LAKE CHARLES – McNeese running back Deonta McMahon has been named the 2022 Southland Conference Offensive Player of the Year, and was one of eight Cowboy players to earn 2022 All-Southland Conference honors.
McMahon also earned All-SLC first-team honors at a running back and second-team honors at kick returner. He was joined on the All-SLC first team by offensive lineman Calvin Barkat, linebacker Kordell Williams, defensive lineman Masry Mapieu and place kicker Garrison Smith.
McNeese also had players earn second-team honors with offensive lineman Caron Coleman and defensive back Tyler Barnes being recognized.
McMahon rushed for 1,408 yards on the season for a 128.0 per game average which ranked fifth in the FCS. He became the first Cowboy to win the SLC rushing title since 2008 (Toddrick Pendland) and first to win the all-purpose title since 2013 (Diontae Spencer).
He’s the sixth McNeese selection to be named the league’s offensive player of the year in school history and first since Cody Stroud in 2013.
Barkat played a major role in the success of McMahon and the Cowboys’ running game which led the conference with 200.5 yards per game. He started in all 11 games on the season and ended his career making 29 consecutive starts.
Williams led the Cowboys and ranked second in the conference with 108 total tackles and a 10.8 tackles per game average.
Mapieu appeared in all 11 games and recorded 27 tackles with 2.5 tackles for a loss and a sack. Smith meanwhile connected on 10 of 11 field goals and was a perfect 25 for 25 on his extra-point kicks.
Coleman missed the first five games due to concussion protocol but returned to start the final six, helping the Cowboys win the league rushing title. Barnes led the Cowboys while tying for second in the conference with three pass interceptions. He recorded 52 tackles on the season with four tackles for a loss, two of those coming against Alcorn State.
2022 Southland Conference Award Winners
Player of the Year: Lindsey Scott, Jr., UIW
Offensive Player of the Year: Deonta McMahon, McNeese
Defensive Player of the Year: Kelechi Anyalebechi, UIW
Newcomer of the Year: Zach Patterson, Northwestern State
Freshman of the Year: Eli Ennis, Nicholls
Offensive Lineman of the Year: John Allen, Southeastern
Coach of the Year: Frank Scelfo, Southeastern