Cards land five on preseason All-SLC Squad
Kade Harrington, Senior running back for the Lamar Cardinals, was recently named one of four Cardinals to the 2016 Preseason All-Southland Conference first team.
Four members of the Lamar University football team, including three first-team selections, have been named 2016 Preseason All-Southland Conference announced league officials Wednesday morning. Seniors Kade Harrington (running back) and Bret Treadway (offensive line), and sophomore Rodney Randle (return specialist) garnered first-team recognition, while senior Brendan Langley (defensive back) was named to the second team.
“We feel good about the returning nucleus of players we have this season,” said LU head coach Ray Woodard. “We look forward to seeing what they can do on the field, and expect them to have a tremendous season.”
Harrington enters his final season in a Cardinals’ uniform coming off one of the best campaigns in the history of Division I football. The consensus All-American was runner-up for the STATS FCS National Offensive Player of the Year award (FCS football’s version of the Heisman Trophy) after a season that saw him set a Southland Conference single-season record for yards rushing. Harrington finished the season with 2,092 yards and led the nation in rush yards per game, all-purpose yards per game and rushing touchdowns.
Harrington became the first player in program history to be named Southland Conference Player of the Year after a season that saw Harrington rewrite the record books. He placed one of his biggest stamps on the season in the next to last game of the year. With a carry for 31 yards in the fourth quarter against Incarnate Word, Harrington eclipsed the 2,000-yard mark for the season becoming just the seventh player in NCAA Division I history to rush for 2,000 yards in just 10 games.
A huge part for Harrington’s success in 2015 was the front five blocking for him. Treadway has been a leader on the LU offensive line for each of the past three seasons and joins Harrington as a first-team representative. Treadway anchored an offensive front that produced not only the nation’s leading rusher but lead the nation in pass protection as well. The Cardinals surrendered fewer than 0.5 sacks per game, and were one of only 10 schools to surrender fewer than a sack per game.
A 2015 first-team All-Southland Conference selection, Treadway has played in and started all 35 games during his three-year career. The 2015 season marked the second-straight year Treadway has been honored by the league. He was also an honorable mention all-conference selection in 2014.
“Coach (Chuck) Langston has done a great job with the offensive line since he’s been here, and Bret is just another example of that,” said Woodard. “We have a good combination of talent and depth on the offensive line and Langston does a great job getting those guys ready to play.”
A native of Beaumont, Randle had a huge impact during his rookie season. A two-way star, Randle proved himself to be one of the league’s top young talents in secondary, as well as a threat returning kicks. A 2015 second-team all-conference selection, Randle returned 26 kicks for 635 yards and a touchdown as a freshman. He ended the year ranked second in the Southland in yards per kick return (24.4 ypr), and was one of only three players in the league to return a kick for a score. Randle also finished the season ranked among the league’s top 10 in interceptions.
“We’re extremely excited to know we have Rodney for another three years,” said Woodward. “He did a lot of really good things last season but the best part about Rodney is his best football is still ahead of him. This young man is only going to get better.”
The Cardinals lone second-team selection, Langley was one of the more interesting storylines last year. He opened the year on the offensive side of the ball before moving to the secondary. Once he made the move, he began to assert himself as one of the league’ top defensive backs. That was put on display in the victory at Incarnate Word. Langley broke open a tied game when he picked off a pass at his own 14-yardline and returned it 86 yards for a touchdown earning SLC Defensive Player of the Week honors. He went on to finish the year with 21 tackles, including 16 unassisted stops and 11 pass breakups.
“Brendan moved to the defensive side of the ball late last season,” said Woodard. “He played really well during that time, and we can’t wait to see what he will do now that he has had a full spring working with the defense. He is a very knowledgeable player and we expect big things from him.”
Woodard, and selected LU players, will be in Lake Charles, La. later this month for the Southland Conference Media Day event. The Southland Conference preseason polls will be released at the media event.