BATON ROUGE - Three athletes and a coach who won national awards and members of the state's three bowl teams highlight the 2011 All-Louisiana College Football Team announced by the Louisiana Sports Writers Association.
Louisiana-Lafayette quarterback Blaine Gauthier captured the 2011 state Offensive Player of the Year award, while Bednarik Award winner and Heisman Trophy Finalist Tyrann Mathieu of LSU was named the Defensive Player of the Year. Tiger punter Brad Wing was named the Freshman of the Year, while Quinton Patton of Louisiana Tech was the Newcomer of the Year for first-year Louisiana non-freshman players.
Award winning Les Miles of the top-ranked, undefeated LSU Tigers was the choice of the 28 voters for state Coach of the Year.
The ballot for voting was put together by the state sports information directors from football schools based on play through the end of the regular season (Dec. 3) and the ballot was submitted to a panel of LSWA members. Under new rules this year, sports information directors could not vote for their own players, but also had to cast a vote if they nominated players. Media members could vote for any players they wished.
Gauthier, who helped lead the Cajuns to their first bowl in over 40 years and a rallying victory in the R&L Carriers New Orleans Bowl, threw for 2,4,88 yards and 20 touchdowns despite playing in only nine full games for Louisiana-Lafayette. The junior from Paulina, La., led the Sun Belt Conference in touchdown passes and was the most efficient passer in the league with a rating of 150.33, while completing only 63.2 percent of his passes.
Mathieu of LSU had a stellar season that earned him SEC Defensive Player of the Year and he finished fifth in the Heisman Trophy voting. The Bednarik Award is for the nation's top defensive player and he showed it by leading the nation in fumbles recovered and the sophomore from New Orleans was also second in the nation in forced fumbles. He also made the state first team as return specialist topped by punt returns for touchdowns against Arkansas and in the SEC Championship game against Georgia.
Wing earned his freshman honors as the LSU punter and the native of Melbourne, Australia, averaged 44. 1 yards a kick with a long of 73 in the Alabama game. He had a total of 23 punts downed inside the 20-yard line and 18 punts of 50 yards of more. Wing allowed just six total punt return yards all season.
A first-team receiver section as well, Patton joined the Tech team and caught 74 passes for 1,135 yards and 10 touchdowns. The first-team All-Western Athletic Conference selection had five 100-plus receiving yard games. Patton had five receptions for 115 yards in the fourth quarter alone as Tech rallied from 17 down in the final 13 minutes to win 24-20 over Nevada.
Miles won coaching honors in a year when LSU, Louisiana-Lafayette and Louisiana Tech would all go to bowl games. LSU was a perfect 13-0 in 2011 and the No.1 team in the nation in 11 straight polls. Miles led the Tigers to wins over a school-record eight games vs. Top 25 teams and earned the nod as the Liberty Mutual, Home Depot and AP Coach of the Year. LSU will meet Alabama in the BCS National Championship Game at the Mercedes-Benz Superdome on Jan. 9.
Also winning a national award in the state this year is first team punter Ryan Allen of Louisiana Tech, who was named the Ray Guy Award winner. Allen, who averaged 46.3 yards per punt, was first in the nation in punts inside the 20 (37) and punts inside the 10 (20). The junior's punting average was third in the country.
First-team defensive back from LSU, Morris Claiborne of Shreveport, captured the Thorpe Award as the nation's top defensive back. The junior picked off six passes and led the nation in interception return yardage with 173.
Joining Gautier and Patton on the first-team offense were linemen: Sanford Banks of Grambling, Will Blackwell and Alex Hurst of LSU, and, Kris Cavitt and Stephen Warner of Louisiana Tech. The tight end was LaDarius Green of Louisiana-Lafayette with Reuben Randle of LSU joining Patton at wide receiver. Orleans Darkwa of Tulane and Spencer Ware of LSU got the voting nod at running back.
Joining Mathieu on the first-team defense were: Defensive Line - Matt Broha of Louisiana Tech, Ken Dorsey of ULM and Barkevious Mingo and Sam Montgomery of LSU; Linebacker - Adrien Cole of Louisiana Tech, Cliff Exama of Grambling and, Trent Mackey of Tulane; Backs - Mathieu, Claiborne and Eric Reid of LSU, and Malcolm Bronson of McNeese.
On the special teams along with punter Allen and return specialist Mathieu was placekicker Drew Alleman of LSU.
LSWA ALL-LOUISIANA COLLEGE FOOTBALL
FIRST TEAM OFFENSE
OL/Sanford Banks, Grambling/Jr./Columbus, Ga./First Team All-SWAC
OL/Will Blackwell, LSU/Sr./West Monroe, La./1st Team All-SEC; 2nd Team A-A
OL/Kris Cavitt, Louisiana Tech/Sr./Mansfield, Texas/First Team All-WAC
OL/Alex Hurst, LSU/Jr./Barlett, Tenn./First Team All-SEC
OL/Stephen Warner, Louisiana Tech/Jr./Ruston, La./First Team All-WAC
TE/LaDarius Green, Louisiana-Lafayette/Sr./Pensacola, Fla./First Team All-SBC, 7 TDs
WR/Quinton Patton, Louisiana Tech/Jr./LaVargne, Tenn./First Team All-WAC, 1,135 yds, 10 TDs
WR/Reuben Randle, LSU/Jr./Bastrop, La./First Team All-SEC, 904 yds, 8 TDs
RB/Orleans Darkwa, Tulane/So./Nashville, Tenn./Second Team All-C-USA, 924 yards, 13 TDs
RB/Spencer Ware, LSU/So./Cincinnati, Ohio/Second Team All-SEC, 700 yards, 8 TDs
QB/Blaine Gauthier, Louisiana-Lafayette/So./Mabank, Texas/Second Team All-SBC; 2,488 yds, 20 TDs
FIRST TEAM DEFENSE
DL/Matt Broha, Louisiana Tech/Sr./Baton Rouge/First Team All-WAC, 42 TT, 7.5 Sacks
DL/Ken Dorsey, ULM/Sr./New Orleans, La./First Team All-SBC, 49 TT, 13.5 TFL, 4.5 Sacks
DL/Barkevious Mingo, LSU/So./West Monroe, La./Second Team All-SEC, 41 TT, 8.0 Sacks
DL/Sam Montgomery, LSU/So./Greenwood, S.C./First Team All-SEC, First Team A-A, 9.0 Sacks
LB/Adrien Cole, Louisiana Tech/Sr./Mobile, Ala./WAC Defensive POY, 121 TT, 2 sacks, 1 Int (TD)
LB/Cliff Exama, Grambling State/Grad./N. Miami Beach, Fla./SWAC Defensive POY, 129 TT, 17 TFL
LB/Trent Mackey, Tulane/Jr./Port Sulphur, La./First Team All-C-USA, 145 TT, 4.5 sacks, 1 Int (TD)
DB/Malcolm Bronson, McNeese/Jr./Jasper, Texas/First Team All-SLC, 90 TT, 3 Int (1 TD)
DB/Morris Claiborne, LSU/Jr./Shreveport, La./Thorpe Award, First Team All-SEC, A-A, 6 Ints
DB/Tyrann Mathieu, LSU/So./New Orleans, La./Bednarik Award, Heisman Finalist, SEC Def. POY
DB/Eric Reid, LSU/So./Geismar, La./Second Team All-SEC, 65 TT, 2 Int.
FIRST TEAM SPECIAL TEAMS
PK/Drew Alleman, LSU/Jr./Lafayette, La./Second Team All-SEC, 16-18 FGs, 62-of-63 PATs
P/Ryan Allen, Louisiana Tech/Jr./Salem, Ore./Ray Guy Award, First Team All-WAC, 46.3 avg.
RS/Tyrann Mathieu, LSU/So./New Orleans, La./Heisman Finalist, 26 punt ret, 420 yds, 2 TD
OFFENSIVE PLAYER OF THE YEAR - Blaine Gauthier, Louisiana-Lafayette
Voting - Gauthier 15, Reuben Randle 7, Quinton Patton 4, Darnell Williams 2
DEFENSIVE PLAYER OF THE YEAR - Tyrann Mathieu, LSU
Voting - Mathieu 24, Adrien Cole 2, Cliff Exama 1, Trent Mackey 1
FRESHMAN OF THE YEAR - Brad Wing, LSU
Voting - Wing 18, Alonzo Harris 5, Robert Kelley 3, Jordan Wells 2
NEWCOMER OF THE YEAR - Quinton Patton, Louisiana Tech
Voting - only nominee
COACH OF THE YEAR - Les Miles, LSU
Voting - Miles 16.5, Mark Hudspeth 9.5, Sonny Dykes 1, no vote 1
SECOND TEAM OFFENSE
OL - Leonardo Bates, Louisiana Lafayette (Jr., New Orleans, La.); Chris Faulk, LSU (So., Slidell, La.); Ben Feibel, Louisiana College (Sr., Shreveport, La.); Josh Penton, Southeastern La. (Sr., Spendora, Texas); Alec Savoie, McNeese (Jr. Lafayette, La.).
TE - Justin Aldredge, Northwestern State (Sr., Natchitoches, La.)
WR - Javone Lawson, Louisiana-Lafayette (Jr., New Orleans, La.); Mario Louis, Grambling (Sr., New Orleans, La.)
RB - Michael Ford, LSU (So. Leesville, La.); Dawrence Roberts, Grambling (So., Clearwater, Fla.)
QB - Kolton Browning, ULM
SECOND TEAM DEFENSE
DL - Michael Brockers, LSU (So., Houston, Texas); Desmund Lighten, McNeese (Sr., Monroe, La.); Dezman Moses, Tulane (Sr., Willingboro, N.J.); Bernard Smith, Louisiana-Lafayette (Sr., Atlanta, Ga.).
LB - Ryan Baker, LSU (Sr., Grand Ridge, Fla.); Lance Kelley, Louisiana-Lafayette (Sr., Lafayette, La.); Derek Rose, Northwestern State (Jr., New Orleans, La.)
DB - Dwight "Bill" Bentley, Louisiana-Lafayette (Sr., Pahokee, Fla.); Terry Carter, Louisiana Tech (Sr. West Monroe, La.); Bobby Felder, Nicholls State (Sr. McComb, Miss.); Darius Prelow, ULM (Sr., Shreveport, La.)
SECOND TEAM SPECIAL TEAMS
K - Brett Baer, Louisiana-Lafayette (Jr., Brandon, Miss.)
P - Brad Wing, LSU (Fr., Melbourne, Australia)
RS - Chika Madu, Nicholls (Sr., Norman, Okla.)
WR - Darnell Williams, Louisiana College (Sr., Gulfport, Miss.); LB - Jamie Payton, Southern (Sr., Baton Rouge, La.)