Blunt named Buchanan finalist
Former McNeese linebacker B.J. Blunt did not end his collegiate career the way he wanted to. A knee injury relegated him to spectator as Lamar came back in the final minutes to defeat the Cowboys on Nov. 17.
But his stellar efforts for the rest of the season did not go unnoticed as Blunt was named a finalist for the Buck Buchanan Award, annually awarded to the top defensive player in the Football Championship Subdivision.
It was also announced that Blunt had accepted an invitation to play in the East-West Shrine Game which will take place on Jan. 19, 2019 at Tropicana Park in St. Petersburg, Florida.
“Blessed Beyond Measurement,” Blunt tweeted from his Twitter account on Monday after the news was announced.
Blunt was a force for a McNeese defense that was ranked as one of the better units in the Southland Conference. For the 2018 season, he ranked third in the FCS with 20 tackles for loss, fifth in the FCS with 11 sacks, and racked up 102 tackles. That was all despite only playing 10 games. In addition to winning SLC Defensive Player of the Week twice, Blunt also won STATS and College Sports Madness National Defensive Player of the Week once. That was due to his nine-tackle, three-sack, and forced fumble performance in McNeese’s 17-10 win over Nicholls on Sept. 15.
“Last year, he did a lot of good things, but he wasn’t the guy he is this year,” McNeese head coach Lance Guidry said. “He had a spring to get linebacker under his belt. In the spring he got all the linebacker reps, fall camp, and the he has a kind of year like this. Guy’s had an incredible year, he’ll go down as one of the best linebackers in McNeese history.”
The accolades are expected to keep rolling in for Blunt. The SLC announces its all-conference teams and season awards on Tuesday and he is one of the favorites to get SLC Defensive Player of the Year. Additionally, there is still the chance that Blunt gets invited to the Senior Bowl; a scout from the game watched him play against Southeastern Louisiana.
There are 25 finalists for the Buck Buchanan Award, and it will be voted on by a national panel of over 150 sports information directors, broadcasters, writers, and others. The voting is soloey based on the regular season.
GUIDRY WRAPS UP SEASON
Sitting his office, Cowboy head coach Lance Guidry answered questions for about 20 minutes on Monday afternoon at his end-of-season press conference.
He touched on a wide range of topics. One of the biggest is about what will happen with him at McNeese now that his contract has run out. Guidry said that he hasn’t put much thought into it and wil speak with administration after the Thanksgiving break.
“We’ll talk through some things,” Guidry said of meeting with athletic director Bruce Hemphill and school president Dr. Daryl Burckel. “Contractual, whatever. It’s way too early, but I know it’s coming up. I signed a three-year contract. But I’ll talk to them later about that.”
Guidry also acknowledged that the offense has struggled for two seasons in a row, with the difference this season being that the defense was not able to stay as healthy as it was in the 2017 season when they finished 9-2. He was also asked about which season felt more disappointing to miss out of the playoffs in. He said last year, because this year he doesn’t feel the team made its best case to the committee by losing so many games so late in the season. And while he acknowledged that he did want to make the playoffs, he doesn’t feel like the team would have represented themselves and the SLC as well as they could have if they were more healthy.
On a recruiting front, Guidry said that there are over 10 players committed to McNeese and he plans on having most of them sign during the early signing period in December. Any players that don’t sign in December are still looking for bigger scholarship offers in Guidry’s opinion. He’s also looking on the transfer market and says that there are some potential junior college and FBS transfers, particularly the offensive line.
McNeese State Cowboys linebacker BJ Blunt (8) goes in for the sack on Nicholls State Colonels quarterback Chase Fourcade (9) during their Southland Conference game at Cowboy Stadium in Lake Charles, La., Saturday, Sept. 15, 2018. (Rick Hickman/Lake Charles American Press)
McNeese State Cowboys linebacker BJ Blunt (8) reaches for a FG attempt that misses during their Southland Conference game at McNeese State University in Lake Charles, La., Saturday, Oct. 27, 2018. (Rick Hickman/Lake Charles American Press)