Nicholls, SHSU’s Davis highlight Southland preseason team

(STATS) – FCS power Sam Houston State is expected to be the favorite in the Southland Conference race, but it doesn’t have the most players on the conference’s preseason team.

Or the second-most or the third-most.

The depth of this year’s title race was evident Thursday with the announcement of the two-team preseason squad. Nicholls led the way with 10 first-team selections and 14 overall, while defending champ Central Arkansas had 11 overall selections, McNeese 10 and Sam Houston nine.

Nicholls’ first-team selections included junior quarterback Chase Fourcade. The Colonels are coming off an 8-4 season in which they earned their first FCS playoff bid since 2005.

Sam Houston senior Davion Davis, the 2017 Southland offensive player of the year, earned three first-team nods on the preseason team – at wide receiver, punt returner and all-purpose. Last season, his Bearkats advanced to the national semifinals for the fifth time in seven seasons.

The Southland preseason poll will be announced next Thursday at media day in Houston.




QB – Chase Fourcade, Nicholls, Jr.

RB – David Hamm, McNeese, Sr.

RB – Carlos Blackman, Central Arkansas, Jr.

TE/HB – Lawayne Ross, McNeese, Jr.

WR – Davion Davis, Sam Houston State, Sr.

WR – Nathan Stewart, Sam Houston State, Jr.

WR – Damion Jeanpiere Jr., Nicholls, Sr.

OL – Mitchell Watanabe, Sam Houston State, Sr.

OL – Ryan Hanley, Nicholls, Sr.

OL – Chandler Arceneaux, Nicholls, Sr.

OL – Eric David, Sam Houston State, Jr.

OL – Tristan Wendt, Sam Houston State, Sr.

AP – Davion Davis, Sam Houston State, Sr.

PK – Gunnar Raborn, McNeese, Sr.

P – Alex Kjellsten, McNeese, Sr.


DL – Chris Terrell, Central Arkansas, Jr.

DL – Eric Jackson, Central Arkansas, Sr.

DL – Sully Laiche, Nicholls, Jr.

DL – Kenny Dotson, Nicholls, Sr.

LB – Allen Pittman, Nicholls, Jr.

LB – Hezekiah White, Nicholls, Sr.

LB – B.J. Blunt, McNeese, Sr.

DB – Raphael Lewis, Houston Baptist, Sr.

DB – Alize Ward, Stephen F. Austin, Jr.

DB – Corey Abraham, Nicholls, Sr.

DB – Juan Jackson, Central Arkansas, Jr.

DB – Ahmani Martin, Nicholls, Sr.

KR – Juwan Petit-Frere, Southeastern Louisiana, Jr.

PR – Davion Davis, Sam Houston State, Sr.




QB – James Tabary, McNeese, Sr.

RB – Kyran Irvin, Nicholls, Jr.

RB – Marcus Cooper, Southeastern Louisiana, So.

TE/HB – Josh Nix, Central Arkansas, So.

WR – Tamrick Pace, Stephen F. Austin, Jr.

WR – Kody Edwards, Incarnate Word, Sr.

WR – Dai’jean Dixon, Nicholls, So.

OL – Adrian Harris, Central Arkansas, So.

OL – Hunter Watts, Central Arkansas, Jr.

OL – Alfred Beverly III, Southeastern Louisiana, Jr.

OL – Grant Burguillos, McNeese, Jr.

OL – Eddie Houston, Nicholls, Sr.

AP – Alize Ward, Stephen F. Austin, Jr.

PK – Lorran Fonseca, Nicholls, Sr.

P – Caleb Lewallen, Stephen F. Austin, Sr.


DL – Chris Stewart, Sam Houston State, Sr.

DL – Chris Livings, McNeese, Jr.

DL – Cardell Best, Central Arkansas, Sr.

DL – Nathan Grant, Central Arkansas, So.

LB – Raphael Garner, Central Arkansas, Sr.

LB – Tamarcus Russell, Southeastern Louisiana, Sr.

LB – Ryan Woods, Stephen F. Austin, Sr.

DB – Trenton Gordon, Stephen F. Austin, So.

DB – Bolu Onifade, Abilene Christian, So.

DB – Darion Dunn, McNeese, So.

DB – Zyon McCollum, Sam Houston State, So.

DB – Colby Burton, McNeese, Jr.

KR – Cedric Battle, Central Arkansas, Sr.

PR – Zae Giles, Lamar, Jr.