All-American kicker Chris Moore, 2014 All-American receiver and return specialist Ed Eagan and All-Southland Conference offensive tackle Pace Murphy represented Northwestern State on the 2015 All-Louisiana Collegiate Football Team announced late Saturday.
Players from all levels of college football in the state were chosen for the team by a Louisiana Sports Writers Association panel of voters. Moore was a first-team pick while Eagan, at both receiver and return specialist, made the second team along with Murphy. All were seniors for NSU in 2015.
Moore, a third-team All-American on teams selected by the Associated Press and STATS, ranked ninth in FCS with an 84 percent conversion rate on field goals, making 16 of 19 including a pair of 52-yarders. Moore, whose powerful leg resulted in 40 percent of his kickoffs being touchbacks last fall, became NSU’s career scoring leader (248 points) in just three seasons after transferring from Iowa State, setting school records for field goals (45) and field goal tries (69). His 95 percent career extra point conversion rate left him just outside the all-time Southland Conference top 10.
Eagan was a first-team All-Southland receiver, all-purpose player and kickoff returner in a record-smashing senior year. Even though the Demons didn’t settle on a quarterback until midseason, Eagan snatched 58 passes for 745 yards, scoring four touchdowns and averaging 145.5 all-purpose yards, 15th in FCS. He holds eight outright school records and shares two more. Eagan became the Demons’ career leader in receptions (177, 51 more than the previous record), receiving yardage (2,228), all-purpose yardage (5,651) and Southland Conference kickoff return yardage (2,922) while ending his career with a 31-game streak of making at least one catch in each game.
Murphy was the Demons’ best offensive lineman, averaging an 83 percent grade on 757 plays. He made 31 career starts and earned the line’s top grade 17 times in his last 22 games as he won back-to-back All-Southland second-team honors. The 6-6, 296-pounder helped NSU average 442 yards in its last seven games.
The three teams that went to either bowls or playoffs shared the top awards on the All-Louisiana team.
LSU’s record-setting sophomore running back Leonard Fournette was named the state’s top offensive player, while Wallace Scott of Southland champion and playoff team McNeese State was chosen the defensive POY. Louisiana Tech quarterback Jeff Driskel, who led the Bulldogs to the New Orleans Bowl, was the Newcomer of the Year for first-year non-freshman Louisiana players, while LSU’s Arden Key was voted the state’s top freshman player.
Matt Viator, who recently became the head coach at ULM, was honored as the state’s top coach for his efforts this past season with the playoff bound Cowboys.
Fournette rushed for a school mark of 1,741 in the 11 regular season games and approached 2,000 yards after LSU win in the Texas Bowl. He was named first-team All-SEC and first-team All-America after rushing for 200 years in 3 straight games and had 100 or more yards in eight games. He was named a Doak Walker Award finalist.
Scott was the Southland Defensive POY and a second team All-American selection. He is the school record holder with two fumble returns for touchdowns and 142 fumble return yards on the season to go with 58 total tackles, two sacks and 5.5 tackles for loss as a defensive back.
In addition to state newcomer, Driskel, the Florida transfer to Louisiana Tech, earned Conference USA Newcomer honors as he guided the Bulldogs offense to a school record 10 consecutive games of 400-plus yards. He completed 255-of-412 passes for 3,575 yards and 24 touchdowns. He rushed for over 400 yards as well with five more scores. He ranked 13th nationally in yards per completion at 14.02.
Key, a defensive end for the Tigers, took over as starter three games into the season. He finished with 6.5 tackles for loss and 5.0 sacks with 9 quarterback hurries as he earned Freshman All-SEC and Freshman All-America honors.
Viator wrapped up his tenure as McNeese coach with a perfect regular season of 10-0, just the fifth undefeated and untied season in school history and the second under his watch. He was named the SLC Coach of the Year for a third time and became the conference’s all-time winner in league triumphs at 54 and tied Bobby Keasler for all-time wins at 78. Viator led the Cowboys to their 14th SLC title and the fourth in his tenure.
Joining Fournette (RB) and Driskel (QB) on the state’s first team offense were offensive linemen Vadal Alexander and Ethan Pocic of LSU, Darrel Brown of Louisiana Tech, Quentin Marsh of McNeese and Anthony Mosley of Southern. The other running back was Kenneth Dixon of Louisiana Tech with Jamal Robinson of UL-Lafayette and Trent Taylor Louisiana Tech chose at wide receiver. The state’s tight end selection was Montrell Jones of Southern.
Joining Scott on the first team defense were linemen Vernon Butler of Louisiana Tech, Isaiah Golden of McNeese, Lewis Neal of LSU and Tanzel Smart of Tulane. The three linebackers were Deion Jones of LSU, Hunter Kissinger of ULM and Nico Marley of Tulane, while the other three members of the defensive backfield selected included Jamal Adams and Tre’Davious White of LSU, and, Harlan Miller of Southeastern.
The voters selected on the first team NSU’s Moore at place kicker, Jean Breaux of McNeese as punter and Willie Quinn of Southern as the return specialist.
The team was selected by a panel of LSWA members based on nominations supplied by the football media relations directors of the various schools in the state. Media relations/sports information directors could not vote for their players, but other LSWA voters could cast ballots for anyone on the ballot.
All voting was done based on the conclusion of the regular season and did not include stats accumulated in post-season bowl or playoff contests.
LSWA ALL-LOUISIANA COLLEGE FOOTBALL TEAM
FIRST TEAM OFFENSE
OL/Vadal Alexander, LSU/Sr./Buford, Ga./Second Team A-A, First Team All-SEC
OL/Darrell Brown, Louisiana Tech/Jr./Abilene, Texas/Second Team All-C-USA
OL/Quentin Marsh, McNeese/Sr./Dickinson, Texas/First Team All-SLC
OL/Anthony Mosley, Southern/Sr./Cairo, Ga./First Team All-SWAC
OL/Ethan Pocic, LSU/Jr./Lemont, Ill./Second Team All-SEC
RB/Kenneth Dixon, Louisiana Tech/Sr./Strong, Ark./First Team All-C-USA; 22 total TDs
RB/Leonard Fournette, LSU/So./New Orleans, La./First Team A-A, LSU record, 1,741 rush yds
WR/Jamal Robinson, UL-Lafayette/Sr./Slidell, La./First Team All-SBC, 842 yds, 5 TDs
WR/Trent Taylor, Louisiana Tech/Jr./Shreveport, La./First Team All-C-USA; 1,133 yds, 8 TDs
TE/Montrell Jones, Southern/Sr./Milwaukee, Wis./First Team All-SWAC; 21 rec. 295 yds
QB/Jeff Driskel, Louisiana Tech/Sr./Oviedo, Fla./C-USA Newcomer, 3,575 yds passing, 29 total TDs
FIRST TEAM DEFENSE
DL/Vernon Butler, Louisiana Tech/Sr./Summit, Miss./First Team All-C-USA; 48 T, 10 TFL, 3 Sacks
DL/Isaiah Golden, McNeese/So./Carthage, Texas/First Team All-SLC; 38 T, 3 TFL, 2 Sacks
DL/Lewis Neal, LSU/Jr./Wilson, N.C./Team lead sacks (8), TFL (9.5), 6 PBU
DL/Tanzel Smart, Tulane/Fr./Baton Rouge, La./First Team All-AAC, 62 T, 15 TFL, 2 Sacks, 1 FR
LB/Deion Jones, LSU/Sr./New Orleans, La./Butkus Finalist, 92 T, 11.5 TFL, 4 sacks, 2 Ints
LB/Hunter Kissinger, ULM/GR/Springdale, Ark./First Team All-SBC, 133 T, 11.5 TFL, 2 Sacks, 1 Int.
LB/Nico Marley, Tulane/Jr./Weston, Fla./First Team All-AAC, 82 T, 13 TFL, 1 Sack, 1 Int.
DB/Jamal Adams, LSU/So./Lewisville, Texas/Second Team All-SEC, 60 T, 5.5 TFL, 4 Ints.
DB/Harlan Miller, Southeastern Louisiana/Sr./Kentwood, La./First Team All-SLC, 49 T, 4 Ints, 10 PBU
DB/Wallace Scott, McNeese/Sr./Weyanoke, La./SLC Def. POY, 58 T, 2 sacks, 1 Int., 3 FR-2 TDs
DB/Tre’Davious White, LSU/Jr./Shreveport, La./Second Team All-SEC, 38 T, 6 PBUs
FIRST TEAM SPECIAL TEAMS
PK/Chris Moore, Northwestern State/Sr./Plano, Texas/Third Team A-A, First Team All-SLC, 16-19 FGs
P/Jean Breaux, McNeese/Sr./Scott, La./First Team All-SLC, 42.9 avg; 22 inside 20; 12 50 yds+; 22 FC
RS/Willie Quinn, Southern/Sr./Miami, Fla./First Team All-SWAC, TDs punt & KOR (100 yds); 28.4 KO avg.
SECOND TEAM OFFENSE
OL – Jens Danielsen, Louisiana Tech, Wichita, Kan.; Joe Graves, Southeastern Louisiana, Covington, La.; Ben Jones, McNeese, Nederland, Texas; Justin Miller, Grambling, Ruston, La.; Pace Murphy, Northwestern State, Houston, Texas.
RB – Elijah McGuire, UL-Lafayette, Houma, La; Lenard Tillery, Southern, Baton Rouge, La.
WR – Ed Eagan, Northwestern State, New Orleans, La.; Chad Williams, Grambling, Baton Rouge, La.
TE – Zach Hetrick, McNeese, Baton Rouge, La.
QB – Johnathan Williams, Grambling, Tampa, Fla.
SECOND TEAM DEFENSE
DL — Jaylon Ferguson, Louisiana Tech, St. Francisville, La.; Devon Godchaux, LSU, Plaquemine, La.; Gerrand Johnson, ULM, Rayville, La.; Arden Key, LSU, Atlanta, Ga.
LB – Kendell Beckwith, LSU, Clinton, La.; Bo Brown, McNeese, Katy, Texas; Dominique Tovell, UL-Lafayette, Columbia, Miss.
DB – Bryson Abraham, Louisiana Tech, Jennings, La.; B.T. Sanders, Nicholls, Foley, Ala.; Micah Eugene, Southeastern Louisiana, Lafayette, La.; Guy Stallworth, Grambling, Gulfport, La.; Xavier Woods, Louisiana Tech, West Monroe, La.
SECOND TEAM SPECIAL TEAMS
PK – Jonathan Barnes, Louisiana Tech, Baton Rouge, La.
P – Steven Coutts, UL-Lafayette, Brisbane, Australia
RS – Ed Eagan, Northwestern State, New Orleans, La.
WR—Malachi Dupre, LSU, New Orleans, La.
DL – Ben Banogu, ULM, McKinney, Texas; Ashton Henderson, Southeastern Louisiana, Tulsa, Okla.
DB – Savion Brown, UL-Lafayette, Shreveport, La.
COACH OF THE YEAR
Matt Viator, McNeese State
Voting – Viator 20; Broderick Fobbs, Grambling 3
OFFENSIVE PLAYER OF THE YEAR
Leonard Fournette, LSU
Voting – Fournette 19; Kenneth Dixon, Louisiana Tech 4
DEFENSIVE PLAYER OF THE YEAR
Wallace Scott, McNeese
Voting – Scott 12; Deion Jones, LSU 7; Hunter Kissinger, ULM 2; Dominique Tovell, UL-Lafayette 1; Harland Miller, Southeastern Louisiana 1
FRESHMAN OF THE YEAR
Arden Key, LSU
Voting – Key 13; Jaylon Ferguson, Louisiana Tech 9; Ben Banogu, ULM 1
NEWCOMER OF THE YEAR
Jeff Driskel – Louisiana Tech
Voting – Driskel 20; Isaiah Golden, McNeese 3