Houston – Five Texas State University football players were named to the 2008 Preseason All-Southland Conference First and Second-Teams in a poll of league head coaches.
Senior wide receiver Cameron Luke was an automatic selection to the team after earning All-SLC First-Team honors in 2007. He led the league and set school records with 60 receptions for 1,035 yards and 12 touchdowns last year, becoming the first SLC player to record 1,000 receiving yards and catching the most touchdowns since 2004.
The other First-Team selection was senior fullback Blake Burton, who was used primarily as a blocking back and scored two TD’s in 2007. Burton was a All-SLC selection in 2006 and this is the second straight year he has been a preseason All-SLC choice.
Texas State’s Karrington Bush, the 2007 Freshman of the Year, was one of three Bobcats named to the All-SLC Second-Team. Last year, Bush became the first Texas State running back to run for over 1,000 yards since 1999, when he registered 1,039 yards and three touchdowns on 137 carries.
Joining Bush as Second-Team selections were senior center Jeff Bowen and junior defensive back Will Thompson. Bowen started all 11 games as a first-year player in 2007 after transferring to Texas State from East Texas Baptist. Thompson recorded 45 tackles and led the Bobcats with nine punt returns for 82 yards in 2007.
Central Arkansas quarterback Nathan Brown is the returning SLC Offensive Player of the Year is the All-SLC First-Team quarterback. The other First-Team selections are running backs Jay Lucas of Southeastern Louisiana and Byron Lawrence of Northwestern State, Burton at fullback, Luke and Quinten Lawrence of McNeese State at wide receiver and Central Arkansas’ Marquez Branson at tight end.
The First-Team offensive line is Eman Naghavi, Kyle Link and Lance Fremin of McNeese State, and Brad Gordon and Lane Freiwald of Central Arkansas. Jeff Turner of Southeastern Louisiana is the First-Team place kicker.
The First-Team defense includes linemen Vaalyn Jackson of McNeese State, Chris Brown of Sam Houston State and Albert Smith of Northwestern State. The two linebackers are Allen Nelson of McNeese State and Nicholls’ Garrick Spain.
Spain’s teammate Lardarius Webbe was a First-Team defensive back and return specialist. The other defensive backs were Gary Riggs of Northwestern State, Tommy Connors of Southeastern Louisiana, along with Brandt Linde and Ladarius Key of McNeese State. The punter was Cody Samples of Southeastern Louisiana.
The Second-Team quarterback was Derrick Forroux of McNeese State. He is joined in the backfield by Bush and Toddrick Pendland at running back and Dante Austin of Northwestern State at fullback. \
Preston Echols of Central Arkansas and Steven Whitehead of McNeese State were the Second-Team wide receivers, and McNeese State’s Wes Mangan was a Second-Team tight end.
Joining Bowen on the Second-Team offensive line were John Dirk of Sam Houston State, Jeremy Ford of Central Arkansas, David Pollard of McNeese State, and Nigel Cormier of Nicholls.
The All-SLC Second-Team place kicker was Taylor Wilkins of Sam Houston State.
Joining Thompson as Second-Team defensive backs were Lance Moore of Nicholls, Wesley Eckles of Northwestern State, John Vigers of McNeese State, and Marquis Powell of Southeastern Louisiana.
The Second-Team defensive line included Kenneth Lundy of McNeese State, Jairius Jarvis of Nicholls, Tim Knicky of Stephen F. Austin and Erick Mikolajchak of Sam Houston State.
The linebackers are Mikolajchak’s teammate Nolan Bucek and Jabara Williams of Stephen F. Austin.
McNeese State’s Blake Bercegeay and Steven Whitehead were the Second-Team punter and return specialist, respectively.
By RICHARD POULTER
Sports Information Director – Texas State University