Coastal Football finishes the season ranked No. 14 nationally

Coastal Carolina football finished the year at 11-1 overall
Coastal Football finishes the season ranked No. 14 nationally
Coastal Football finishes the season ranked No. 14 nationally(WMBF)
Published: Jan. 12, 2021 at 3:46 PM EST
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CONWAY, S.C.  – The 2020 football season was a historical one for the Coastal Carolina football program and it was capped off with a final national ranking of No. 14 overall in both the final Associated Press Top 25 Poll and Amway Coaches Top 25 Poll presented by USA Today Sports, it was announced today.

Coastal’s No. 14 nationally ranking in the final top 25 polls of the season are both Sun Belt Conference records, eclipsing Appalachian State’s final rankings of No. 18 in the coaches poll and No. 19 in the AP poll a year ago in 2019.

In 2020, the Chants recorded the program’s first-ever Sun Belt Conference title and an 11-1 overall mark, including an 8-0 Sun Belt Conference record, and made the program’s first-ever FBS postseason bowl game appearance with the FBC Mortgage Cure Bowl. The 2020 season marked Coastal Carolina’s first-ever undefeated regular season in program history and the first time that the Chanticleers were ranked in either the Associated Press Top 25 Poll or the Amway Coaches Poll presented by USA Today Sports. The Chanticleers were ranked as high as No. 9 in the Associated Press Top 25 Poll and No. 11 in the Amway Coaches Poll, both of which were Sun Belt Conference records, and ranked in the top 25 in both the national polls for 10-straight weeks. The Chanticleers were also ranked as high as No. 12 in the College Football Playoff rankings, also a Sun Belt record.

Coastal posted the only undefeated regular season by a football team in Sun Belt Conference history (11-0), which included two wins over FBS top 25 nationally-ranked opponents, the first two in CCU program history, and four wins over top 50 opponents.

The team earned 16 selections to the 2020 All-Sun Belt team, including 10 first-team selections. They also secured five of the conference’s six individual awards: Player and Freshman of the Year (quarterback Grayson McCall); Defensive Player of the Year (defensive end Tarron Jackson); Newcomer of the Year (cornerback D’Jordan Strong), and Coach of the Year (Jamey Chadwell).

Defensive end Tarron Jackson was a consensus All-American and garnered All-America recognition from the Walter Camp Football Foundation (first team), Associated Press (first team), FWAA (first team), American Football Coaches Association (first team), ESPN (first team), the Reese’s Senior Bowl (first team), the Phil Steele Publication (first team), Sporting News (second team), and CBS Sports/247Sports (second team) this postseason. He was also named a Senior CLASS second-team All-American and was a 2020 Bronko Nagurski Trophy finalist, a Lott IMPACT Trophy finalist, a Bednarik Award semifinalist, a William V. Campbell Trophy semifinalist, and earned a spot on Ted Hendricks Award watch list.

Redshirt freshman quarterback Grayson McCall earned freshman All-American honors (The Athletic) and was a Maxwell Award semifinalist, a Davey O’Brien National Quarterback Award semifinalist, a Manning Award finalist, and a semifinalist for the FWAA Freshman of the Year.

Fellow freshman offensive lineman Willie Lampkin picked up freshman All-American honors from both The Athletic and 247sports, while redshirt senior defensive tackle C.J. Brewer was tabbed an Associated Press third-team All-American and earned Phil Steele honorable mention All-American accolades.

Fellow defensive leader Silas Kelly was named a 2020 Mayo Clinic Comeback Player of the Year Award winner, while defensive coordinator and linebackers coach Chad Staggs was a semifinalist for the Broyles Award, given to the nation’s top assistant coach in all of FBS.

On top of all that, head coach Jamey Chadwell was named the 2020 Walter Camp Coach of the Year, the Associated Press Coach of the Year, The Home Depot College Football Coach of the Year, the 2020 Eddie Robinson Coach of the Year, the Sporting News’ 2020 Coach of the Year, the 2020 CBS Sports/247Sports Coach of the Year, the Paul “Bear” Bryant Group of 5 2020 Conference Coach of the Year, the FCA Coach of the Year, and was chosen by fans as The Premier Coach of College Football by Premier Players, Inc. 

He was also named the 2020 Sun Belt Coach of the Year and the 2020 Werner Ladder AFCA FBS Region 2 Coach of the Year and is a finalist for both the Paul “Bear” Bryant Coach of the Year Award and the George Munger College Coach of the Year Award, which is presented yearly by the Maxwell Football Club.

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