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11 Chanticleers earn Pro Football Focus All-Sun Belt honors

McCall, Jones, Heiligh, Likely, Strong, and Makonzo earned first-team recognition
Grayson McCall, Shermari Jones, Jaivon Heiligh, Isaiah Likely, D'Jordan Strong, Enock Makonzo,...
Grayson McCall, Shermari Jones, Jaivon Heiligh, Isaiah Likely, D'Jordan Strong, Enock Makonzo, Reese White, C.J. Brewer, Silas Kelly, Willie Lampkin, and Jeffrey Gunter all earned All-Sun Belt honors by Pro Football Focus.(Coastal Carolina Athletics)
Published: Nov. 30, 2021 at 6:45 PM EST
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CONWAY, S.C. – A total of 11 Coastal Carolina football student-athletes in Grayson McCall, Shermari Jones, Jaivon Heiligh, Isaiah Likely, D’Jordan Strong, Enock Makonzo, Reese White, C.J. Brewer, Silas Kelly, Willie Lampkin, and Jeffrey Gunter all earned All-Sun Belt honors by Pro Football Focus (PFF), it was announced this week. McCall, Jones, Heiligh, Likely, Strong, and Makonzo were named to the first team, while Heiligh (punt returner), White, Brewer, and Kelly were on the second team. Earning a spot on the third team were Lampkin and Gunter.

McCall, who was the 2020 Sun Belt Player and Freshman of the Year did it all again for the Chants in 2021, going 9-1 on the season as a starter while missing two games due to an upper-body injury. A Davey O’Brien and Maxwell Award semifinalist, and two-time Sun Belt Offensive Player of the Week, McCall leads all of NCAA FBS in passing efficiency (207.9) which would shatter the NCAA single-season record of 204.7 set by Heisman Trophy Award winner Joe Burrow in 2019. He also leads all of FBS in yards per pass attempt (12.12 yards) and ranks second nationally in passing yards per completion (16.61 yards). Despite missing two games and playing only the first half in two other games due to blowout wins, McCall’s numbers in quality statistics are outstanding. He leads the Sun Belt in completion percentage (73.0), passing efficiency (207.9), passing touchdowns (23), passing yards per game (255.8), passing yards per completion (16.61), points responsible for (168), points responsible per game (16.8), total offense per game (280.8), and yards per pass attempt (12.12). He is also the signal-caller for the Coastal offense that leads the Sun Belt in scoring, rushing, and efficiency.

Jones leads the team and the Sun Belt in rushing yards per game at 98.8 this season. He finished the regular season with a team-high 988 yards on the ground over 10 games, which ranked second in the Sun Belt, while his 13 rushing scores on the year are tied for the Sun Belt lead. Jones has registered four 100-yard games on the ground this season, including running for a career-high 211 yards in the win at South Alabama (Nov. 26) in the regular-season finale. His 211 rushing yards in the game were the second-most in a single game in CCU history behind only Mike Tolbert’s 244 rushing yards in 2007 at VMI. His 211 rushing yards were the third-most this season in the Sun Belt and the most against any team outside of Arkansas State. He has had two touchdowns or more in four games on the year, including a career-high three scores against Georgia State (Nov. 13). However, in Sun Belt play he stepped up his game, as he averaged 100 rushing yards per game and ran for 700 yards on the ground, both of which led all Sun Belt running backs. He also ran for 10 touchdowns in Sun Belt play, which was also a conference-best.

Heiligh leads the team with 59 catches for 1,034 yards and seven touchdowns this season. With his 1,034 receiving yards to date, he became just the second Chanticleer in program history to have a 1,000-receiving yard season (Jerome Simpson - 2006). His 1,034 yards rank second in the Sun Belt and 27th nationally, while his 86.2 receiving yards per game are second in SBC and 26th nationally. His seven receiving touchdowns are fourth in the Sun Belt on the year, while his 17.53 yards per catch on the year ranks third overall in the Sun Belt.  In Sun Belt Conference play, Heiligh’s 38 catches tied him with teammate Likely for the fourth-most in the SBC, while his 570 receiving yards and 75.13 yards per game were both third overall. His average of 94.17 all-purpose yards per game ranked fifth in the Sun Belt on the season. In the final regular-season game of the year, Heiligh etched his name in the CCU record books, as he became the all-time leading receiver in Coastal Carolina program history with 2,731 yards and the CCU career leader in pass receptions with 184.

Likely finished the regular season with 52 catches for 816 yards and 10 touchdowns. His 10 receiving touchdowns lead the Sun Belt, rank 15th nationally overall, and are the most by a tight end in all of FBS. His 816 receiving yards rank fifth in the Sun Belt, most by a tight end, while his 68.0 yards per game also rank fifth in the Sun Belt. A John Mackey Award semifinalist, Likely’s 630 receiving yards in conference play were second while his eight touchdowns led the league. His 78.8 yards per game in conference play was second as well, again tops among all tight ends. He received national player of the week and Sun Belt Offensive Player of the Week honors following his career game at Arkansas State (Oct. 7) in which he hauled in a career-high eight receptions for a career-high 232 yards and a CCU single-game record four touchdowns. He set a new Sun Belt record by becoming the first-ever tight end to have four touchdowns in a single game. He also became the first-ever Chant to catch four TD passes in a game. His four touchdown catches in the win were tied for the second-most in a single game in Sun Belt history by any player, while his 232 receiving yards were the third most in SBC single-game history. His 232 yards were also the second-most in a single game in CCU’s 19-year history, the most ever by a tight end.

Strong has once again been the top corner for the Chants this season, as he leads the team and ranks fourth in the Sun Belt with 10 passes defended. With most teams staying away from him this season, after recording five interceptions last year, Strong still has tallied 10 pass breakups and 22 tackles, including 18 solo stops. He also had seven pass breakups in conference play which ranked sixth in the Sun Belt. The “Black Swarm” defense this season leads the Sun Belt in fewest first downs allowed (203), fewest passing yards allowed (191.1), and has the second-best defense in the league in terms of points allowed per game (20.0), total offensive yards allowed per contest (324.8 ypg), and fewest rushing yards allowed per game (133.8).

Makonzo was all over the field this season for the Chants. The redshirt senior is third on the team in total tackles with 60.0, fourth in tackles-for-loss with 9.0, and is tied for the team lead with three forced fumbles. The defensive back/linebacker hybrid, finished conference play with 35 tackles, 4.0 tackles-for-loss, one forced fumble, and one fumble recovery. He had a career-high 11 tackles in the win over Troy (Oct. 28) and tallied five tackles or more in seven games on the year.

White, who missed four games on the year due to a lower-body injury, is part of the CCU rushing attack that leads the Sun Belt at 231.3 rushing yards per game. In eight games, White carried the ball 71 times for 516 yards and seven touchdowns. His average of 7.3 yards per carry on the year ranks second in the Sun Belt, behind only teammate Braydon Bennett and his 7.8 yards per carry average, while both his seven touchdowns and 64.5 yards per game average ranks ninth in the conference.

Brewer was again a leader up front for the Chants’ defensive unit, as the two-time team captain finished the regular season with 47 tackles, 9.5 tackles-for-loss, and 4.5 sacks. He also had one fumble recovery, one interception, six quarterback hurries, and ran a fake punt for a first down in the fourth quarter in the win over Troy. His 9.5 tackles-for-loss on the season rank 12th overall in the Sun Belt, which included 6.5 tackles-for-loss and 3.5 sacks in conference play.

Kelly leads the Chants and ranks third in the Sun Belt with 96 total tackles and an average of 8.0 per game. He also finished the regular season with 8.0 tackles-for-loss, 2.5 sacks, and a Sportscenter Top-10 (No. 3) interception at South Alabama (Nov. 26). His 69 tackles in conference play were second, while his 2.5 sacks were the most among the top-eight tacklers in Sun Belt play this season. The super senior has recorded six tackles or more in six different games, including registering a career-high 12 tackles versus Georgia State (Nov. 13). He also became just the third Chant in program history to total 300 career tackles and enters the bowl game with 326 total stops as a Chant.

Lampkin made 12 starts at the left guard position for the Chants this season, and has played and started all 24 games since stepping foot on campus two years ago. The lone underclassman on the offensive line, the 2020 Freshman All-American again had a strong season in 2021. Lampkin is part of the offensive line unit that leads the way for an offense that leads the nation in third-down conversion percentage (54.1) and team passing efficiency (190.63). The Chants lead the Sun Belt in third-down conversion percentage (54.1), fourth-down conversion percentage (75.0), completion percentage (70.2), first downs gained (287), fewest interceptions thrown (4), passing yards per completion (15.33), rushing offense (231.2), scoring offense (40.4), and total offense (493.1). The O-line has allowed just 21 sacks on the season and just 61 tackles-for-loss, averages 1.75 and 5.08 per game which both rank at the top of the Sun Belt. The offensive line was also named to the Joe Moore Award midseason watch list for the second-straight season.

Gunter was a do-it-all bandit end for the Chants’ defense this season as he finished the regular season with 41 tackles, 10.0 tackles-for-loss, 6.5 sacks, two forced fumbles, one fumble recovery, five quarterback hurries, and one blocked kick. His 10.0 tackles-for-loss are second on the team and ninth in the Sun Belt, while his 6.5 sacks are second on the team and eighth in the Sun Belt. Gunter has tallied five tackles or more three times and a tackle-for-loss in seven games on the year.

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