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Story Archives: Looking at other state players
|Looking at other state players|
They are household names, or will be this year.
When the All-Louisiana Football team comes out around Christmas, there are sure to be a number of LSU players dominating the team.
Barring injury, you can pencil in senior tackle Alex Hurst, running backs Spencer Ware and Kenny Hilliard, junior Chris Faulk, junior defensive players Barkevious Mingo, Sam Montgomery, Tyrann Mathieu and Eric Reid. Other possibilities are Zach Mettenberger, Michael Ford, Jeremy Hill, Brad Wing, Bennie Logan, Kevin Minter, Drew Alleman, Jarvis Landry, Tharold Simon, Jeremy Hill and Russell Shepard.
But there are a number of deserving guys around the state.
Wing would be considered a gimmee by a lot of folks except for Ryan Allen at Louisiana Tech.
As a redshirt junior last season, Allen led the nation with 39 punts inside the 20 with only five touchbacks while averaging 46.1 yards per punt, another school record. Allen pegged 29 punts over 50 yards and sent an amazing 22 punts inside the 20 on the season.
After being named All-America by multiple publications, Allen was awarded the Ray Guy Award and named first team All-WAC and All-Louisiana. Allen became the first punter from a non-BCS school to win the Ray Guy Award and the only non-BCS player to win a national award in 2011.
Tech also returns an outstanding center in Stephen Warner, who is one of 50 players to the Rimington Trophy Spring 2012 Watch List.
Bulldog kicker Matt Nelson will give Allemand a run for his money.
Other Tech players to watch are senior wide receiver Ouinton Patton, who registered over 1,200 receiving yards last year, senior quarterback Colby Cameron, senior receiver Myles White, offensive lineman senior offensive lineman Kevin Saia, junior defensive lineman Justin Ellis, junior defensive linman IK Enemkpali and senior defensive back Chad Boyd.
Louisiana-Monroe will be led by junior running back Jyruss Edwards, who led the Warhawks in all-purpose yards (1,217), rushing yards (667), rushing touchdowns (11) and total touchdowns (12).
At the end of his sophomore campaign, Edwards ranked in the top-10 in four different Sun Belt statistical categories (Touchdowns, T-2nd (12); Scoring, T-5th (72); Rushing yards (6th, 667); All-purpose yards (10th, 1,217).
Other Warhawks to watch include junior quarterback Kolton Browning, who passed for 2,483 yards last year and 13 touchdowns, senior receiver Brent Leonard (69 catches, 751 yards) and junior cornerback Vincent Eddie, who had 63 tackles and two interceptions.
Other players to watch this fall are Grambling senior offensive lineman Sanford Banks and Tiger running back Dawrence Roberts, who led the G-Men last season with 1,102 yards on 199 carries with eight touchdowns
And keep an eye on D.J. Williams, the son of Grambling head coach Doug Williams, who will start at quarterback as a junior for his father after leading the Tigers to a late season surge and a Southwestern Athletic Conference championship in 2011.
Over at Northwestern, senior Brad Henderson returns as the starting quarterback after completing 62 percent of his passes and posting the fifth-best single-season pass yardage total (1,865 yards) in school history.
Sophomores Don Canyon and Keenon Gibson, and redshirt freshman Grant Chiasson, will compete to back him up.
Two-time All-America linebacker Derrick Rose and fellow senior Jamaal White at safety will be heard from for the Demons once again this season.
Tulane junior Orleans (how fitting) Darkwa returns at running back for new Tulane and former New Orleans Saint wide receiver coach Curtis Johnson. Darkwa rushed for 924 yards last season.
Trent Mackey returns for his senior year at linebacker for the Green Wave after totaling 145 total tackles.
Senior safety Malcolm Bronson returns at McNeese State after totaling 90 tackles and three interceptions.
Senior quarterback Blaine Gautier leads Louisiana-Lafayette after throwing for a school-record 2,958 yards and 23 touchdowns.
Gautier was the Offensive Player of the Year on the state team last year.
And what is looking like the year of the kicker in the state, UL senior Brett Baer led the nation in field goal percentage, making 18 of 20 kicks, including two game-winning kicks as time expired during the year.
Ragin' Cajun Javonne Lawson became just the fifth receiver in school history to catch passes for more than 1,000 yards in a season.
Southeastern Louisiana University's Jordan Wells, a sophomore from Round Rock, Texas, earned Southland Conference Freshman of the Year honors and finished tied for 10th overall in the inaugural Jerry Rice Award after setting the league's single-season record in kickoff return yardage.
Wells returned 52 kickoffs for 1,383 yards in 2011, breaking the previous record of 1,055 yards set by Texas State's Karrington Bush in 2008 and finished 28 yards shy of tying the previous NCAA mark of 1,411 set by David Primus of Samford in 1989.
His 26.6 yards per return ranked 15th nationally in the FCS and was third among freshmen.
Continuing the Year of the Kicker, Nicholls State University senior punter Cory Kemps led the Southland Conference in 2011 with a 42.8 yard per punt average, which ranked eighth in the FCS.
Kemps booted 11 punts over 50 yards and had 16 downed inside the 20-yard line.
Colonel sophomore tight end Nick Scelfo was second in receiving for NSU last year, catching 15 passes for 189 yards.
Southern junior quarterback Joseph Dray passed for 1,544 yards last year.
Louisiana College is returning quarterback Jamie Bunting.
The Alexandria Senior High alum threw for 2,720 yards last season in route to leading the Wildcats to a 7-3 overall record.
It should be another fun year in the state of Louisiana.
It will certainly be one to kick up a few heels about.
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