Southland announces 2021 Preseason All-Conference Football Teams

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Cole Kelley

Southeastern leads with 16 total selections

FRISCO, Texas – Southeastern quarterback Cole Kelley and UIW quarterback Cameron Ward, the reigning Walter Payton and Jerry Rice Award winners, respectively, headline the 2021 Southland Conference Football Preseason All-Conference Teams, announced on Thursday. The preseason all-conference teams are presented by Ready®.

The Lions lead the way with 16 total selections, followed closely by the Cardinals with 15. Nicholls earns 11 preseason all-league nods, and Northwestern State garners nine slots. Houston Baptist and McNeese each accounted for six spots.

The third Southland quarterback to take home the Walter Payton Award as the FCS offensive player of the year, Kelley finished second nationally in passing yards (2,662) and points responsible for (164) and tied for third among quarterbacks with seven rushing touchdowns. Named first-team all-America by HERO Sports and Stats Perform, he also ranked fourth in completion percentage (.689) and completions per game (30).

Becoming the first Southland student-athlete to win the Jerry Rice Award as the FCS freshman of the year, Ward led FCS signal-callers in passing touchdowns (24) and points responsible for per game (26.3) and ranked third nationally in completions per game (30.5) and passing yards per game (376.7). The West Columbia, Texas, native was crowned the Southland Spring Freshman of the Year and was twice named Stats Perform FCS National Freshman of the Week.

The vast group of returning talent also includes Nicholls’ PJ Burkhalter, the two-time defending Southland Offensive Lineman of the Year, and McNeese defensive end Isaiah Chambers, who finished fourth in Buck Buchanan Award voting. Both were tabbed consensus all-America this past season.

The list of Spring All-Americans on the teams also includes UIW running back Kevin Brown, Southeastern defensive back Ferlando Jordan and Northwestern State linebacker Jomard Valsin.

Returning all-conference selections from the previous season are automatically named to the preseason all-conference teams and may advance to higher team slots if they are vacated by non-returning players. Open positions are nominated and voted upon by the league’s head coaches.

The preseason poll will be revealed next Thursday, July 22, to kick off the 2021 Southland Conference Football Media Day Presented by Levy Recognition and Ready®.

First Team All-Conference Offense

Pos.

Name

School

Class

Hometown

QB

Cole Kelley*

Southeastern

Sr.

Lafayette, La.

RB

Kevin Brown*

UIW

Mount Pleasant, S.C.

RB

Scooter Adams*

Northwestern State

Jr.

Halletsville, Texas

TE/HB

David Mosley*

Nicholls

Sr.

New Orleans, La.

WR

Dai’Jean Dixon*

Nicholls

Sr.

New Orleans, La.

WR

CJ Turner*

Southeastern

R-Jr.

LaPlace, La.

WR

Robert Ferrel*

UIW

Sr.

Sparks, Nev.

OL

PJ Burkhalter*

Nicholls

Sr.

Franklinton, La.

OL

Christian Hood*

Houston Baptist

So.

Marshall, Texas

OL

Jair Joseph*

Nicholls

Sr.

Belle Rose, La.

OL

Jalen Bell*

Southeastern

Jr.

Amory, Miss.

OL

Evan Roussel*

Nicholls

So.

Gramercy, La.

PK

Mateo Rengifo*

Southeastern

So.

Lawrenceville, Ga.

P

Austin Dunlap*

Southeastern

So.

Slidell, La.

First Team All-Conference Defense

Pos.

Name

School

Class

Hometown

DL

Isaiah Chambers*

McNeese

Gr.

Houston, Texas

DL

Mason Kinsey*

McNeese

R-Jr.

Mansfield, Texas

DL

Cameron Preston*

UIW

Sr.

Crowley, Texas

DL

Darrius Harry*

Southeastern

R-Fr.

New Orleans, La.

LB

Kelechi Anyalebechi*

UIW

Sr.

Pearland, Texas

LB

Jomard Valsin*

Northwestern State

Jr.

Port Arthur, Texas

LB

Alexis Ramos*

Southeastern

Sr.

Salinas, Calif.

DB

Patrick Wolfe*

Houston Baptist

Sr.

St. Amant, La.

DB

Ferlando Jordan*

Southeastern

R-Jr.

Atlanta, Ga.

DB

Kevin Moore III*

Nicholls

Sr.

Lafayette, La.

DB

Andre Sam*

McNeese

Sr.

Iowa, La.

DB

Donnell Ward-McGee*

Southeastern

Jr.

New Orleans, La.

KR

Ce’Cori Tolds*

UIW

Sr.

Houston, Texas

PR

Robert Ferrel*

UIW

Sr.

Sparks, Nev.

Second Team All-Conference Offense

Pos.

Name

School

Class

Hometown

QB

Cameron Ward*

UIW

So.

West Columbia, Texas

RB

Julien Gums*

Nicholls

Sr.

New Orleans, La.

RB

Dreshawn Minnieweather

Houston Baptist

Sr.

Mesquite, Texas

TE/HB

Damien Dawson*

Southeastern

R-Sr.

Franklinton, La.

WR

Austin Mitchell*

Southeastern

R-Sr.

Plaquemine, La.

WR

KJ Franklin*

Nicholls

Jr.

Prairieville, La.

WR

Josh Matthews*

McNeese

Sr.

Baton Rouge, La.

OL

Ethan McMullan*

Southeastern

Sr.

Decatur, Miss.

OL

Caleb Johnson*

UIW

Sr.

Mount Pleasant, Texas

OL

Khalil Corbett-Canada*

Northwestern State

Sr.

Harker Heights, Texas

OL

Rendon Miles-Character*

Southeastern

Sr.

New Orleans, La.

OL

Drew Jones*

Southeastern

Sr.

Des Allemands, La.

OL

Nash Jones*

UIW

So.

Nacogdoches, Texas

OL

Jakob Sell*

Northwestern State

Jr.

Dallas, Texas

OL

Reid Francis*

UIW

R-Fr.

College Station, Texas

PK

Carson Mohr*

UIW

Jr.

The Woodlands, Texas

P

Scotty Roblow*

Northwestern State

R-So.

Shreveport, La.

Second Team All-Conference Defense

Pos.

Name

School

Class

Hometown

DL

Blaine Hoover*

UIW

R-Sr.

Bedias, Texas

DL

Perry Ganci

Nicholls

So.

New Orleans, La.

DL

Segun Ijiyera

Houston Baptist

Jr.

Corinth, Texas

DL

Philip Ossai

Houston Baptist

So.

Conroe, Texas

LB

Isaiah Paul*

UIW

R-So.

San Antonio, Texas

LB

Herman Christophe*

Southeastern

So.

Plaquemine, La.

LB

Ja’Quay Pough

Northwestern State

Sr.

Sherman, Texas

LB

Hayden Shaheen

Nicholls

Fr.

Baton Rouge, La.

LB

Brennan Young

Houston Baptist

Jr.

Conroe, Texas

DB

Chris Joyce*

McNeese

Jr.

Hampton, Ga.

DB

Shawn Holton*

UIW

Jr.

Fort Worth, Texas

DB

Jack Henderson*

Southeastern

Fr.

Mandeville, La.

DB

P.J. Herrington*

Northwestern State

Jr.

Natchez, Miss.

DB

Elliott Davison*

UIW

So.

Flint, Texas

DB

William Hooper*

Northwestern State

Jr.

Montgomery, Ala.

KR

Donovan Duvernay*

Northwestern State

Sr.

Garland, Texas

KR

Dontaze Costly*

Nicholls

Sr.

Vacherie, La.

PR

Mason Pierce

McNeese

R-So.

Pearland, Texas

* Automatic selection; returning all-conference player

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