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Bulldogs represent all-conference teams

DALLAS (Dec. 10, 2019) – Louisiana Tech was represented well on Conference USA’s 2019 All-Conference Teams, picking up two first team, six second team and two all-freshman selections, it was announced by the league on Tuesday afternoon.

LA Tech additionally saw 11 additional student-athletes earn spots on Conference USA’s Honorable Mention team. All together, the Bulldogs placed 21 student-athletes on the league’s postseason teams voted on by the league’s 14 head football coaches.

Senior quarterback J’Mar Smith and junior cornerback Amik Robertson led the way for Tech, each with first team selections.

Robertson, a first-team representative last season as well, was recently named an all-American by the Football Writers Association of America. He put together a spectacular junior season, leading the nation with 19 forced incompletions from his starting corner spot. The Thibodaux, Louisiana, native ranks second in the nation with 21 total passes defended in 2019, and it tied for sixth with five interceptions.

He has started all 38 games over his three seasons in Ruston, and has recorded 48 passes defended over that span (tied for second most among FBS active career leaders). Robertson’s 14 career interceptions are most among all active FBS players, and his three INTs returned for touchdowns lead the nation as well.

According to PFF College, Robertson held opposing quarterbacks to a 53.7 passer rating in his primary coverage. He committed just two penalties all year, and was graded out as the nation’s top cornerback with a coverage grade of 91.3.

Smith, meanwhile, ranked among the upper echelon of C-USA quarterbacks throughout the 2019 season. He commanded an offense that lead the league in total offense (445.2 YPG) and ranked second in scoring offense (34.0 PPG).

The Meridian, Mississippi, native led the league in passing, averaging 281.4 yards per contest. He tossed 17 touchdowns against just four interceptions on the year – his best TD-to-INT ratio of his career. Smith also completed a career-best 65.8 percent of his passes in 2019 and averaged 8.3 yards per completion for 2,814 yards through the air.

Smith finished the regular season with a PFF passing grade of 86.0 – 15th best in the nation. He also added 337 rushing yards and three touchdowns on the ground. In the Tech career record books, Smith is third all-time in career passing yards (9,360) and fourth in career passing touchdowns (50).

 

First Team All-C-USA

Offense

QB- Chris Robison, R-So., Florida Atlantic

QB- J’Mar Smith, R-Sr., Louisiana Tech

RB- Benny LeMay, Sr., Charlotte

RB- Brenden Knox, R-So., Marshall

OL- Cameron Clark, R-Sr., Charlotte

OL- Junior Diaz, Gr., Florida Atlantic

OL- Brandon Walton, Sr., Florida Atlantic

OL- Levi Brown, R-Sr., Marshall

OL- Miles Pate, R-Sr., WKU

TE- Harrison Bryant, Sr., Florida Atlantic

WR- Jaelon Darden, Jr., North Texas

WR- Quez Watkins, R-Jr., Southern Miss

WR- Lucky Jackson, R-Sr., WKU

 

Defense

DT- Channing Hames, R-Sr., Marshall

DT- Garrett Marino, R-Sr., UAB

DE- Alex Highsmith, R-Sr., Charlotte

DE- DeAngelo Malone, Jr., WKU

LB- Tavante Beckett, R-Jr., Marshall

LB- Blaze Alldredge, Jr., Rice

LB- Kristopher Moll, Jr., UAB

DB- Meiko Dotson, R-Sr., Florida Atlantic

DB- Amik Robertson, Jr., Louisiana Tech

DB- Chris Jackson, Sr., Marshall

DB- DQ Thomas, Sr., Southern Miss

 

Special Teams

K- Justin Rohrwasser, R-Sr., Marshall

P- John Haggerty, Jr., WKU

KR- Jaylond Adams, R-So., Southern Miss

PR- Talik Keaton, Fr., Marshall

LS – Matt Beardall, Sr., Marshall

 

On C-USA’s All-Conference Second Team, the Bulldogs saw six selections in junior running back Justin Henderson, senior guard Ethan Reed, senior nose tackle Courtney Wallace, senior safety L’Jarius Sneed, senior placekicker Bailey Hale and sophomore long snapper Reeves Blankenship.

Henderson led the league with 15 rushing touchdowns on the season, and is on pace to become just the 13th Bulldog to rush for 1,000 yards in a single season (967). He led the league in scoring with 96 points on the season.

Reed remains the nation’s active leader in consecutive starts, making 52 straight starts on the offensive line dating back to his freshman season. He bolsters a line that has helped lead the league in third-down conversion percentage (41.8) and total offense (445.2 YPG).

On the defensive side, Wallace played an integral role in Tech’s team defense this season – a stingy unit that allowed just 23.7 points per game and led the league for most of the year in red-zone defense (64.7 %). Wallace set career highs in tackles (39) and racked up 8.5 tackles for loss along with a pair of sacks.

Sneed, who made all 12 starts at safety for the first time in his collegiate career, led the Bulldogs in total tackles, racking up 72 from his safety spot. Sneed also added a trio of interceptions and four pass breakups. His 42 solo stops were second on a squad that ranked 12th in the nation in turnovers forced (23).

Hale was one of the most consistent kickers in the league throughout the 2019 season. After missing the first two kicks of the year in Tech’s opener at #10 Texas, Hale connected on 15 of his last 16 attempts to end the season. He also nailed all 51 of his extra-point attempts (most without a miss in C-USA).

A year after earning all-freshman nods, Blankenship picks up second team all-conference honors this season. He served as the team’s primary deep snapper in every game in 2019 and did not misplay a snap all year as one of the conference’s most consistent special teams contributors.

Second Team All-C-USA

 Offense

QB – Mason Fine, Sr., North Texas

RB- Justin Henderson, R-Jr., Louisiana Tech

RB- Gaej Walker, R-Jr., WKU

OL- Ethan Reed, R-Sr., Louisiana Tech

OL- Cain Madden, R-Jr., Marshall

OL- Elex Woodworth, R-Sr., North Texas

OL- Drake Dorbeck, R-Sr., Southern Miss

OL- Derron Gatewood, R-Sr., UTEP

TE- Armani Levias, R-Sr., Marshall

WR- Tim Jones, Jr., Southern Miss

WR- Austin Watkins, Jr., R-Jr., UAB

WR- Jahcour Pearson, R-Jr., WKU

 

Defense

DT- Courtney Wallace, R-Sr., Louisiana Tech

DT- Demarrio Smith, Sr., Southern Miss

DT- Denzel Chukwukelu, Sr., UTEP

DE- Keion White, So., Old Dominion

DE- Jordan Smith, R-So., UAB

LB- Sage Lewis, R-Sr., FIU

LB- Akileis Leroy, Jr., Florida Atlantic

LB- Omari Cobb, Sr., Marshall

LB- Lawrence Garner, Jr., Old Dominion

DB- Stantley Thomas-Oliver, R-Sr., FIU

DB- L’Jarius Sneed, Sr., Louisiana Tech

DB- Reed Blankenship, Jr., Middle Tennessee

DB- Kaleb Ford-Dement, So., Old Dominion

 

Special Teams

K- Bailey Hale, R-Sr., Louisiana Tech

P- Chris Barnes, Gr., Rice

KR- Deion Hair-Griffin, R-Jr., North Texas

PR- Jaylond Adams, R-So., Southern Miss

LS- Reeves Blankenship, R-So., Louisiana Tech

LS- Jared Nash, Gr., WKU

Tech had a pair of selections to the all-freshman team in wide receiver Smoke Harris and safety Bee Jay Williamson.

Harris led the team in receptions with 47 on the year. 26 of his catches came in the final five games of the year as he stepped into a starting role for the first time in his career. On the road against Marshall, Harris had a career day with nine catches for 91 yards in quarterback Aaron Allen’s first career start.

Williamson started the first four games of the 2019 season and saw action at safety in all 12 games in 2019. The redshirt freshman made 31 tackles on the year, highlighted by a career-best six vs. Grambling in Tech’s home opener.

 

C-USA All-Freshman Team

 

Offense

QB- Dylan Hopkins, UAB

RB- Larry McCammon III, Florida Atlantic

RB- Sincere McCormick, UTSA

OL- Dejan Rasuo, Charlotte

OL- Sione Finau, FIU

OL- Marquice Robinson, Florida Atlantic

OL- Marcus Greer, Middle Tennessee

OL- Coker Wright, Southern Miss

OL- Gunner Britton, WKU

TE- Joshua Simon, WKU

WR- Smoke Harris, Louisiana Tech

WR- Jyaire Shorter, North Texas

 

Defense

DT- Dayton LeBlanc, North Texas

DT- Ricky Barber, WKU

DE- Alex Wright, UAB

DE- Praise Amaewhule, UTEP

LB- Eddie Williams, Florida Atlantic

LB- Kevin Wood, North Texas

LB- Hayes Maples, Southern Miss

DB- Lance McMillan, Charlotte

DB- Bee Jay Williamson, Louisiana Tech

DB- Micah Abraham, Marshall

DB- Rashad Wisdom, UTSA

 

Special Teams

K- Andrew Stein, Southern Miss

P- Matt Hayball, Florida Atlantic

KR- Blake Watson, Old Dominion

PR- Talik Keaton, Marshall

LS- Tanner Boston, UTEP

 

In addition to its all-conference and all-freshman selections, Tech also had 11 C-USA Honorable Mention honorees including Willie Allen (OL), Drew Kirkpatrick (OL), Kody Russey (OL), Gewhite Stallworth (OL), Adrian Hardy (WR), Malik Stanley (WR), Milton Williams (DT), Willie Baker (OLB/DE), Collin Scott (LB), Connor Taylor (LB) and Michael Sam (CB).

 

The league’s individual specialty awards will be announced tomorrow (Dec. 11).

 

The Bulldogs will head to Shreveport to play ACC-foe Miami in the Walk-On’s Independence Bowl on Dec. 26 at Independence Stadium at 3:00 p.m.

 

Tickets are on sale now on latechsports.com/tickets. Fans can also purchase tickets by calling the ticket office at (318) 257-3631 or visiting in person at the Thomas Assembly Center between the hours of 8:30-5:30, Monday – Friday.  The ticket office will also be open for bowl game sales during upcoming basketball games through halftime.

 

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.

 

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Joel Rodgers

Joel Rodgers joined RSHV News 1 in January 2018 as a reporter/journalist. Prior to joining our team, Joel spent the previous 5 years as a morning show reporter, entertainment reporter, and sports reporter for a local television station. At 6’5”, he's the tallest reporter in the history of Shreveport, but it’s more than just his height that makes this Shreveport native stand out. His editing skills combined with his love for storytelling makes for a creative and talented addition to the RSHV News 1 team. After attending and graduating from Evangel Christian Academy, he earned his Bachelor’s degree in Broadcast Journalism from Northwestern State University. Joel is very active in the Shreveport community having won several competitions in recent years. In 2017, he danced his way to victory in the annual Susan G. Komen event, “Dancing for the Cure." He’s also won the “Mudbug Madness” Crawfish eating contest in back-to-back years and was named the top celebrity chef at the “Louisiana Food Prize” cooking competition. If you have a story idea, news tip, or just want to say "hey" - you can do so by emailing Joel Rodgers at jrodgers@realshreveport.com

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