Even though the 2013 season is more than three months away, publications began to release their preseason all-conference teams.
On Tuesday, Phil Steele disclosed his 2013 Preseason All-Sun Belt Team. Texas State landed 13 players on the list, headlined by four first-team selections, three second-team honorees and six third-team members.
Like many others, Steele felt junior linebacker Mike Orakpo and senior defensive lineman D.J. Yendrey will make an impact in 2013 and awarded them first-team mention. Orakpo (Colorado State) and Yendrey (TCU) have yet to play a meaningful down for the Bobcats, as they each transferred to the program and had to sit out the 2012 season.
Also landing on the first team were junior punt returner Andy Erickson and sophomore kick returner Jafus Gaines. Erickson averaged 16.7 yards per return, while Gaines went 28.9 yards per return with a long of 65.
Second-team honors went to junior kicker Will Johnson, junior cornerback Craig Mager and senior punter Zach Robinson. Johnson converted 12 of his 17 attempts in 2012, Mager tied for the team lead with four interceptions and Robinson averaged 46.2 yards per punt.
Third-team honors went to senior wide receiver Isaiah Battle, junior transfer running back C.J. Best, senior cornerback Xavier Daniels, junior linebacker David Mayo, senior defensive lineman Blake McColloch and junior offensive lineman Charlie Will Tuttle. Of those names, Best is the most surprising since he was a member of the 2013 signing class.
Texas State opens the 2013 season Aug. 31 at Southern Mississippi.