2022 All-Southland Football teams and superlative award winners announced

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Southland 60th anniversary

FRISCO, Texas – The Southland Conference announced its annual football awards and all-conference teams Wednesday, highlighted by Player of the Year Lindsey Scott, Jr., of UIW and Coach of the Year Frank Scelfo of Southeastern.

Conference co-champions UIW and Southeastern led the all-conference honorees with the Lions earning 14 picks (six first teamers and eight second teamers) and the Cardinals earning 13 picks (nine first teamers and four second teamers.

Northwestern State and McNeese each had eight honorees, Texas A&M-Commerce had five picks, Nicholls earned four selections, HCU notched three picks, and Lamar had one honoree.

Walter Payton Award nominee Scott’s impressive season helped push UIW to a co-conference championship, a 10-1 record, and the No. 7 national seed in the FCS playoffs. He completed 240-of-328 passes for 3,791 yards with 50 touchdown passes against only four interceptions. He became the first FCS quarterback to throw seven touchdown passes in a half on two occasions. Scott leads the nation in passing efficiency (218.1), yards per pass attempt (11.56), point responsibility (348), and point responsibility per game (31.6), and ranks second in the nation in passing touchdowns (50), total passing yards (3,791), and passing yards per game (344.6). Scott also earns first team all-Southland honors at quarterback and is the first UIW player to ever earn Southland Player of the Year laurels.

The conference’s other Walter Payton Award nominee – running back Deonta McMahon of McNeese – was named the Offensive Player of the Year. He ranks fifth nationally in total rushing yardage and yards per game, carrying the ball 191 times for 1,408 yards and 12 touchdowns, averaging 128.0 yards per game. He is the first McNeese Cowboy to lead the SLC in rushing since Toddrick Penland in 2008. As well as his first team all-Southland honors at running back, McMahon is the second team honoree at kickoff returner. He is the first McNeese player to win Offensive Player of the Year since Cody Stroud in 2013.

UIW’s Kelechi Anyalebechi earned Defensive Player of the Year honors, becoming the first UIW player to win the award. He also won first team all-Southland at linebacker, recording 88 total tackles (8.0 per game). The Buck Buchanan Award finalist had double-digit tackles in six games, including 15 stops in a win at Texas A&M-Commerce. He added 7.5 tackles for loss, two interceptions, a fumble recovery, and three pass breakups.

John Allen of Southeastern was named the Offensive Lineman of the Year, helping pave the way for a Lion offense that averaged 432.8 yards per game and claimed co-Southland championship honors. The Lions finished in the top three in the conference in both rushing and passing offense. He’s the first Lion to ever win this award.

Freshman of the Year honors went to Eli Ennis of Nicholls. The linebacker is a Jerry Rice Award nominee and led the conference in tackles for loss at 1.11 per game. He’s the first Colonel to win this award since 2004.

Wide receiver Zach Patterson of Northwestern State was named the Newcomer of the Year, and also earned second team all-conference honors. He ranked fourth in the league in receiving yards per game at 64.5. He had 83 catches for 710 yards and five touchdowns in his first season for the Demons. He’s the first NSU player to win Newcomer of the Year since 2013.

Southeastern’s Frank Scelfo was named the Southland Coach of the Year after leading the Lions to their third Southland championship with a 5-1 conference record and 8-3 overall mark. The Lions earned the league’s automatic qualification to the playoffs, where they will host a playoff game for the second straight season. This is his second time to win Coach of the Year (2019) and the third honor for Southeastern (Ron Roberts, 2013).

2022 Southland Conference Football Individual Superlative Winners

Player of the Year: Lindsey Scott, 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


First Team Offense

Pos. | Name | School | Cl. | Hometown

QB | Lindsey Scott Jr. | UIW | Gr. | Zachary, La.

RB | Deonta McMahon | McNeese | Sr. | Frostproof, Fla.

RB | Julien Gums | Nicholls | Sr. | New Orleans, La.

TE/HB | Travon Jones | Northwestern State | Fr. | Miami, Fla.

WR | Andrew Armstrong | Texas A&M-Commerce | So. | Dallas, Texas

WR | Taylor Grimes | UIW | Sr. | Godley, Texas

WR | Darion Chafin | UIW | Gr. | Wichita Falls, Texas

OL | John Allen | Southeastern | Jr. | Jackson, Miss.

OL | Caleb Johnson | UIW | Gr. | Mount Pleasant, Texas

OL | Evan Roussel | Nicholls | So. | Lutcher, La.

OL | Reid Francis | UIW | Sr. | College Station, Texas

OL | Calvin Barkat | McNeese | Sr. | Sachse, Texas

P | Austin Dunlap | Southeastern | Jr. | Slidell, La.

PK | Garrison Smith | McNeese | Fr. | Norwalk, Ohio


First Team Defense

DL | Chris Whitaker | UIW | Gr. | Lauderdale Lakes, Fla.

DL | Steven Parker | UIW | Sr. | Dallas, Texas

DL | Celestin Haba | Texas A&M-Commerce | Sr. | Columbia, S.C.

DL | Masry Mapieu | McNeese | Sr. | York, Neb.

LB | Kelechi Anyalebechi | UIW | Gr. | Pearland, Texas

LB | Kordell Williams | McNeese | Sr. | Carencro, La.

LB | Rodney Dansby | HCU | So. | Houston, Texas

DB | Jack Henderson | Southeastern | So. | Mandeville, La.

DB | Zy Alexander | Southeastern | So. | Loreauville, La.

DB | Ferlando Jordan | Southeastern | Sr. | Atlanta, Ga.

DB | Donte Thompson | UIW | Jr. | Pensacola, Fla.

DB | D’Ante Smith | Texas A&M-Commerce | Sr. | Richardson, Texas

KR | Gage Larvadain | Southeastern | So. | Donaldsonville, La.

PR | BJ Busbee | Texas A&M-Commerce | Sr. | Long Beach, Calif.


Second Team Offense

QB | Zachary Clement | Northwestern State | So. | Broussard, La.

RB | Carlos Washington Jr. | Southeastern | Sr. | Clinton, Md.

RB | Marcus Cooper | UIW | Gr. | Altair, Texas

TE/HB | Ivan Drobocky | Southeastern | So. | Bowling Green, Ky.

WR | Gage Larvadain | Southeastern | So. | Donaldsonville, La.

WR | Javon Antonio | Northwestern State | Jr. | LaPlace, La.

WR | Zach Patterson | Northwestern State | Jr. | Corinth, Miss.

OL | Dom Serapiglia III | Southeastern | So. | Jefferson Hills, Pa.

OL | Jhy Orgeron | Southeastern | So. | Galliano, La.

OL | Jimeto Obigbo | UIW | So. | Arlington, Texas

OL | Nash Jones | UIW | Jr. | Nacogdoches, Texas

OL | Caron Coleman | McNeese | Sr. | St. Louis, Mo.

PK | Riley Callaghan | Southeastern | Fr. | Ashburn, Va.

P | Brady Buell | HCU | Sr. | Traverse City, Mich.


Second Team Defense

DL | Arlen Williams | Southeastern | Jr. | Boothville, La.

DL | Perry Ganci | Nicholls | Jr. | New Orleans, La.

DL | Jomard Valsin Jr. | Northwestern State | Sr. | Port Arthur, Texas

DL | Jalyx Hunt | HCU | Jr. | DeBary, Fla.

LB | Donte’ Daniels | Southeastern | So. | Slidell, La.

LB | Tyler Jackson | Lamar | Jr. | DeSoto, Texas

LB | Dee Walker | Texas A&M-Commerce | Sr. | Moultrie, Ga.

DB | Jordan Jackson | Nicholls | Jr. | Prairieville, La.

DB | PJ Herrington | Northwestern State | Sr. | Natchez, Miss.

DB | William Hooper | Northwestern State | Sr. | Montgomery, Ala.

DB | Kaleb Culp | UIW | Jr. | Dallas, Texas

DB | Tyler Barnes | McNeese | Sr. | D’Iberville, Miss.

KR | Deonta McMahon | McNeese | Sr. | Frostproof, Fla.

PR | PJ Herrington | Northwestern State | Sr. | Natchez, Miss.

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