LA Tech Leads C-USA with Seven Preseason Honors

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



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

Special Teams

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

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