LA Tech Places 11 on All-Louisiana Football Team
Jan. 1, 2017
RUSTON, La. - Louisiana Tech placed a total of 11 student-athletes on the Louisiana Sports Writers Association all-state football team, while quarterback Ryan Higgins was voted as the Offensive Player of the Year, the organization announced Saturday.
The LSWA team is selected by a panel of LSWA members based on nominations from the sports information and communications directors of the state’s football player schools. The media relations representative from each school could vote, but could not vote for nominees from their own schools.
As a senior, Higgins led the Bulldogs to its third consecutive 9-win season and bowl victory by passing for 4,617 yards and 41 touchdowns through the air to earn Offensive Player of the Year honors after also picking up Most Valuable Player accolades in Conference USA. Higgins ranked first in the league in passing yards (2nd in FBS), passing yards per game (3rd in FBS) and passing touchdowns (3rd in FBS), while is also the league-leader and ranks third nationally in total offense (376.5) as a senior.
Carlos Henderson earned two spots on the all-state team as a first team wide receiver with 1,535 yards and a league-high 19 touchdown catches, and also a first team kick returner (32.2 average and two kick returns for touchdowns).
Henderson is joined on the first team by fellow wide receiver Trent Taylor, who finished his career as a Bulldog with 136 catches as a senior for a team-high 1,803 receiving yards. His 12 touchdown catches ranked second on the team only behind Henderson. This past season, Taylor became just the fourth Bulldog in school history to record two 1,000-yard seasons in a career, while he also holds the Louisiana Tech program record with 327 career receptions.
Offensive lineman Darrell Brown was also voted first team all-state after paving the way for LA Tech’s nationally-ranked offense, while on the other side of the ball, defensive end Jaylon Ferguson and senior safety Xavier Woods also earned spots on the first team by the LSWA.
Ferguson ended his sophomore campaign ranked sixth in the nation and led Conference USA in sacks with 14.5 for a loss of 89 yards on the season, while also registering 49 total tackles, including 16 tackles for loss. Ferguson also forced four fumbles in 2016 and recovered two.
In his final season with the Bulldogs, Woods recorded a league-best five interceptions on the season while totaling 89 tackles throughout the year, which ranked second on the team. He recorded 6.5 tackles for loss and three sacks on the year, while Woods’ five interceptions on the year is tied for 13th nationally.
In addition to Henderson’s being voted first team All-Louisiana as a return specialist, Jonathan Barnes also earned a spot as the Bulldogs’ placekicker this season. The junior kicker ended the season 22-of-27 on field goals, including hitting the game-winning 32-yard field goal in LA Tech’s 48-45 over No. 25 Navy in the 2016 Lockheed Martin Armed Forces Bowl.
LA Tech placed two offensive linemen on the second team with both senior Joseph Brunson and sophomore O’Shea Dugas earning spots on the all-state team, while Kam McKnight was also voted to the second team as a tight end.
Louisiana Tech ended the season as the Conference USA West Division champions after going 9-5 overall with a 6-2 mark in league play. It marked the third consecutive season the Bulldogs have recorded nine wins and ended the campaign with a bowl victory.
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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