McNeese's Stroud, Agada earn top honors from Southland

By By Alex Hickey / American Press

Persistence pays off.

Quarterback Cody Stroud and offensive lineman Arinze Agada have both started 34 straight games for McNeese State, and both

turned that consistency into greatness in the eyes of Southland Conference coaches.

Stroud was named the conference’s Offensive Player of the Year on Tuesday, and Agada earned honors as the league’s Offensive

Lineman of the Year to lead a cast of Cowboys named to the all-Southland team.

Stroud is the first McNeese player to be named conference OPY since running back Toddrick Pendland in 2008.

It’s been an unlikely journey for the senior from Montgomery, who overcame the growing pains of his freshman and sophomore

seasons to reach the conference’s pinnacle.

“In 2011 I turned the ball over more

than I would have liked, especially fumbles-wise,” Stroud said in

October. “The past

two years I’ve put more of an emphasis on not turning the ball

over. I can’t say I’m not scared to take chances, but if I

don’t like the look of something I’ll check it down and go to the

next play. I pride myself in not turning the ball over and

putting my team in a bad position.”

He’s mostly made well on that

resolution, at one point setting a school record with 142 consecutive

passes without an interception

this season.

Previous Cowboys named to the honor are Pendland, Vick King (2002-03), Buford Jordan (1981) and Stephen Starring (1980).

The conference only began naming a top offensive lineman last year, making Agada the first Cowboy to earn the honor. He was

the lone McNeese first-team all-conference selection last season and the only two-time honoree on the roster.

Stroud tied Kerry Joseph’s single-season school record with 27 touchdown passes. He completed 193 of 330 passes (58.4 percent)

for 2,680 yards and threw five interceptions. He is 14th in the FCS with a 150.7 passer rating.

Joining Agada on the all-conference

first team are senior left tackle Antoine Everett, senior running back

Marcus Wiltz, junior

tight end Nic Jacobs, senior wide receiver Diontae Spencer, junior

defensive end Everett Ellefsen and senior cornerback Guy

Morgan.

Three different Cowboys were named to the second team: senior kicker Ryan Rome, junior defensive back Aaron Sam and sophomore

linebacker Bo Brown. Spencer also landed on the second team as a kick returner.

Stroud is an honorable mention at

quarterback despite being the offensive player of the year. Offensive

linemen Quentin Marsh

and Nick Gorman, defensive lineman Kevin Dorn, safety Terence

Cahee and punter Jean Breaux were the other honorable mentions.

The 10-2 Cowboys are making their first playoff appearance since 2009. McNeese will host either Jacksonville State or Samford

on Dec. 7.

Southeastern Louisiana quarterback Bryan Bennett was named the conference player of the year, while Lions linebacker Cqulin

Hubert is the defensive player of the year.

Unsurprisingly, SLU’s Ron Roberts is the league’s coach of the year after leading the Lions to their first conference title

since 1961.

Lamar running back Kade Harrington is the Southland freshman of the year, and Northwestern State quarterback Zach Adkins was

named newcomer of the year.

• NOTE: Tickets are now on sale to the public for the Dec. 7 playoff game. Prices are $20 for general admission, $25 for reserved

seating and $41 for premium seating.