back, rushing for four touchdowns.