McNeese lands six on 2021 SLC Preseason All-Conference Football Teams

Published: Jul. 15, 2021 at 5:16 PM CDT
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FRISCO, Texas – McNeese defensive end Isaiah Chambers, the reigning Southland Conference Defensive Player of the Year, leads a group of six Cowboy players to be named to the 2021 Southland Conference Preseason All-Conference Football Teams, the league office released on Thursday.

Chambers is joined by defensive end Mason Kinsey and defensive back Andre Sam on the first team while wide receiver Josh Matthews, defensive back Chris Joyce and punt returner Mason Pierce were selected to the second team.

A consensus All-American in the spring season, Chambers was named to the first-team units by the Associated Press, AFCA, STATS Perform, HERO Sports and Phil Steele and finished fourth in voting for the Buck Buchanan Award as the FCS top defensive player. He was named national defensive player of the year by Phil Steele while also garnering Louisiana Defensive Player of the Year honors, first-team All-Louisiana, SLC All-Academic and SLC Student-Athlete of the Year award winner.

A two-time SLC Player of the Week recipient, the graduate student ranked second in the FCS and No. 1 in the conference with 7.5 sacks and 14 tackles for a loss in the seven games played in the spring. He started in every game and recorded 32 tackles and a team-high 11 quarterback hurries.

Sam earned first-team all-conference honors in the spring after leading the Cowboys with 52 tackles and three interceptions. The redshirt junior from Iowa also was named to the All-Louisiana second team. On the season, he tallied a career-high 10 tackles with an interception against Northwestern State, picked off two passes in the season finale at Sam Houston, and had a 100-yard interception return for a touchdown called back against Lamar.

Kinsey, a redshirt junior from Mansfield, Texas, earned second-team all-conference and All-Louisiana honors this past spring. He ended the season ranking third in the league and second on the team with four sacks and was fourth in the conference with 7.5 tackles for a loss. He recorded 38 tackles on the season with seven QB hurries, two pass breakups and a forced fumble. A starter in all seven games, Kinsey recorded a season-high 10 tackles in the season opener at Tarleton.

Matthews is entering his second season with the Cowboys after capturing third-team all-conference honors in the spring. The senior from Baton Rouge and transfer from Louisiana Tech led the Cowboys in the spring with 32 catches and 458 receiving yards, ranking fourth in the conference in both categories. He also ranked fourth in the league with four touchdown catches. He averaged 14.3 yards per catch and 65.4 yards per game on the season. His best game came in McNeese’s win over 11th-ranked Nicholls when he hauled in seven passes for 147 yards and two TDs.

Joyce earned second-team all-conference honors in the spring after he led the league with 15 pass break-ups. The junior from Hampton, Georgia and Tulane transfer recorded 27 tackles on the season with a season-high six stops in a win at Northwestern State. He batted away four passes in the win over nationally ranked Nicholls.

Pierce, a redshirt sophomore from Pearland, Texas, was a return threat all season in the spring as well as at the wide out position. He averaged 20.9 yards per kick return and caught eight passes for 125 yards and three scores. He had an 85-yard catch and run for a score against Nicholls, and against Lamar, scored on an 80-yard end-around play.

McNeese will take part in the Southland Conference Media Day event next Thursday, July 22, before reporting for fall camp on Wednesday, Aug. 4.

The league preseason poll will be released at media day.

The Cowboys will open the season on Saturday, Sept. 4 at home against West Florida, the defending NCAA Division II national champion.

Season tickets are on sale at the McNeese Ticket Office or by calling 337-475-4MSU. Season ticket holders have the opportunity to purchase up to 10 tickets for the Sept. 10 game at LSU.

2021 Southland Football Preseason All-Conference Teams.

First Team Offense

QB – Cole Kelly, SLU

RB – Kevin Brown, UIW

RB – Scooter Adams, NSU

TE/HB – David Mosley, Nicholls

WR – Dai’Jean Dixon, Nicholls

WR – CJ Turner, SLU

WR – Robert Ferrel – UIW

OL – PJ Burkhalter, Nicholls

OL – Christian Hood, HBU

OL – Jair Joseph, Nicholls

OL – Jalen Bell, SLU

OL Evan Roussel, Nicholls

PK – Mateo Rengifo, SLU

P – Austin Dunlap, SLU

First Team Defense

DL – Isaiah Chambers, McNeese

DL – Mason Kinsey, McNeese

DL – Camerson Preston, UIW

DL – Darrius Harry, SLU

LB – Kelechi Anyalebechi, UIW

LB – Jomard Valsin, NSU

LB – Alexis Ramos, SLU

DB – Patrick Wolfe, HBU

DB – Ferlando Jordan, SLU

DB – Andre Sam, McNeese

DB – Donnell Ward-McGee, SLU

KR – Ce’Cori Tolds, UIW

PR – Robert Ferrell, UIW

Second Team Offense

QB – Cameron Ward, UIW

RB – Julien Gums, Nicholls

RB – Dreshawn Minnieweather, HBU

TE/HB – Damien Dawson, SLU

WR – Austin Mitchell, SLU

WR – KJ Franklin, Nicholls

WR – Josh Matthews, McNeese

OL – Ethan McMullan, SLU

OL – Caleb Johnson, UIW

OL – Khalil Corbett-Canada, NSU

OL – Rendon Miles-Character, SLU

OL – Drew Jones, SLU

OL – Nash Jones, UIW

OL – Jakob Sell, NSU

OL – Reid Francis, UIW

PK – Carson Mohr, UIW

P – Scotty Roblow, NSU

Second Team Defense

DL – Blaine Hoover, UIW

DL – Perry Ganci, Nicholls

DL – Segun Ijiyera, HBU

DL – Philip Ossai, HBU

LB – Isaiah Paul, UIW

LB – Herman Christophe, SLU

LB – Ja’Quay Pough, NSU

LB – Hayden Shaheen, Nicholls

LB – Brennan Young, HBU

DB – Chris Joyce, McNeese

DB – Shawn Holton, UIW

DB – Jack Henderson, SLU

DB – P.J. Herrington, NSU

DB – Elliott Davison, UIW

DB – William Hooper, NSU

KR – Donovan Duvernay, NSU

KR – Dontaze Costly, Nicholls

PR – Mason Pierce, McNeese

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