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July 22nd, 2008
Two Bobcats named to All-SLC preseason football first team


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.

Two offensive skill players made the first team for Texas State.

Leading the way is senior wide receiver Cameron Luke, an automatic selection to the team after earning All-SLC first-team honors in 2007. Luke led the league and set school records with last year with 60 receptions for 1,035 yards and 12 touchdowns, making him the first SLC player to record 1,000 receiving yards as he registered the league’s highest number of touchdown catches since 2004.

Texas State’s other first-team selection is senior fullback Blake Burton, used primarily as a blocking back as he scored two touchdowns in 2007. An All-SLC selection in 2006, Burton is a preseason All-SLC pick for the second straight year.

Texas State’s Karrington Bush, the 2007 SLC Freshman of the Year, is one of three Bobcats named to the All-SLC Second-Team. Last year, Bush became the first Texas State running back to run for more than 1,000 yards since 1999, when he registered 1,039 yards and three touchdowns on 137 carries.

Joining Bush on the second team are 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, 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 is a first team defensive back and return specialist. The other defensive backs are Gary Riggs of Northwestern State, and Tommy Connors of Southeastern Louisiana, along with Brandt Linde and Ladarius Key of McNeese State. The punter is Cody Samples of Southeastern Louisiana.

The second team quarterback is Derrick Forroux of McNeese State. He is joined in the backfield by Bush and Toddrick Pendland at running back, along with Dante Austin of Northwestern State at fullback.

Preston Echols of Central Arkansas and Steven Whitehead of McNeese State are the second team wide receivers, and McNeese State’s Wes Mangan is a second team tight end.

Joining Bowen on the second team offensive line are John Dirk of Sam Houston State, Jeremy Ford of Central Arkansas, David Pollard of McNeese State, as well as Nigel Cormier of Nicholls.

The All-SLC second team place kicker is Taylor Wilkins of Sam Houston State.

Joining Thompson as second team defensive backs are 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 includes 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 are the second team punter and return specialist, respectively.

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