Troy’s Garcia & Dillard land on All-Sun Belt Preseason Team
TROY, Ala. (troytrojans.com) – Troy senior offensive lineman Antonio Garcia and senior defensive end Rashad Dillard were named to the All-Sun Belt Conference Preseason Football Team, the league office announced Friday in advance of this weekend’s Sun Belt Football Media Day Festivities. The team was voted on by the league’s 11 head coaches and media representatives.
Garcia, who was named to the Outland Trophy Watch List, enters the 2016 season with 30 career starts, including 24 straight over the past two seasons. He has allowed just 5.5 sacks the past two seasons in over 1,400 snaps played. Garcia has recorded 68 knockdown blocks over that span and led an offensive line that ranked second in the Sun Belt last season in fewest sacks allowed.
Additionally, the 2015 offensive line blocked for Brandon Burks, who became just the eighth 1,000-yard rusher in Troy history. In 2014, Garcia paced an offensive line that blocked for record-setting quarterback Brandon Silvers as he set the NCAA mark for completion percentage by a freshman.
Dillard, a native of Greer, S.C., finished third in the league last season with 7.0 sacks, while checking in 13th with 9.0 tackles for loss. He returned a fumble 33 yards for a touchdown in Troy’s victory at New Mexico State; the Trojans finished the season third nationally with five defensive touchdowns on the year.
Dillard ranked second with 5.5 sacks against Sun Belt foes and recorded a sack in seven different games on the year. He was a key leader on a Trojan defense that was the fifth-most improved unit in the country in yards per play allowed (-1.13), third-most improved in opponent third-down percentage (-14.62) and sixth-most improved in tackles for loss (2.59).
Sun Belt Football Media Day opens on Sunday when the players and coaches will conduct a free clinic for the youth of New Orleans. Troy Athletics will have live coverage on Twitter and Facebook of head coach Neal Brown’s address to the media Monday beginning at 10:30 a.m.
Troy opens the 2016 season on Sept. 3 when it plays host to Austin Peay in the first of six home games in Veterans Memorial Stadium.
Season tickets are on sale now and can be purchased by contacting the Troy Ticket Office online at TroyTrojans.com, by phone at 877-878-WINS or in person at the Tine Davis Fieldhouse.