FRISCO — James Dixon, Lamar Athletics- FRISCO, Texas – Lamar University junior Zae Giles has been named to the 2018 Preseason All-Southland Conference team just days prior to the league’s media kickoff event in Houston. A receiver, Giles garnered second-team honors at punt returner on the squad which was unveiled Thursday morning via release.
“We are very excited for Zae to be recognized by the rest of the Southland coaches,” said LU head coach Mike Schultz. “Zae is a very dynamic athlete with the ability to impact the game in several different ways. His speed makes him a big-play threat every time he touches the ball. The special thing about Zae is he understands that this is a preseason honor, and he has to continue his hard work to make this a reality for the postseason all-conference teams.”
Through his first two seasons on campus Giles has played in 16 games earning 15 starts, but had his sophomore campaign slowed by injuries. He saw action in five games during 2017. Despite his limited playing time, Giles still led the squad with seven punt returns for 87 yards. His 12.43 yards per return last season would have led the Southland but he didn’t record enough returns to qualify for the rankings.
Giles had just as great an impact returning kicks. He had eight attempts for 152 yards (19.0 ypr) as a sophomore.
Giles could very well be in a position to make a push for all-conference honors at multiple positions in 2018. The Austin, Texas native, has hauled in 84 passes for 734 yards (8.7 ypc) and four touchdowns during his career. He recorded one of the best freshman seasons in program history in 2016 when he recorded 58 catches for 518 yards. The 58 receptions in 2016 currently stands as the sixth-best single-season mark in school history.
Despite not playing in half the team’s games last season, Giles still managed a respectable 26 grabs for 216 yards (8.3 ypc).
Giles also stands on the verge of seeing his name appear on other LU career lists. He is only 12 receptions shy of cracking the school’s all-time top 10, and is on pace to move on to the school’s all-time top 10 in career receiving yards this season.
Most fans recognize Giles for wearing No. 1 for the majority of his career but he has made the switch to 11 entering his junior campaign.
Schultz, and selected LU players will be traveling to Houston Thursday, July 19, to participate in the Southland Conference Media Day event. The official kickoff to a new season within the Southland Conference, coaches and players from around the league will gather in Houston to meet with local, regional and national media to promote the start of the 2018 season.