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Sun Belt Front Seven Rankings

By Southern Pigskin Staff
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Southern Pigskin's top five front sevens in the Sun Belt for 2018.

1. Troy: There are playmakers all over for a dominant unit that, quite remarkably, ranked in the national top eight in rush defense, sacks and tackles for loss in 2017. Senior bandit Hunter Reese, fresh off first-team All-Sun Belt honors, leads the way. He burst onto the scene as a junior with 14 tackles for loss and 6.5 sacks. Veteran anchor Trevon Sanders sets the tone up front at 6'0'', 310 pounds. Also back is the team's leading tackler, active and athletic linebacker Tron Folsom, now an upperclassman.

2. Arkansas State: All-everything edge rusher Ja'Von Rolland-Jones, one of college football's most accomplished sack artists ever, is gone and can't be replaced, but the Red Wolves do have talent to turn to in the likes of Ronheen Bingham at defensive end and Ball State transfer Kevin Thurmon. Bingham, especially, after five sacks, eight tackles for loss and five quarterback hurries as a junior, could be poised for a breakout year.

3. Appalachian State: Senior linebacker Anthony Flory appears ready to take over a leadership role after finishing second on the team with 87 total tackles a season ago. He had eight tackles, an interception and a quarterback hurry in the Mountaineers' impressive 34-0 shutout of Toledo in the Dollar General Bowl. Established senior nose tackle Myquan Stout leads the push at the line of scrimmage.

4. Georgia State: A pretty strong core is forming for the Panthers, who return proven commodities like seniors Chase Middleton and Bryan Shaw at linebacker and senior end Marterious Allen. Shaw has compiled 169 stops and 25.5 tackles for loss throughout his career. As freshmen, linemen Dontae Wilson and linebacker Victor Heyward emerged with 4.5 sacks and five tackles for loss, respectively.

5. Georgia Southern: The defensive line is imposing. Senior end Logan Hunt is one of the best in the Sun Belt, has 30 career starts to his credit and totaled eleven tackles for loss, five sacks and six quarterback hurries last fall. Raymond Johnson III, another end, was a force as a freshman with 36 total tackles, 6.5 tackles for loss and four sacks. Additionally, Ty Phillips settled in at nose tackle.