By: Justin Kelm
The Southland Conference held their annual media day in Houston, Texas today. This returned to an in-person event for the first time since the 2019 season at the Houston Hilton Post Oak as the official kick-off to the football season got underway. Head Coach Frank Wilson was joined by quarterback Cody Orgeron and All-American defensive end Isaiah Chambers. Wilson and the Cowboys went 3-4 in the spring. Earlier in the day, the league released their preseason polls. The Cowboys were selected fourth. Southeastern Louisiana topped the poll followed by Nicholls and UIW. Northwestern State and HBU followed McNeese. As history shows, the Southland Conference is up for grabs each season, no matter the polls. McNeese is looking to win its first league title since 2015 and first postseason victory since the 2002 season. The Southland Conference is going to look a tad bit different with the departures of four schools, but that is not deterring anyone’s thinking.
“The Southland Conference is second to none” said Wilson.
Wilson discussed how the transfer portal has changed the game of college football.
“For every guy that entered the transfer portal, we replaced with an all-conference player,” said Wilson.
The Cowboys have added numerous transfers to add depth to their team for the fall. Most notably is wide receiver Cee Jay Powell who transferred from Louisiana Tech. While in Ruston, he was second on the team in receptions in both the 2019 and 2020 seasons as he totaled 80 catches for 759 yards and a touchdown. The 5′7, 173-pound slot receiver finished his Louisiana tech career with 102 catches for 897 yards. Linebacker Ge’Mon Eaford from Oregon was mentioned by Wilson as being a immediate impact player.
Wilson believes there is no ceiling for this team.
Chambers was named a consensus All-American following the spring slate after being named to five different organization’s first team units. Also, the graduate student from the University of Houston earned SLC and Louisiana Defensive Player of the Year honors and finished fourth in voting for the Buck Buchanan Award which is given to the top defensive player in the FCS. He was named national defensive player of the year by Phil Steele.
Orgeron’s ultimate goal is to bring a conference championship to Lake Charles. The son of LSU Head Coach Ed Orgeron has been putting up quality numbers at McNeese for years. Entering the fall season. He is ranked ninth all-time with 4,336 passing yards and tied for sixth with 35 TD passes in school history.
The Cowboys open the season September 4, 2021 against West Florida, the defending NCAA Division II national champion.