Arkansas State quarterback Ryan Aplin has had his share of accolades over the past two years, and even more are coming for the leader of the Red Wolf offense.
He has been named to the College Football Performance Awards watch list, and is expected to receive more accolades by the week's end. (Stay tuned to RedWolfReport.com for the announcement Friday morning.)
Aplin has also had his share of adversity. He will play his senior season under his third head coach in as many years.
He has played under Steve Roberts, current Ole Miss head coach Hugh Freeze, and now under new Arkansas State head coach Gus Malzahn.
Aplin spoke with RedWolfReport.com about the accolades he has received, in addition to the adversity that both he and his team have overcome in their time at Arkansas State.
"It really is a blessing to be where we are," said Aplin. "To get where we have come from and to have this program on the rise is just a blessing. Yeah, I may be receiving some individual accolades, but they are team awards. I couldn't do this without my team, so these are team accolades even though it is my name on some of them."
"We have been through a lot," Aplin added. "We've gone from Coach Roberts, to Freeze, and now to Malzahn, and we have had our ups and downs with all of the changes. We've had to adjust to new philosophies, and it has been tough to get all of the team on the same page at times, but that is what made us who we are."
Aplin also spoke about what he feels this team is capable of this year.
"I think we've got a big shot at doing big things," said Aplin. "We are working hard and the sky is the limit. The whole team has been here for volunteer workouts since June, and I think that is just awesome that everyone is here and doing that. They could be taking the summer off, but they are here and going to work every day on a volunteer basis, and I think that is what is going to help set us apart this year."
Offensively, Aplin will have plenty of weapons at his disposal, to include transfer running back David Oku. Aplin gave his thoughts on being able to acquire a player like Oku.
"It is just awesome that we have another threat," said Aplin. "I mean, it is just great to add another weapon that made such an impact in the SEC. He is a smart guy and is really doing a great job so far, and he is definitely going to be a home-run threat for us each time he touches the football."
"We have other big time players coming back for us also," said Aplin. "With Sir Gregory Thornton and Frankie Jackson being back there with Oku, we should be able to do big things when you combine them with our wide receivers like Taylor Stockemer, Allen Muse, and Josh Jarboe. I just really think that if we work had, we will have a shot at winning another championship this year."
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