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Nicholls senior quarterback Chase Fourcade (9), the Southland Conference's reigning player of the year, will try to lead the Colonels to a second consecutive league title this season.

Defending Southland Conference football co-champion Nicholls had 11 players chosen to the preseason all-conference team announced Thursday.

The 11 Colonels on the first and second teams are the most for any team in the conference. The league's annual preseason poll will be announced on July 18 to kick off the SLC Media Day in Houston.

The Nicholls contingent is led by senior quarterback Chase Fourcade, who was an automatic pick for the All-SLC team after earning a spot on the all-conference team in 2018.

Fourcade, a former Rummel High School standout who has led Nicholls to the FCS playoffs the past two seasons, is the reigning SLC player of the year.

Nicholls wound up with a league-best eight first-team picks on this year's all-conference list, a group that includes senior defensive lineman Sully Laiche.

Going into his final season, Fourcade ranks 10th in Southland history with 8,990 total yards, while Laiche is the active FCS leader with 25½ career sacks.

Other first-team picks for Nicholls are wide receiver Dai'Jean Dixon, offensive lineman P.J. Burkhalter, punter Winston Jones, defensive back Darren Evans and linebackers Evan Veron and Allen Pittman.

Central Arkansas earned the second-most selections overall with seven, followed by six each for Sam Houston State and Southeastern Louisiana.

SLU's first-teamers were tight end/H-back Bransen Schweber, punt returner Devonte Williams and wide receiver Juwan Petit-Frere, who also made it as a kick returner.

All four were automatic picks as returning all-conference players from 2018.

Other first-team picks from Louisiana schools were Northwestern State defensive back Hayden Bourgeois and a trio of McNeese State players — offensive lineman Grant Burguillos, defensive lineman Chris Livings and defensive back Colby Burton.

2019 Preseason All-Southland Conference

First-team offense

QB — Chase Fourcade, Nicholls, Sr.

RB — Carlos Blackman, Central Arkansas, Sr.; Billy McCrary, Abilene Christian, Sr.

TE/HB — Bransen Schwebel, Southeastern, Sr.

WR — Nathan Stewart, Sam Houston State, Sr.; Dai’Jean Dixon, Nicholls, Jr.; Juwan Petit-Frere, Southeastern, Sr.

OL — Hunter Watts, Central Arkansas, Sr.; Brandon Floores, UIW, Sr.; Terence Hickman, UIW, Sr.; Grant Burguillos, McNeese, Sr.; P.J. Burkhalter, Nicholls, Jr.

PK — Storm Ruiz, Stephen F. Austin, Sr.

P — Winston Jones, Nicholls, Sr.

First team defense

DL — Sully Laiche, Nicholls, Sr.; Chris Terrell, Central Arkansas, Sr.; Chris Livings, McNeese, Sr.; Daniel Crosley, Lamar, Sr.

LB — Jeremiah Chambers, Abilene Christian, Sr.; Evan Veron, Nicholls, Sr.; Allen Pittman, Nicholls, Sr.

DB — Hayden Bourgeois, Northwestern State, Jr.; Zyon McCollum, Sam Houston State, Jr.; Colby Burton, McNeese, Sr.; Juan Jackson, Central Arkansas, Sr.; Darren Evans, Nicholls, Jr.

KR — Juwan Petit-Frere, Southeastern, Sr.

PR — Devonte Williams, Southeastern, Sr.

Second-team offense

QB — Jon Copeland, UIW, So.

RB — Dontrell Taylor, Nicholls, Sr.; Myles Wanza, Lamar, Jr.

TE/HB — Woody Brandom, Sam Houston State, Sr.

WR — Tamrick Pace, Stephen F. Austin, Sr.; Jerreth Sterns, Houston Baptist, So.; Josh Fink, Abilene Christian, Sr.

OL — Jair Joseph, Nicholls, Jr.; Chris Zirkle, Northwestern State, Sr.; Toby Sanderson, Central Arkansas, Jr.; Kade Parmelly, Abilene Christian, Jr.; Uzoma Okere, UIW, Jr.

PK — Elvin Martinez, Lamar, Jr.

P — David Balcomb, UIW, Sr.

Second-team defense

DL — Erick Fowler, Sam Houston State, Sr.; Isaac Adeyemi-Berglund, Southeastern, Sr.; O’Shea Jackson, Northwestern State, Sr.; Andre Walker, Houston Baptist, Sr.

LB — Caleb Johnson, Houston Baptist, Jr.; Hunter Brown, Sam Houston State, Sr.; Royce See, Sam Houston State, Sr.

DB — Khristian Mims, Nicholls, Sr.; Bolu Onifade, Abilene Christian, Sr.; Alize Ward, Stephen F. Austin, Sr.; Jackie Harvell, Central Arkansas, Jr.; Robert Rochell, Central Arkansas, Jr.

KR — Myles Ward, Northwestern State, So.

PR — Austin Mitchell, Southeastern, Jr.


Email Sheldon Mickles at smickles@theadvocate.com