Nicholls St Kansas Football

Nicholls quarterback Chase Fourcade (9), shown scrambling away from pressure in last year's season-opening upset of FBS foe Kansas, is the reigning Southland Conference player of the year.

NICHOLLS

ON STAGE: 9:30-9:55 a.m. Thursday on ESPN3.com

COACH: Tim Rebowe (5th year)

PLAYERS: QB Chase Fourcade, LB Allen Pittman

THE BUZZ: It’s only fitting that Fourcade represent the school at media day; the reigning SLC player of the year was one of the building blocks for Rebowe's program in his second year there. A three-year starter, Pittman has been a stalwart for a defense that led the SLC in fewest yards allowed and was No. 1 against the run in 2018.

NORTHWESTERN STATE

ON STAGE: 11-11:25 a.m. Thursday on ESPN3.com

COACH: Brad Laird (2nd year)

PLAYERS: OL Chris Zirkle, DB Nick Forde

THE BUZZ: A second-team preseason All-SLC pick, Zirkle has made 21 career starts — the most among Demons returning linemen — anchoring a unit that helped his team rank second in passing in 2018. A safety, Forde was a 10-game starter who was among the top tacklers at the position for a unit that ranked in the middle of the SLC in pass defense.

McNEESE STATE

ON STAGE: 2:15-2:40 p.m. Thursday on ESPN3.com

COACH: Sterlin Gilbert (1st year)

PLAYERS: QB Cody Orgeron, DE Chris Livings

THE BUZZ: Orgeron, the son of LSU coach Ed Orgeron, makes his media day debut as the likely starting quarterback for the Cowboys after a solid spring that saw the junior take most of the snaps with the No. 1 offense. Livings, a senior who has 20½ career sacks, needs 10½ more to set the school’s all-time record.

SOUTHEASTERN LOUISIANA

ON STAGE: 1:15-1:40 p.m. Thursday on ESPN3.com

COACH: Frank Scelfo (2nd year)

PLAYERS: QB Chason Virgil, DL Isaac Adeyemi-Berglund

THE BUZZ: Virgil, a Fresno State transfer, returns for his senior season after leading the SLC with 3,034 passing yards to go with 17 TDs under Scelfo, who’s tutored quarterbacks like Nick Foles and Blake Bortles during his career. Adeyemi-Berglund is a second-team preseason All-SLC pick who was the Lions’ most consistent lineman last season with 63 tackles and six sacks.

Email Sheldon Mickles at smickles@theadvocate.com