McNeese wraps up SLC Media Day ahead of pivotal 2021 football season

Published: Jul. 22, 2021 at 11:27 PM CDT
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Houston, TX (KPLC) - The 2021 Southland Conference Media Day is in the books and the McNeese Cowboys are ready to get back on the field for a fall season for the first time since 2019.

The day started with the release of the SLC preseason poll where Southeastern claimed the top spot, while the Pokes were slated to finish fourth. Despite that, McNeese head coach Frank Wilson said it won’t deter his team from getting back to being expected to win the conference each season.

“We’re going to build our program back to what it always was and that is the standard of Southland Conference football,” said Wilson. “In our place, we say the standard is the standard and our work is the work, and we put it in to build our legacy and to get us back into our rightful place.”

The Cowboys suffered their first losing season since 2004, finishing 3-4 in the spring season.

“It’s a quick turnaround going into the fall. We’re getting faster, stronger, getting back healthy and stuff,” said Cowboy quarterback Cody Orgeron. “Fall camp is right around the corner, so I’m looking forward to it.”

The Pokes are confident to start a new winning streak soon.

“We’ve been through a lot of adversity so we’re used to having difficult situations or dealing with unnormal things so we’re ready,” said McNeese defensive end Isaiah Chambers. “We’re just prepared to play we want to get revenge this year so we’re just ready to do some stuff. We’re all ready to play, we’re just anxious to get back.”

Experience should be key for McNeese as the Cowboys return 10 starters off an offense that averaged over 400 yards per game.

“I thought at the back end of the year we really came on we threw the ball much better, and if we’re able to pick up on where we left off at I think we’ll be a better team as a whole especially in the passing game,” said Wilson. “In regards to those young men, I just like the work that they’ve put in and the commitment that they’ve given. “

In addition to the returning starters, McNeese added several other Division I transfers, most notably wide receiver Cee Jay Powell (Louisiana Tech), defensive back Corione Harris (Kansas), running back Stephon Huderson (Tulane), linebacker Ge’Mon Eaford (Oregon), offensive linemen Romello Tarver (Central Michigan) and Trey Winters (Iowa).

“Utmost confidence coach Wilson does a great job of recruiting and brings in top tier talent,” said Orgeron. “We got Cee Jay Powell from Louisiana Tech, Mason Pierce in the slot as well, so that’s really two dynamic guys. Really elusive really fast speedy guys in the slot.”

Defensively, the Pokes return eight starters with five of them earning all-conference honors. Defensive player of the year Isaiah Chambers leads the league’s top-ranked unit.

“We’ve just got a nasty attitude around there, we all play fast, physical and we’re just going to keep on doing it. We have to fix the little things and the small details so we can be an even better defense,” Chambers said. “We don’t take no mess. We like to hit people in the mouth and we don’t like to get hit in the mouth, so we just want to be the ones who do the damage and cause all the havoc.”

McNeese players report to fall camp on August 4 and a month later comes the Pokes’ season opener at home against the defending Division II national champion, West Florida, on September 4.

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