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McNeese players report for fall camp ahead of first practice on Friday

Published: Aug. 5, 2021 at 6:14 PM CDT
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LAKE CHARLES – The time has finally come for a fall football season as the McNeese Cowboys reported for fall camp with team meetings on Thursday and will hit the field for the first time on Friday.

“This is our first fall camp,” said second-year head coach Frank Wilson who’s first fall was disrupted by Covid then Hurricanes Laura and Delta. “We’re excited to get to work and get on the field.”

The allowable 110 players reported and went through meetings that included university and athletic administration, academics, compliance and media.

McNeese will hit the practice field with two sessions from Friday to Sunday with the veterans going in the morning at 9 while the newcomers and rookies will practice at 4.

Defensive end Isaiah Chambers, who on Thursday was named to the Buck Buchanan Award Watch List as the nation’s top defensive player, is eager to get things going.

“We’ve grown a lot since the end of the spring,” said Chambers who was a finalist and finished fourth in the voting for the Buchanan Award. “We had a great offseason program, got bigger, faster and stronger, and also brought in some guys who are going to help out immediately.”

The offensive line is one of the areas that received a big boost, no pun intended.

The Cowboys brought in transfers Romello Tarver (6-5, 272, Central Michigan) and Trey Winters (6-6, 338, Iowa) to boost a unit that already includes upper class veteran players Calvin Barkat (6-3, 272), Caron Coleman (6-2, 300) and Nick Holiday (6-5, 322).

The wideout position got a jolt too with the addition of CeeJay Powell (5-7, 170, Louisiana Tech) to join the spring’s top receiver in Josh Matthews (6-2, 184) as well as Mason Pierce (5-9, 156) and Severyn Foster (6-2, 194).

McNeese has an abundance of running backs this season, including Tulane and grad transfer Stephon Huderson (5-9, 206) who earned All-AAC honors last season after leading the Green Wave in rushing with 773 yards.

Huderson will be joined by returners Deonta McMahon (5-9, 175), Josh Parker (5-10, 184), A.J. Carter (6-0, 220) and Carlo Williams (5-11, 195).

On defense, McNeese is stacked up front with Chambers (6-5, 251), the league and Louisiana Defensive Player of the Year, and all-conference end Mason Pierce (6-2, 231). Starters Leon Young (5-11, 258) and Accord Green (6-4, 265) also return as well as part-time starters Masry Mapieu (6-4, 261) and C.J. Semien (6-3, 236). Charlotte transfer Demond Stewart (6-2, 302) should play in the mix as well as NSU transfer Joey McNeely (6-2, 288).

At linebacker, starters Darius Daniels (6-0, 210) and Kordell Williams (5-10, 198) will get some help with Oregon transfer Ge’Mon Eaford (6-1, 230). Sophomore Jake LaFleur (6-3, 212) is coming off an injury and could make an impact as well as incoming freshman Micah Davey (6-0, 228), the son of LSU star quarterback Rohan Davey.

In the backfield, McNeese is loaded with all-conference talent in Andre Sam (6-1, 173) and Chris Joyce (5-11, 181) as well as senior Colby Richardson (6-1, 185). Trent Winbush (5-11, 197), Rae’Kwon Starks (6-1, 171) and Enos Lewis saw significant playing time in the spring. The Cowboys picked up some stellar talent during the offseason with the addition of transfers Corione Harris (6-1, 166, Kansas) and Lathan Adams (5-10, 161, Colorado State).

On special teams, McNeese added Australian punter Eemil Herranan while returning place kicker Jacob Abel.

McNeese kicks off its season on Sept. 4 at home against West Florida.

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