The three state college football teams that reached the postseason shared the top awards on the 2015 Louisiana Sports Writers Association All-Louisiana college football squad.
Leonard Fournette, LSU’s record-setting sophomore running back, was named the state’s top offensive player, while Wallace Scott of Southland Conference champion McNeese State was chosen the defensive player of the year.
Louisiana Tech quarterback Jeff Driskel, who led the Bulldogs to the New Orleans Bowl, was named newcomer of the year, and LSU defensive end Arden Key was voted the state’s top freshman player.
Matt Viator, who recently left McNeese to take over at ULM, was honored as the state’s top coach for his efforts with the playoff bound Cowboys.
The team was selected by a panel of LSWA members based on nominations supplied by the state’s football media relations directors. Sports information directors could not vote for their players, but other LSWA voters could cast ballots for anyone on the ballot.
All voting was based on regular-season results and did not include stats accumulated in bowl or playoff games.
Fournette, from St. Augustine in New Orleans, rushed for a school-record 1,741 yards in 11 regular-season games (he finished with 1,953 after LSU’s win over Texas Tech in the Texas Bowl).
Fournette was named first-team All-Southeastern Confrence and unanimous first-team All-American after rushing for 200 yards in three straight games and had 100 or more yards in eight games. He was also a Doak Walker Award finalist.
Scott, from Weyanoke, was the Southland defensive player of the year and a second-team FCS All-American. He is the school record-holder with two fumble returns for touchdowns and 142 fumble-return yards this season. He had 58 total tackles, two sacks and 5.5 tackles for loss as a defensive back.
In addition to state newcomer, Driskel, a Florida transfer, earned Conference USA Newcomer honors as he guided the Bulldogs to a school-record 10 consecutive games of 400-plus yards. He completed 255 of 412 passes for 3,575 yards and 24 touchdowns.
Driskel rushed for over 400 yards as well with five more scores. He ranked 13th nationally in yards per completion at 14.02.
Key, from Atlanta, took over as a starter three games into the season. He finished with 6.5 tackles for loss, five sacks and nine quarterback hurries as he earned Freshman All-SEC and Freshman All-America honors.
Viator wrapped up his tenure as McNeese coach with a 10-0 regular season — just the fifth undefeated and untied season in school history and the second under his watch. He was named the SLC coach of the year for a third time and became the Southland’s all-time winner in conference wins at 54. He also tied Bobby Keasler for all-time wins at 78.
Viator led the Cowboys to their 14th SLC title and the fourth in his tenure.
Joining Fournette and Driskel on the state’s first-team offense were offensive linemen Vadal Alexander and Ethan Pocic of LSU, Darrel Brown of Louisiana Tech, Quentin Marsh of McNeese and Anthony Mosley of Southern.
The other running back was Kenneth Dixon of Louisiana Tech. Jamal Robinson of UL-Lafayette and Trent Taylor Louisiana Tech were chosen at wide receiver. The state’s tight end selection was Montrell Jones of Southern.
Joining Scott on the first-team defense were linemen Vernon Butler of Louisiana Tech, Isaiah Golden of McNeese, Lewis Neal of LSU and Tanzel Smart of Tulane. The three linebackers were Deion Jones of LSU, Hunter Kissinger of ULM and Nico Marley of Tulane.
The other three members of the defensive backfield included Jamal Adams and Tre’Davious White of LSU and Harlan Miller of Southeastern.
Chris Moore of Northwestern State was the first-team kicker, Jean Breaux of McNeese the punter and Willie Quinn of Southern the return specialist.