Ten Tigers named to All-Louisiana team
Southeastern Louisiana quarterback Bryan Bennett, who led his team to the FCS quarterfinals, earned two of the top honors awarded in the annual Christmas Day selection of the Louisiana Sports Writers Association All-Louisiana College Football Team.
Bennett earned both Offensive Player of the Year in Louisiana along with the Newcomer Award for first-year in Louisiana non-freshman players. His coach, Ron Roberts, was also named the Coach of the Year for the Lions' 2013 performance.
Defensive Back Lorenzo Doss of Tulane, who participated in the R&L Carriers New Orleans Bowl, was named the Defensive Player of the Year, while Louisiana-Lafayette running back Elijah McGuire, of three-time New Orleans bowl winner Louisiana- Lafayette, took Freshman of the Year honors.
The team was selected based on original nominations from the media relations personnel at the football playing schools in the state of Louisiana. A committee of LSWA members voted for both first and second-team selections. Media members could vote for anyone on the ballot while sports information voters could not vote for their own players and had to complete a ballot for their players to be eligible under LSWA rules.
Bennett, the SLC Player of the Year, in his first season with the Lions led Southeastern to the conference championship and to a second-round win in the FCS playoffs. Bennett completed 190 passes for 2,896 yards and 20 touchdowns, completing 61.7 percent of passes. Bennett could also run the football, rushing 171 times for just over 1,000 yards and 15 touchdowns. He finished in the top 10 in the voting for the Walter Payton Award.
On the defensive side, Doss at his cornerback position posted 32 total tackles with seven interceptions and nine pass breakups. The second-team Walter Camp All-American ranked second nationally in interceptions while sitting third in pass breakups. Two of his seven interceptions were returned for touchdowns. He was also selected first-team All-Conference-USA with 23 of his 32 total tackles solo efforts.
In earning freshman honors both in Louisiana and the Sun Belt, McGuire ranked fifth nationally among freshman, rushing 92 times for 818 yards and seven touchdowns while leading the nation with an 8.9 rushing average. He was the first player in Louisiana-Lafayette history to rush for 100 yards and catch passes for 100 yards in the same game (at Georgia State, 125 passing, 107 rushing).
Coach Roberts led his team to 10 wins and a 7-0 Southland Conference record and adds Louisiana Coach of the Year honors to SLC, AFCA Region 5 Coach of the Year honors. In just his second season in Hammond, Roberts led the Lions to its first-ever SLC title and first-ever FCS playoff berth. He was also a finalist for the Eddie Robinson Award and the Liberty Mutual FCS Coach of the Year honor.
Joining Bennett on the All-Louisiana first-team offense are offensive linemen Arinze Agada and Antoine Everett of McNeese State, Josh Allen of ULM, La'el Collins of LSU and Andre Huval of Louisiana-Lafayette. The first-team tight end is Nic Jacobs of McNeese State while the LSU pair of Odell Beckham, Jr., and Jarvis Landry were chosen first-team wide receivers. The first team running backs were Jeremy Hill of LSU and Marcus Wiltz of McNeese. Beckham also earned first-team selection as return specialist.
Along with Doss on the defensive side were linemen Anthony Johnson of LSU, Everett Ellefsen of McNeese, IK Enemkpali of Louisiana Tech and Julius Warmsley of Tulane. Chosen as first-team linebackers were Justin Anderson of Louisiana-Lafayette, Lamin Barrow of LSU and Cqulin Hubert of Southeastern. The other three defensive backs are Harlan Miller of Southeastern, Guy Morgan of McNeese and Isaiah Newsome of ULM.
The remaining specialists were kicker Cairo Santos of Tulane and punter Justin Manton of ULM.
In all, seven teams had representatives on the first team – McNeese, ULM, LSU, Louisiana-Lafayette, Southeastern, Louisiana Tech and Tulane. Southern, Louisiana College and Northwestern State had players on the second team.