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
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
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
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
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
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
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
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
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
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.
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