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BOONE — Appalachian State’s football program has promoted secondary coach and recruiting coordinator Scot Sloan to co-defensive coordinator.

Sloan joins Nate Woody, who has been the Mountaineers’ sole defensive coordinator since 2013. Woody has earned national acclaim for his work with App State’s defense, which ranked first among teams from the Group of Five leagues by allowing only 15.2 points per game against other Group of Five teams.

Sloan, 46, became a member of App State’s staff as a secondary coach in 2010 and added the title of recruiting coordinator a year later. The Mountaineers, led by their “Legion of Boone” secondary, ranked sixth nationally with 20 interceptions in 2016.

App State must replace two starting linebackers and two starting defensive backs from a 10-3 team that earned a share of the Sun Belt Conference title and won a second straight Camellia Bowl. Sloan helped lead the recruitment of the 18 players Appalachian has signed for the upcoming season.

Receiving end

The signing of three Class of 2017 receivers coincides with the departure of three receivers who caught at least one touchdown pass in 2016.

Slot receivers Deltron Hopkins and Jaylan Barbour are no longer with the team after combining for 29 catches, 196 receiving yards and three scores last season as sophomores. Both players were used primarily on forward-flipped jet sweeps, and Hopkins finished last year with 151 yards on 23 official catches. The Mountaineers also lost veteran receiver Jaquil Capel, who started nine games and ranked second on the team with 25 catches for 290 yards. He scored one touchdown.

Some returning players who could contribute at slot receiver next season include Darrynton Evans, Dante Jones, Ike Lewis, Brad Absher and T.J. Watkins. Redshirt freshman Jalen Virgil and incoming freshmen Malik Williams, Thomas Hennigan and Jake Henry are among the new options for a group with leading receiver Shaedon Meadors and fellow senior Zy Letman still in the fold.

Early returns

ESPN has released its Preseason Football Power Index, which ranks all 130 FBS teams. App State is No. 74, two spots ahead of Sun Belt rival Troy and 10 spots ahead of Arkansas State. At No. 43, Memphis is the highest Group of Five team.

Ohio State is No. 1, six spots ahead of reigning national champion Clemson, and Wake Forest is No. 54.

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