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The 2020 Southland Conference Football Preseason All-Conference Teams were announced on Wednesday, with defending co-champion Central Arkansas leading the league with 13 total selections.

Led by junior quarterback Breylin Smith and senior defensive back Robert Rochell, the Bears accounted for eight of the 28 first-team slots. Smith, a 2019 Second-Team All-Southland pick, ranked in the top-10 among FCS quarterbacks in completions per game (24.31), passing touchdowns (32) and passing yards (3,704) a year ago, and Rochell enters his final season after ranking ninth nationally in passes defended per game (1.4).

Sam Houston State earned the second-most selections with nine, followed by eight for Nicholls and six each for Houston Baptist and Southeastern Louisiana.

A year after leading the FCS ranks in rushing yards allowed (69.9) and tackles for loss (10.9) per game, the Bearkats placed three defensive linemen on the squads, including last season’s Newcomer of the Year Trace Mascorro. The Colonels landed four of their starting five offensive lineman on the teams after posting the league’s top rushing offense in 2019 (197.1 YPG).

Houston Baptist signal-caller Bailey Zappe occupies the second-team spot after leading the country in completions per game (29.75) and ranking second in passing touchdowns (35) and passing yards (3,811). The Victoria, Texas, native is joined on the second team by a trio of teammates in running back Dreshawn Minnieweather and wideouts Jerreth Sterns and Ben Ratzlaff.

Abilene Christian and McNeese each placed four on the teams, while Lamar garnered three preseason all-conference selections. UIW, Northwestern State and Stephen F. Austin earned two spots each.

Returning all-conference selections from the previous season are automatically named to the preseason all-conference teams and may advance to higher team slots if they are vacated by non-returning players. Open positions are nominated and voted upon by the league’s head coaches.

The 2020 preseason poll will be revealed next Wednesday, July 22, as part of the Southland Conference Football Virtual Kickoff presented by Levy Marketing.

First Team Preseason All-Conference Offense

Pos.NameSchoolClassHometown
QBBreylin Smith*Central ArkansasJr.Conway, Ark.
RBJulien Gums*NichollsJr.New Orleans, La.
RBDonovan Williams*Sam Houston StateJr.Paris, Texas
TE/HBBranden HohensteinAbilene ChristianSr.Jackson, Neb.
WRLujuan Winningham*Central ArkansasJr.Humble, Texas
WRDai’Jean Dixon*NichollsSr.New Orleans, La.
WRCyron Sutton*McNeeseSr.New Orleans, La.
OLP.J. Burkhalter*NichollsR-Sr.Franklinton, La.
OLColby Thomas*Sam Houston StateSr.Manvel, Texas
OLJair Joseph*NichollsSr.Belle Rose, La.
OLJaylen Hendrix*Central ArkansasJr.Everman, Texas
OLToby Sanderson*Central ArkansasSr.Edmond, Okla.
PKBailey Giffen*LamarSr.Bryan, Texas
PMatt McRobert*Sam Houston StateR-Sr.Berowra, Australia

 

First Team Preseason All-Conference Defense

Pos.NameSchoolClassHometown
DLTrace Mascorro*Sam Houston StateSr.Refugio, Texas
DLJoseph Wallace*Sam Houston StateSr.Dallas, Texas
DLNathan Grant*Central ArkansasSr.Carrollton, Texas
DLKameron Hill*Abilene ChristianSr.Fresno, Texas
LBAlexis Ramos*Southeastern LouisianaSr.Salinas, Calif.
LBTJ Campbell*Central ArkansasJr.Southaven, Miss.
LBJa’Quay Pough*Northwestern StateSr.Sherman, Texas
DBFerlando Jordan*Southeastern LouisianaR-Jr.Atlanta, Ga.
DBRobert Rochell*Central ArkansasSr.Shreveport, La.
DBMichael Lawson*LamarSr.Patterson, Calif.
DBDarion Dunn*McNeeseSr.Oakdale, La.
DBKevin Moore III*NichollsSr.Lafayette, La.
KRCameron Myers*Central ArkansasR-So.Plant City, Fla.
PRMichael Lawson*LamarSr.Patterson, Calif.

 

Second Team Preseason All-Conference Offense

Pos.NameSchoolClassHometown
QBBailey ZappeHouston BaptistSr.Victoria, Texas
RBBilly McCraryAbilene ChristianSr.Temple, Texas
RBDreshawn MinnieweatherHouston BaptistSr.Mesquite, Texas
TE/HBMatt DeBlaisoSoutheastern LouisianaSr.Seaford, N.Y.
TE/HBJack ShortCentral ArkansasSr.Bentonville, Ark.
WRTyler Hudson*Central ArkansasSo.Spring, Texas
WRXavier Gipson*Stephen F. AustinSo.Dallas, Texas
WRBen Ratzlaff*Houston BaptistSr.San Diego, Calif.
WRJerreth Sterns*Houston BaptistJr.Waxahachie, Texas
WRAustin Mitchell*Southeastern LouisianaR-Sr.Plaquemine, La.
OLEleasah AndersonSam Houston StateR-Jr.Houston, Texas
OLMikhail HillNichollsR-Jr.Gretna, La.
OLJeremiah JamesNichollsR-So.New Orleans, La.
OLDrew JonesSoutheastern LouisianaSr.Des Allemands, La.
OLKade ParmellyAbilene ChristianSr.Abilene, Texas
PKHayden Ray*Central ArkansasJr.Bryant, Ark.
PBlake Patterson*Houston BaptistSr.Round Rock, Texas

 

Second Team Preseason All-Conference Defense

Pos.NameSchoolClassHometown
DLJevon Leon*Sam Houston StateSo.Houston, Texas
DLA’Javius BrownCentral ArkansasSr.Jackson, Miss.
DLJosh Carr Jr.Southeastern LouisianaJr.Houston, Texas
DLJ.W. JonesCentral ArkansasSr.Rayville, La.
LBKelechi Anyalabechi*UIWJr.Pearland, Texas
LBCaleb JohnsonHouston BaptistSr.San Diego, Calif.
LBEvan VeronNichollsSr.LaPlace, La.
DBZyon McCollum*Sam Houston StateSr.Galveston, Texas
DBCory McCoy*McNeeseSr.Leesville, La.
DBShemar Bartholomew*Northwestern StateJr.New Orleans, La.
DBJaylon Jimmerson*UIWSo.Pittsburg, Texas
DBJaylen Thomas*Sam Houston StateSr.Houston, Texas
KRXavier Gipson*Stephen F. AustinSo.Dallas, Texas
PRCyron Sutton*McNeeseSr.New Orleans, La