McNeese Football: Gary Goff, D’Angelo Durham, and Brayden Adams talk to Media on Southland Conference Media Day

Published: Jul. 24, 2023 at 6:34 PM CDT
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LAKE CHARLES, La. (KPLC) - The McNeese Cowboys enter the 2023 season with practically a brand new team as they added 57 players through both the transfer portal, and incoming freshmen since the 2022 season ended, and Head Coach Gary Goff, who is entering his second season at the helm in Lake Charles, feels good about where his team is at with under a month and a half to go before the season gets underway.

“I thought we had a really good spring, and it carried over to the summer, we’ve had a great summer, and you know, we’ve got 57 new players from when we ended last year, and so getting those guys on campus, getting them all bought into the direction the program is headed, and into each other, is probably the most important thing we’ve done all summer long, and I think they’re ready,” said Coach Goff. “They’re ready to get out there and start practicing, we’ve got about a month and a half before we play a football game, and we’ve got a lot of work ahead of us but these guys are about each other, they’re about the program, they’re about giving their best effort day in and day out, and that’s what makes it very exciting for us coaches.”

Alongside Coach Goff for Southland Media Day were linebacker Brayden Adams, and running back D’Angelo Durham, and both Adams and Durham are excited for the 2023 season, and see a huge difference between where the team is now, and where they were a year ago.

“Just trust, especially having the same coaches come back, we’ve had a lot of turnover since I’ve been here, so just having the same staff, the same game plan, you know, I know we have 57 new guys, but even with the guys that returned, I think it’s just trust,” said Brayden Adams.

“It just helps build a better culture and a better chemistry. We hold the new guys to the same standard that we hold the old guys to, and when they come in, they just buy into it, and they just put their head down and work,” said D’Angelo Durham.

Coach Goff also talked about the difference between where the Pokes are at entering his second season as the McNeese head coach, and where they were last year entering his first season at the helm.

“It’s a lot different right? We just had a staff meeting this morning, we were going through our practice and our responsibilities, and different committees, and one of the coaches said coach this was so much different last year, we didn’t have any players last year who we fully fully trusted, and that takes time, it takes time to build trust amongst the coaches and the players and I think we’re at that point right now, or rather I know we’re at that point right now where the team really trusts what we’re doing, and we trust the team, and so it’s a big big difference.”

On Monday the 2023 Southland Conference Preseason poll was released as well and the Cowboys were picked to finish third in the conference behind Incarnate Word, and Southeastern, but Coach Goff says the Cowboys don’t really care about the preseason poll at all.

Matthew Travis: “Preseason poll came out, you guys are picked to finish third, one up from last year, does that mean anything to you guys?”

“It doesn’t, I mean it really doesn’t. I mean I guess it’s all cool to see that and everything, but we’re still going to focus on the Cowboys one day at a time, and if you start getting too caught up in the accolades and the expectations, then sometimes you lose your way. So that’ll probably be my biggest challenge through the course of the year right, we’re all excited, and I do believe we’re a lot better program right now, but it’s about keeping everybody, and that’s coaches included, focused on us getting better day in and day out and day by day, it’s cool and all, but it doesn’t mean anything,” said Goff.

For the full press conference with Goff, Adams, and Durham, click here.