SOUTHWEST LOUISIANA (KPLC) - We are just a few weeks away from KPLC’s coverage of TDL: Two-A-Days and to get ready we continue our 7-in-Seven countdown.
Countdowns will include topics from McNeese to high school football. A new countdown each week, beginning every Monday.
We continue the countdown with the top seven McNeese impact players this upcoming season.
7. Colby Burton, Defensive back
Coming in at No. 7 is defensive back, Colby Burton. After suffering a lower leg injury in last season’s home opener against Southern, Burton returns for his senior season.
In 2018, the cornerback broke up 10 passes and grabbed two interceptions, helping lead the Southland’s second-best defense that season. He was awarded a first-team All-Southland Conference honor for his play.
Coming off the injury, he aims to be that player once again, although he says his best talent lies off the football field with his ability to connect to his teammates.
“The best aspect of my game isn’t even my play, I feel as if [it’s] my leadership skills and [the way] I reach people,” said Burton. “I can relate to everyone and I feel like guys buy-in to what I get down with. Football isn’t even it, it’s just my platform.”
Cowboys on Burton:
“He is the guy that is always lifting everyone up or making sure everyone is working hard,” said wide receiver Cyron Sutton. “He’s a top-tier impact player.”
“There are certain guys that have a certain aura about themselves that just have ‘it’— that ‘it factor.’ They find a way to make plays on the field and inspire teammates verbally, but also with his style of play,” said McNeese coach Frank Wilson. “[Burton] is a confidant and a friend when they need him most.”
No. 6 Isaiah Chambers
At the six spot is Houston transfer defensive end, Isaiah Chambers.
Chambers spent 2016 at TCU, but then transferred to UH in 2017 where he'd go onto play two seasons with the Cougars.
In 2018, Chambers finished with four and a half sacks and six tackles for loss in only five games because he suffered a knee injury that would end his season. Because of that injury, Chambers saw limited action last season, but towards the end of the year he turned it on, finishing with five sacks (three coming against Tulsa) and six tackles for loss.
Cowboys on Chambers:
“His ability to rush the quarterback with his long arms and his great get off and his ability to turn his toe with his great ankle and knee flexion to get to the quarterback [is impressive],” said Wilson. “At the same time, he can hold the point and he is stout enough in stature that whether the run is to him or away from him he can still wreak havoc in both the pass and run game.”
“He’s a very humble guy with a remarkable story. Me playing high school football in the state of Texas, we came out at the same time and he was a four-star. I had a friend in 2017 that went to TCU and got a chance to be around him and I know a couple of guys at U of H as well.” Burton said. “Him ending up here is a blessing in disguise and it’s just going to open doors for other guys.“
No. 5 Cory McCoy
In at number five is another defensive back in Cory McCoy.
McCoy was a key piece defensively for the Cowboys in 2019 as he led the SLC with 18 passes defended, ranking No. 2 in the FCS. The Leesville native topped the league with 15 pass breakups, grabbing three interceptions which put him sixth in the conference and second on the team. For his efforts, McCoy earned a spot on the All-Southland second team.
McCoy recorded 48 tackles on the year, 2.5 tackles for a loss, while forcing a fumble.
Cowboys on McCoy:
“Lightning in a bottle. He comes to work every day. This is a guy who comes to my house and we jog together to the workouts,” said Burton. “He’s eager to learn. He played offense in high school so he was a project player coming in. I didn’t necessarily see what Lance Guidry saw in him, but man this guy getting All-Conference last year was big.”
“He’s been my present surprise. I didn’t know a whole lot about him coming out of high school. Even when we got here despite as well as he played, he wasn’t the popular name that everybody talked about,” admitted Wilson. “His body of work spoke for itself. You watch the game film, the fourth quarter or him working out and he’s not a loud guy, but his style of play speaks for itself. I think that he has an opportunity to have a tremendous year.”
No. 4 Cody Orgeron
Coming in at No. 4 is Quarterback Cody Orgeron.
The signal-caller has come a long way since his freshman season. In 2019, he started every game for the Pokes throwing for over 2,600 yards and 24 touchdowns. He also showed his athleticism with 482 yards rushing and three touchdowns.
Orgeron came into his own as a passer throwing for 300 yards twice last season including a 344-yard, four-touchdown performance vs. nationally-ranked Central Arkansas.
He’ll enter camp as the starter but will have to battle out Walker Wood for the job.
Cowboys on Orgeron:
“This is a guy who gets in here and competes. A guy that goes back and watches film before he goes to bed and he’s looking for mistakes and not looking to trick himself into thinking this that and the other,” said Burton. “He’s a guy who’s every eager to learn and very eager to complete.”
“He is a great team leader. He’s ready to prove himself and prove everybody wrong. He’s always uplifting everybody. He’s another Colby Burton,” said Sutton. “He’s always making sure everyone is okay and everyone has a ride. He’s that type of person.”
“Competitor. Leads by example. Class act. He is truly humble. He doesn’t go around bragging about what he has or what he’s done,” said Wilson. “He comes to work every day with his hard hat on.”
No. 3 Trevor Begue
Slot receiver Trevor Begue comes in at No. 3 after a breakout season in 2019 where he caught 55 passes for 827 yards and 10 touchdowns. That touchdown mark is good for 2nd most all-time at McNeese in a single-season with his catch and yard totals also ranking in the top-10.
The Lafayette native averaged 15 yards per catch and caught at least one pass in all 12 games a year ago including a season-high 121-yard performance vs. Houston Baptist.
Cowboys on Begue:
“I’ve been going against him for the four years I’ve been here and you could be skintight coverage and he’ll still find a way to make a catch,” said Burton. “He’s a very humble guy and doesn’t talk much, but he keeps his head down and he works. His energy is contagious he doesn’t say much but you can tell.”
“He’s a workhorse,” said Sutton. “He’s going to get it done no matter what. He makes plays.”
“Reliable. Accountable. Wants the ball going to him in tough situations. He wants the pressure on him,” said Wilson. “Great teammate and quality man.”
No. 2 Darion Dunn
Darion Dunn gets better every year. The cornerback started in all 12 games last season, recording 42 tackles and 11 pass break ups. The Oakdale native finished second in the conference and 18th nationally with 16 passes defended and five interceptions. Dunn finished 2019 with 42 tackles, 39 of them solo. And in addition to all of that, he also forced a fumble.
Cowboys on Dunn:
“He’s a freak. I think this guy can cover anyone from the LSU’s to the NAIA schools. He’s a guy that broke the 60 meter hurdle record twice. He continues to excel on and off the field. He’s a guy who’s eager to learn and work. I think he has a great shot to play on Sunday’s,” Colby Burton said. “If God let’s that happen.”
“Darian Dunn is nothing but a workhorse. He goes from track to football. He’s always putting in the extra work working with Colby Burton, Andre Sam and Cody McCoy. They are a group of guys that are always working. He wants to be great. He’ll definitely be great,” said Cyron Sutton.
”If you know anything about track, there’s nobody that runs more than a track athlete. This guy gets up in the morning and go to football practice and then a couple hours later go to track practice,” said Frank Wilson. “I think it speaks to his commitment of wanting to perfect his craft and developing himself to be the best that he can be. I think he has the ideal size, speed and length to take his game beyond playing on Saturdays. I think if he continues to develop and stays healthy, and like Colby said if God says, then he’ll have the opportunity to continue his career. He’s very talented. He doesn’t say much. He’s one class away from getting his degree. I’m proud of him. He’s a great teammate. Great player.”
No. 1 Cyron Sutton
Coming in at our top spot is wide receiver Cyron Sutton. During the 2019 season, Sutton wrote his name in the McNeese record books a couple times after setting a new single-season record with 67 catches, and another with 13 receptions.
Sutton ranked third in the SLC with 950 receiving yards, fourth with averaging over 79 receiving yards per game and fifth in total catches. He recorded four 100-yard receiving games in 2019 and twice he recorded 10 or more catches.
In addition, Sutton also shined on special teams, ranking second in the league and 23rd nationally after finishing with 139 punt return yards. Sutton recorded a 50-yard punt return against Alcorn on September 9, which marked the longest return in the SLC during the 2019 season.
Cowboys on Sutton:
“This is a guy that has figured out his why as far as why he’s doing it. You can tell the difference in him and his maturity that’s come after having his daughter. This is a guy I’ve never seen in a bad mood. He always lights me up when I am getting negative. He’s a guy that can lift up anyone. He’s always talking trash, but it’s genuine energy. I love that guy,” Colby Burton said.
“He has a heart of gold. I think that as he continues to grow in football and in life he’ll have great things ahead. He’ll be successful in life because he has the right attitude,” said Frank Wilson, “He understands how to work. Sometimes I want him to give more because he has so much in him. He’s my guy.”