A record-breaking offensive performance combined with the first 10-win regular season since 2007 has helped land 17 McNeese State Cowboy football players on the 2013 All-Southland Conference Football Teams, including quarterback Cody Stroud who was named Offensive Player of the Year and Arinze Agada as Offensive Lineman of the Year.
Seven players were named to the first team, four on the second team and six honorable mention players recognized on the team voted on by league head coaches and sports information directors.
Agada, a senior from Houston, is making his second consecutive appearance on the all-conference first team. Joining him on the squad is fellow lineman Antoine Everett, a junior from Richmond, Texas; junior tight end Nic Jacobs of Many; senior running back Marcus Wiltz of Cecilia who earned second team honors last season; senior wide receiver Diontae Spencer of New Iberia; senior cornerback Guy Morgan of Baton Rouge; and junior defensive lineman Everett Ellefsen of Madisonville who also earned second team honors in 2012.
Named to the second team were graduate place kicker Ryan Rome of Destrahan; sophomore lineback Bo Brown of Katy, Texas; junior cornerback Aaron Sam of Lake Charles; and Spencer at kick returner.
Stroud, who also earned all-SLC honorable mention honors, is the sixth McNeese player to be named the league's offensive player of the year and the first since Toddrick Pendland won the honor in 2008.
The senior from Montgomery has thrown for 2,680 yards and 27 touchdowns, completing 193 of 330 passes with just five interceptions. His passing efficiency rating is 150.7, which ranks 14th in the FCS. His touchdown passes, which is tied for a school single-season record, ranks fourth in the league, and 10th in the nation and his yardage total ranks 23rd. His 13.89 yards per completion ranks third in the league and 13th nationally.
Stroud topped 300 passing yards twice this season, including a season best 366 yards in a win over West Alabama and 333 yards in a road win at Stephen F. Austin. He threw a season-high and tied a single-game school record with five touchdowns against West Alabama and had four against the Lumberjacks. He threw at least one touchdown every game this season and threw at least two touchdowns eight times.
He set a school record with 146 consecutive passes without throwing an interception and currently has a record 17 consecutive games with a touchdown pass. He's also responsible for breaking four other individual season or career records.
Agada is the first McNeese State player to be named offensive lineman of the year, which is in its second year. He received the most votes among all offensive linemen on the all-conference ballot.
Agada has been an anchor on the right side of the line helping the Cowboys average 463.4 yards of total offense per game. He has helped block for the conference's leading rusher Marcus Wiltz, who averaged 105.1 yards per game, and has helped protect for Stroud, who threw for 2,680 yards and 27 touchdowns. The offensive line gave up only 14 sacks this season.
Both Agada and Stroud have made 34 straight starts.
Wiltz leads the conference in rushing with a 105.1 yards per game average. He has rushed for a conference-high 1,261 yards which ranks as the ninth most in a single-season in school history. He has rushed for 100 or more yards five times this season and had a career-high 181 yards against Central Arkansas. He's also run for 11 touchdowns.
Everett, like Agada, played a big part in the Cowboys' offense this season as the unit has broken or tied five team records, including most points in a season with 510. Everett "blindside" tackle position has been played brilliantly over the season and has helped Stroud put up some of the best offensive numbers in school history.
Spencer was another Cowboy with a record-breaking season. He currently leads the team with 43 catches and 739 yards for a 61.6 per game average. Spencer has made nine touchdown catches, the most since the school record of 16 was recorded by Terence Davis in 1995.
Spencer was big in the return game and had one of the most electrifying games in FCS history at Stephen F. Austin when he returned two kickoffs and one punt for touchdowns.
Jacobs, a first-year player who transferred from LSU, burst onto the scene right off the bat as his 78-yard catch and run at South Florida in the season opener helped lead the Cowboys to one of the biggest wins in school history. He ranks second on the team with 32 catches and is third with 453 receiving yards and is the top receiving tight end in the conference.
Morgan leads the team and ranks second in the conference with four pass interceptions. He's fourth on the squad with 59 total tackles and has a sack and two-and-a-half tackles for a loss. His first pick of the season came in the season opener at South Florida where he return the interception 76 yards for a touchdown right before halftime to help lead the Cowboys to the stunning win.
Ellefsen earned second team honors as well in 2012 and is currently tied as the team's sack leader with five. He has 41 tackles on the season with six-and-a-half tackles for a loss and one interception.
Sam leads the team in tackles with 79 to go along with seven pass breakups. He's ranked second on the team with eight-and-a-half tackles for a loss and has 10 or more tackles in three games this year with a career-high 13 stops against West Alabama.
Brown squashed the old myth of a "sophomore slump" by leading the team with 11 tackles for a loss to go along with 68 total tackles to rank third on the team. He also has four sacks on the season and nine quarterback hurries. He recorded a career-high 11 tackles against West Alabama along with a sack and tackle for a loss.
Rome leads the team and ranks second in the conference in scoring with 92 points. He set a new McNeese school single-season record with PATs made (59) and attempted (62) and is just eight points away from becoming just the eighth player in school history to score 100 points in a season.
Rome has connected of 59 of 62 extra point attempts and has made 11 of 14 field goals.
Southeastern Louisiana junior quarterback Bryan Bennett was named the league's Player of the Year while Lions' head coach Ron Roberts earned Coach of the Year honors. Additionally, Cqulin Hubert of SLU was named Defensive Player of the Year, Lamar's Kade Harrington Freshman of the Year, and Zach Adkins of Northwestern State the conference's Newcomer of the Year.
Six Cowboys earned all-conference honorable mention honors – Stroud at quarterback, offensive linemen Quentin Marsh and Nick Gorman, defensive lineman Kevin Dorn, safety Terence Cahee, and punter Jean Breaux.