The Nicholls Colonels lead the way for in-state schools, as well as the entire Southland Conference, when it comes to preseason all-conference selections.
The defending co-champions placed a league-high 11 selections on the 2019 All-SLC Football Preseason Teams which were announced on Thursday by the conference.
Senior quarterback Chase Fourcade, the 2018 SLC Player of the Year, and senior defensive lineman Sully Laiche led the way as the Colonels accounted for eight of the 28 first-team slots.
Fourcade enters his final season in Thibodaux with the 10th-most career total offense yards in league history (8,990), and Laiche begins his senior season as the active FCS leader in career sacks (25).
The other first-team selections for the Colonels were wide receiver Dai’Jean Dixon (53 receptions, 7 TD), cornerback Darren Evans (8 pass breakups), punter Winston Jones (41.4 yards per punt), and linebackers Allen Pittman (45 tackles) and Evan Veron (22 tackles for a loss, 7 sacks).
Offensive lineman Jair Joseph, defensive back Khristian Mims (76 tackles) and running back Dontrell Taylor (990 yards, 9 TD) picked up second-team honors.
Southeastern Louisiana placed a total of five players on the preseason teams.
Tight end Bransen Schwebel, punt returner-running back Devonte Williams and wide receiver-kick returner Juwan Petit-Frere were named to the first team.
Lions defensive end Isaac Adeyemi-Berglund and punt returner-wide receiver Austin Mitchell were named to the second team.
Petit-Frere caught a team-high 49 passes for 796 yards and five touchdowns, while also averaging 26.2 yards per return in 2018.
Schwebel hauled in 30 passes for 484 yards and three touchdowns, while Williams and Mitchell helped the Lions lead the SLC with 14.2 yards per punt return in 2018.
Adeyemi-Berglund had 10 tackles for a loss and 6 sacks in 2018.
The Northwestern State Demons had four honored with preseason honors.
Junior safety Hayden Bourgeois was the lone Demon to earn first-team honors.
Bourgeois, a former Notre Dame High star, is coming off a season in which he produced seven turnovers (5 interceptions, 2 fumble recoveries), and led the Demons with 83 tackles.
Senior offensive lineman Chris Zirkle, senior defensive lineman O’Shea Jackson (team-high 10.5 tackles for a loss), and sophomore kick returner Myles Ward (25.6 yards per return) picked up second-team honors.
The McNeese State Cowboys meanwhile had three players earn preseason honors. Offensive lineman Grant Burguillos, defensive end Chris Livings, and defensive back Colby Burton all earned first-team honors on Thursday.
Burguillos anchored the Cowboys offensive line last season when he played a team-high 674 snaps in 11 games.
Livings has recorded 20.5 sacks in his career and is 10.5 away from Bryan Smith’s program record of 31.
Burton recorded 31 tackles with two interceptions, eight pass deflections and 3.5 tackles for a loss.
2019 Preseason All-Southland Conference Football Teams
(As selected by the league’s 11 coaches)
First Team Offense
QB – Chase Fourcade, Nicholls
RB – Carlos Blackman, UCA; Billy McCrary, ACU
TE/HB – Bransen Schwebel, SLU
WR – Nathan Stewart, SHSU; Dai’Jean Dixon, Nicholls; Juwan Petit-Frere, SLU
OL – Grant Burguillos, McNeese; Hunter Watts, UCA; Brandon Floores, UIW; Terence Hickman II, UIW; P.J. Burkhalter, Nicholls
PK – Storm Ruiz, SFA
P – Winston Jones, Nicholls
First Team Defense
DL – Chris Livings, McNeese; Sully Laiche, Nicholls; Chris Terrell, UCA; Daniel Crosley, Lamar
LB – Jeremiah Chambers, ACU; Evan Veron, Nicholls; Allen Pittman, Nicholls
DB – Colby Burton, McNeese; Hayden Bourgeois, NSU; Zyon McCollum, SHSU; Juan Jackson, UCA; Darren Evans, Nicholls
KR – Juwan Petit-Frere, SLU
PR – Devonte Williams, SLU
Second Team Offense
QB – Jon Copeland, UIW
RB – Dontrell Taylor, Nicholls; Myles Wanza, Lamar
TE/HB – Woody Brandom, SHSU
WR – Tamrick Pace, SFA; Jerreth Sterns, HBU; Josh Fink, ACU
OL – Jair Joseph, Nicholls; Chris Zirkle, NSU; Toby Sanderson, UCA; Kade Parmelly, ACU; Uzoma Okere, UIW
PK – Elvin Martinez, Lamar
P – David Balcomb, UIW
Second Team Defense
DL – Erick Fowler, SHSU; Isaac Adeyemi-Berglund, SLU; O’Shea Jackson, NSU; Andre Walker HBU
LB – Caleb Johnson, HBU; Hunter Brown, SHSU; Royce See, SHSU
DB – Khristian Mims, Nicholls; Bolu Onifade, ACU; Alize Ward, SFA; Jackie Harvell, UCA; Robert Rochell, UCA
KR – Myles Ward, NSU
PR – Austin Mitchell, SLU