There is no shortage of great players who have gone through the McNeese State football program. The 2010s were no exception as the Cowboys did not have a losing season, winning a Southland Conference championship and two playoff berths.
Here is the American Press' All-Decade team for the 2010s.
While McNeese has long been known for its defense, the Cowboys had arguably the best offense in the their history during the 2013 season. That offense was led by Cody Stroud, who is the all-decade quarterback. Stroud finished his career first in program history in completions (627) and third in passing yards (7,632), touchdown passes (59), and total offense (7,388). His 2013 season (2,935 passing yards and a single-season program record 29 touchdowns) is arguably the best passing season in McNeese history, and it earned Stroud 2013 Southland Conference Offensive Player of the Year.
Alongside Stroud at running back is Marcus Wiltz, a player who was at McNeese at the same time as Stroud (2010-13). Wiltz ran for 2,566 yards in his four seasons, the most of any player in the decade and ninth in program history. In the famous 2013 season, Wiltz ran for 1,287 yards, fourth most in a single season for a Cowboy.
There were plenty of options, but three receivers made the cut for first team — Kent Shelby, Diontae Spencer and Cyron Sutton. Shelby is fourth all-time in program history in receptions (128), fifth in receiving yards (1,910) and sixth in touchdown receptions (14).
Spencer, well known for his ridiculous speed, is in the top 10 all-time for receptions (101) and touchdown receptions (11). His 835 receiving yards are sixth most in a single season in Cowboys history. He was also a dynamic return man on special teams.
While the first two were great in their own right, Sutton could leave McNeese as the greatest wide receiver, at least from a statistical standpoint. In the 2019 season, Sutton set a single-season team record with 67 receptions. His 950 yards and nine touchdown receptions were second most in a single season for McNeese. Sutton is within striking distance of breaking all three records with a good final season.
Lawayne Ross earned the spot by virtue of his 2017 season (42 receptions for 570 yards and two touchdowns). Those numbers earned Ross first-team all-SLC honors and he owns the single-season record for most receiving yards by a tight end.
Arinze Agada, Antoine Everett and Quentin Marsh each earned All-American honors once and all-conference honors twice in their careers, making them by far the most accomplished offensive linemen of the decade. It should also be no surprise that they all played on that great 2013 offense. Filling in the other two spots are Grant Burguillos and Alec Savoie, who each earned all-SLC honors twice.
There's local flavor along the line as Barbe High graduate Chris Livings earned an all-decade spot after finishing his career tied for the most sacks with 31. He also earned SLC Defensive Player of the Year in 2019 after recording 52 tackles (12 tackles for loss) with 9.5 sacks, five quarterback hurries and three forced fumbles.
Everett Ellefsen earned all-conference honors twice, including the 2013 season in which he had 44 tackles, five sacks and an interception. Those numbers were good enough to earn Ellefsen a spot on the all-SLC first team.
Kevin Dorn and Desmund Lighten are the final two defensive linemen on the first team. Lighten was a three-time first-team all-conference selection and Dorn earned it in 2014.
This position was reserved for two players who stood out among others for the decade — Bo Brown and B.J. Blunt. Brown was a three-time all-conference selection and finished his career with 204 tackles (23.5 tackles for loss) and 8.5 sacks. Blunt played two seasons, but he made a grand impression, particularly in his senior year in 2018, when he earned All-American honors from multiple outlets as well as being voted the SLC Defensive Player of the Year. That season, Blunt finished with 102 tackles (20 tackles for loss), 11 sacks, five quarterback hurries and two fumble recoveries.
One of the toughest position groups to choose from for the all-decade team because of all the quality players, the five who were picked earned their selections.
Darrell Jenkins and Malcolm Bronson each rank in the top 20 of McNeese history in career tackles with 263 and 246, respectively. Bronson (233) and Guy Morgan (172) each rank in McNeese's top 10 in career pass interception yards. Wallace Scott's 2015 season was one for the ages, as he was named SLC Defensive Player of the Year, as well as an American Football Coaches Association and STATS Football Championship Subdivision All-American. Morgan and Jermaine Antoine each led McNeese in interceptions for multiple seasons.
At kicker, Gunnar Raborn was a clear choice. In 2017 he earned multiple All-American honors after converting 12 of 13 field goal attempts with a long of 52 as well as missing one extra point all season.
Punter was one of the toughest positions to choose, but ultimately it was Jean Breaux who got the first-team nod. He was a four-year starter and averaged at least 40.7 yards per punt in three of those four seasons. In 2015, Breaux earned first-team all-conference honors.
Khalil Thomas is the kick returner, and Darius Carey is the punt returner. Thomas is fourth in career kickoff return yardage with 1,614, and he also returned two kicks for touchdowns. Carey, meanwhile, earned College Sports Madness All-American honors in 2011 as a punt returner (237 punt return yards and a touchdown)
QB — Daniel Sams (2014-15).
RB — Ryan Ross (2014-18), Andre Anderson (2010-11).
WR — Trevor Begue (2017-present), Ernest Celestie (2011-14), Darious Crawley (2016-17.
TE — Zach Hetrick (2013-16), Nic Jacobs (2013).
OL — Andy Dodd (2017), Ben Jones (2012-15), Taylor Johnson (2008-09, 2011-12), Miguel Gauthreaux (2008-12).
DL — Cody Roscoe (2017-19), Isaiah Golden (2015-16), Cameron Smith (2012-15).
LB — Ashari Goins (2014-17), Joe Narcisse (2008-12).
DB — Aaron Sam (2011-14), Terrence Cahee (2010-13), Brent Spikes (2012-15), Darion Dunn (2017-present), Colby Burton (2016-present).
K — Josh Lewis (2009-12).
P — Alex Kjellsten (2014, 2017-18).
KR — Diontae Spencer (2010-13).
PR — Cyron Sutton (2017-present).