July 20, 2016
IRVING, Texas - Louisiana Tech placed a league-best seven football student-athletes on the 2016 Preseason Conference USA team, which was announced by the league office Wednesday following a vote by the conference's 13 head coaches.
Among the seven Bulldogs selected, junior kicker Jonathan Barnes earned a share of Special Teams Player of the Year honors with Florida Atlantic senior punter Dalton Schomp, while deep snapper Darrell Travis also earned a spot on the preseason list.
LA Tech had three offensive players voted preseason All-Conference USA, along with two on defense and two special teams selections.
Barnes returns for the Bulldogs in 2016 following a sophomore campaign that saw him become one of the highest scoring players in all of college football last season. The Baton Rouge native converted all 60 of his point after touchdown attempts and connected on a league-best 22 field goals for the Bulldogs. He ranked 14th in the nation in both total points scored (126) and points per game (9.7). His 9.7 points per game last season ranked fifth nationally among kickers. Barnes is just one of nine returning FBS kickers who made at least two field goals of 50 yards or more last year. He was recently named to the Lou Groza Award Watch List, which recognizes the country's best kicker annually.
Safety Xavier Woods, who was recently named to the Bronko Nagurski and Jim Thorpe Award Watch Lists, earned a spot on the preseason defensive team after registering 56 total tackles (37 solo, 19 assisted) last season with 7.5 tackles for a loss of 60 yards as a junior last season. The West Monroe native returned three interceptions in 2015 for a combined 50 yards and was credited with three pass break-ups and two forced fumbles.
Jaylon Ferguson also picked up C-USA preseason honors following a rookie season that saw the defensive end earn Freshman All-America honors. Ferguson led the LA Tech defense last season with 15.0 tackles for a loss of 65 yards, while the freshman also registered 6.0 sacks for a loss of 49 yards. He tallied 35 total tackles (22 solo, 13 assisted) and was credited with eight quarterback hurries.
On the offensive side of the ball, Louisiana Tech placed a pair of senior offensive linemen to the preseason list with both Darrell Brown and David Mahaffey selected to represent the Bulldogs, while senior wide receiver Trent Taylor was also recognized by the league's head coaches.
As a junior, Taylor totaled 99 receptions, the fifth most in Louisiana Tech history, for 1,282 receiving yards, a mark that ranks sixth in school history. The receiver caught nine touchdown passes in 2015 and totaled seven 100-yard receiving games. He was recently named to the 2016 Biletnikoff Award Preseason Watch List. The Biletnikoff Award annually recognizes the outstanding receiver in college football.
While Louisiana Tech had the most overall preseason selections with seven, all 13 C-USA schools that will compete for this year's championship had at least one player named to the squad.
The league's 21st football season begins Thursday, Sept. 1. The 12th annual Conference USA Football Championship Game, pitting the champions of the East and West divisions, will be held Saturday, Dec. 3.
For complete coverage of Bulldog Football, please follow Louisiana Tech on social media at @LATechFB (Twitter), /LATechFootball (Facebook) and @LATechFB (Instagram) or visit the official home of Louisiana Tech Athletics at LATechSports.com.
2016 C-USA FOOTBALL COACHES PRESEASON AWARDS
Offensive Player of the Year
Nick Mullens, Sr., QB, Southern Miss
Defensive Player of the Year
Trey Hendrickson, Sr., DE, Florida Atlantic
Special Teams Player of the Year
Jonathan Barnes, Jr., K, Louisiana Tech
Dalton Schomp, Sr., P, Florida Atlantic
QB Brent Stockstill, So., Middle Tennessee
QB Nick Mullens, Sr., Southern Miss
RB Kalif Phillips, Sr., Charlotte
RB Ray Lawry, Jr., Old Dominion
RB Ito Smith, Jr., Southern Miss
RB Aaron Jones, Sr., UTEP
RB Jarveon Williams, Sr., UTSA
RB Anthony Wales, Sr., WKU
OL Michael Montero, Sr., FIU
OL Reggie Bain, Jr., Florida Atlantic
OL Darrell Brown, Sr., Louisiana Tech
OL David Mahaffey, Sr., Louisiana Tech
OL Michael Selby, Sr., Marshall
OL Clint Van Horn, Sr., Marshall
OL Maurquice Shakir, Sr., Middle Tennessee
OL Cameron Tom, Sr., Southern Miss
OL Forrest Lamp, Sr., WKU
OL Will Hernandez, Jr., UTEP
TE Jonnu Smith, Sr., FIU
TE Ryan Yurachek, Jr., Marshall
WR Trent Taylor, Sr., Louisiana Tech
WR Richie James, So., Middle Tennessee
WR Zach Pascal, Sr., Old Dominion
WR Taywan Taylor, Sr., WKU
DL Larry Ogunjobi, Sr., Charlotte
DL Trey Hendrickson, Sr., Florida Atlantic
DL Jaylon Ferguson, So., Louisiana Tech
DL Gary Thompson, Sr., Marshall
DL Rashaad Coward, Sr., Old Dominion
DL Dylan Bradley, Sr., Southern Miss
DL Nick Usher, Sr., UTEP
DL Marcus Davenport, Jr., UTSA
LB Anthony Wint, Jr., FIU
LB Azeez Al-Shaair, So., Florida Atlantic
LB TJ Ricks, Sr., Old Dominion
LB Alex Lyons, Sr., Rice
LB D'Nerius Antoine, Sr., Southern Miss
LB Alvin Jones, Jr., UTEP
DB Ocie Rose, So., Florida Atlantic
DB Jalen Young, So., Florida Atlantic
DB Xavier Woods, Sr., Louisiana Tech
DB Jeremy Cutrer, Sr., Middle Tennessee
DB Kishawn McClain, Jr., North Texas
DB Justice Davila, Jr., Old Dominion
DB Picasso Nelson Jr., Jr., Southern Miss
DB Michael Egwuagu, Sr., UTSA
K Jonathan Barnes, Jr., Louisiana Tech
P Dalton Schomp, Sr., Florida Atlantic
KR Kylen Towner, Jr., WKU
PR Warren Redix, So., UTEP
LS Darrell Travis, Sr., Louisiana Tech