Back OAYP: Week One Sun Belt Roundup

Back To Sun Belt

OAYP: Week One Sun Belt Roundup

By Jim Johnson
Follow us at  Become a fan at the Facebook Page

OAYP ranks the Top 5 SBC players at each position after week one, and gives its team of the week.

One week is in the books, and OAYP has been fully updated to reflect the new data.

These conference roundups will be released each week detailing the most highly rated players in the league, the top performers of that week, and the ever-changing overall team strength, offensive, and defensive rankings.

The team rankings will not be included in this week’s review, as 42 FBS teams have still yet to play another FBS team. Stats compiled against FCS opponents, for neither teams nor individuals, are factored into the formula. So, given the marginal nature of the metric, everything is contingent upon everything else. As such, until all 130 have played one of the other 129 FBS teams, no one has scores.

Well, no team does. The players, however, do. Below you’ll find OAYP’s top five players in the league at every position group. That said, only players that met the full, or at least the secondary qualifying minimums last year are included. That’s to prevent inordinate swings in the rankings. Even is someone performed extremely well in week one, a full season’s worth of 2018 data is probably more telling than that single game. For those that did not meet the minimum thresholds, you can expect to start seeing them around week six, once the numbers have had an opportunity to stabilize and find somewhat of an equilibrium. I also decided not to include full or secondary qualifiers that didn’t play FBS games this week, but you should see all of them a week from now.

Obviously, the new 2019 data does play a role, but a smaller one, for the time being, and will continue to comprise more of each given score as the season goes on, until 2018 can justifiably be factored out.

And remember, tiers are more useful than straight up rankings. The rule of thumb I’ve been using is: <-1.0 is a red flag, -1.0 to -0.01 is below average, 0.0 is the mean, 0.1 to 0.49 is above average, 0.5 to 1.0 is very good, 1.0 to 1.99 is a star, and 2.0+ is a bonafide superstar, which I suppose would make the handful of 3.0+ guys aliens or something.

Also of note, these scores are not only relative to each conference, but Southern Pigskin’s entire coverage area -- the ACC, SEC, and Sun Belt. With that large a player pool, any particularly strong or weak position groups in a given league should no longer affect the marginal scores.



  1. Shai Werts, Georgia Southern 0.52
  2. Dan Ellington, Georgia State -0.16
  3. Fred Payton, Coastal Carolina -0.36
  4. Tyler Vitt, Texas State -2.26

*Only four SBC QB’s that previously met a qualifying threshold played FBS teams in week one*


  1. Raymond Calais, Louisiana 1.98
  2. Elijah Mitchell, Louisiana 1.59
  3. CJ Marable, Coastal Carolina 0.62
  4. Trey Ragas, Louisiana 0.27
  5. Marcel Murray, Arkansas State 0.06


  1. Ja'Marcus Bradley, Louisiana 1.04
  2. Kawaan Baker, South Alabama 0.46
  3. Jonathan Adams, Arkansas State 0.33
  4. Omar Bayless, Arkansas State 0.14
  5. Cornelius McCoy, Georgia State -0.06


  1. Isaiah Likely, Coastal Carolina 0.59
  2. Shadell Bell, Coastal Carolina 0.36
  3. Khameron Taylor, South Alabama -0.24
  4. Roger Carter, Georgia State -1.27
  5. Reed Tyler, Arkansas State -2.05


  1. Robert Hunt, Louisiana 2.22
  2. Hunter Atkinson, Georgia State 0.83
  3. Aaron Brewer, Texas State 0.12
  4. Drew Wilson, Georgia Southern -0.85
  5. Troy Thingstad, South Alabama -0.96


  1. Kevin Dotson, Louisiana 2.23
  2. Shamarious Gilmore, Georgia State 0.69
  3. Andre Harris Jr., Arkansas State -0.17
  4. Ken Marks, Louisiana -0.32
  5. Hadon Merchant, South Alabama -0.7


  1. Jacob Still, Arkansas State 0.36
  2. Jakob Cooper, Georgia Southern -0.25
  3. Brian Ankerson, South Alabama -0.43
  4. Reece Jordan, Texas State -0.75

*Only four SBC centers that previously met a qualifying threshold played FBS teams in week one*


  1. William Bradley-King, Arkansas State 1.03
  2. Frankie Griffin, Texas State 0.53
  3. Chauncey Manac, Louisiana 0.18
  4. Riley Cole, South Alabama 0.1
  5. Randy Wade, Georgia Southern -0.11


  1. Kevin Thurmon, Arkansas State 1.46
  2. Raymond Johnson, Georgia Southern 1.08
  3. Forrest Merrill, Arkansas State 1.07
  4. Tyree Turner, South Alabama 0.64
  5. Ishmael Davis, Texas State 0.56


  1. Bryan London, Texas State 0.82
  2. Nikolas Daniels, Texas State 0.48
  3. Tajhea Chambers, Arkansas State 0.25
  4. Rashad Byrd, Georgia Southern 0.04
  5. Jacques Boudreaux, Louisiana -0.18


  1. Jerry Jacobs, Arkansas State 0.88
  2. Anthony Taylor, Texas State 0.86
  3. Kindle Vildor, Georgia Southern 0.79
  4. Monquavion Brinson, Georgia Southern 0.76
  5. Jarron Morris, Texas State 0.45


  1. Jashon Waddy, Texas State 0.69
  2. BJ Edmonds, Arkansas State 0.48
  3. Darreon Jackson, Arkansas State 0.23
  4. Kenderick Duncan, Georgia Southern -0.23
  5. Antonio Fletcher, Arkansas State -0.4


The teams of the week do include nonqualifiers from 2018. These are simply the highest single game scores of week one, at each position.

QB -- Dan Ellington, Georgia State
RB -- Trey Ragas, Louisiana
RB -- Raymond Calais, Louisiana
WR -- Omar Bayless, Arkansas State
WR -- Cornelius McCoy, Georgia State
WR -- Ja'Marcus Bradley, Louisiana
TE -- Shadell Bell, Coastal Carolina
OT -- Max Mitchell, Louisiana
OT -- Robert Hunt, Louisiana
OG -- Kevin Dotson, Louisiana
OG -- Andre Harris Jr., Arkansas State
C -- Malik Sumter, Georgia State

EDGE -- AJ DeShazor, South Alabama
EDGE -- William Bradley-King, Arkansas State
DL -- Hardrick Willis, Georgia State
DL -- Sterling Johnson, Coastal Carolina
LB -- Roy Yancey, South Alabama
LB -- Trajan Stephens-McQueen, Georgia State
LB -- Ed Curney, Georgia State
CB -- Jerry Jacobs, Arkansas State
CB -- Michael Jacquet, Louisiana
CB -- Jaylon Jones, Georgia State
S -- Jashon Waddy, Texas State
S -- Darreon Jackson, Arkansas State

Jim Johnson - Editor of Southern Pigskin, Producer of "Three & Out", and host of "Explosive Recruiting" on the Southern Pigskin Radio Network. E-mail: Twitter: @JimJohnsonSP