Nine Southland Football Student-Athletes Earn Preseason All-America Honors


FRISCO, Texas – Nine Southland Conference football standouts were named to the 2019 Stats Perform FCS Preseason All-America Team that was announced Wednesday.

Nicholls offensive linemen P.J. Burkhalter, a 2019 All-America first-team selection, was one of four Southland student-athletes named to the preseason first team. Burkhalter is a three-year starter on the offensive line that has helped produce the Southland’s top rushing offense the past two years. Voted as the top lineman in the Southland in 2019, he played at both center and guard last season as junior running back Julien Gums (a preseason third team member) set school rushing records with 1,232 yards and 16 touchdowns.

Burkhalter is joined on the first by Sam Houston State senior defensive lineman Trace Mascorro, the 2019 Southland Conference Newcomer of the Year, and defensive back Ferlando Jordan of Southeastern Louisiana. Jordan was a member of the 2019 All-America third team and All-Southland Conference first team.

Bearkat senior punter Matt McRobert was elevated to the preseason first team after earning a nod on the 2109 All-America second team. McRobert is coming off a breakout 2019 season, when he was a finalist for the Ray Guy Award and has been named to the 2020 watch list for that award that honors the FCS Punter of the Year.

Central Arkansas placed a pair on the Stats Perform FCS preseason second team. Junior wide receiver Lujuan Winningham was tapped for his spot following a 2019 season. Winningham caught the dramatic game-winning TD pass with 34 seconds to play in the Bears’ 24-17 season-opening win over Austin Peay. Senior defensive back Robert Rochell joins his teammate on the second preseason squad.

The Nicholls offense will have a one-two punch on the ground and in the air from third-team selections, Gums and senior wide receiver Dai’Jean Dixon. Sam Houston State senior offensive lineman Colby Thomas rounds out the Bearkat trio recognized with his third-team honor.


OL – *P.J. Burkhalter, senior, 6-3, 330, Nicholls

DL – Trace Mascorro, senior, 6-1, 275, Sam Houston State

DB – ***Ferlando Jordan, junior, 6-0, 180, Southeastern Louisiana

P – **Matt McRobert, senior, 6-2, 195, Sam Houston State


WR – Lujuan Winningham, junior, 6-3, 190, Central Arkansas

DB – ***Robert Rochell, senior, 6-2, 195, Central Arkansas


RB – Julien Gums, junior, 5-10, 230, Nicholls

WR – Dai’Jean Dixon, senior, 6-4, 200, Nicholls

OL – Colby Thomas, senior, 6-2, 295, Sam Houston State

*2109 All-Conference first team

**2019 All-Conference second team

***2019 All-Conference third team

{Courtesy: Press Release from the Southland Conference}


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