LSU’s Minter, La. Tech’s Cameron take LSWA’s top honors

Advocate staff photo by TRAVIS SPRADLING -- LSU linebacker Kevin Minter (46), during warmups before the first half of the LSU-Mississippi State SEC football game at Tiger Stadium, Saturday, Nov. 8, 2012.  MAGS OUT / INTERNET OUT/ONLINE OUT/NO SALES/TV OUT/FOREIGN OUT/LOUISIANA BUSINESS INC. OUT/GREATER BATON ROUGE BUSINESS REPORT OUT/225 OUT/10/12 OUT/IN REGISTER OUT/LBI CUSTOM PUBLICATIONS OUT/MANDATORY CREDIT: THE ADVOCATE/ TRAVIS SPRADLING.
Advocate staff photo by TRAVIS SPRADLING -- LSU linebacker Kevin Minter (46), during warmups before the first half of the LSU-Mississippi State SEC football game at Tiger Stadium, Saturday, Nov. 8, 2012. MAGS OUT / INTERNET OUT/ONLINE OUT/NO SALES/TV OUT/FOREIGN OUT/LOUISIANA BUSINESS INC. OUT/GREATER BATON ROUGE BUSINESS REPORT OUT/225 OUT/10/12 OUT/IN REGISTER OUT/LBI CUSTOM PUBLICATIONS OUT/MANDATORY CREDIT: THE ADVOCATE/ TRAVIS SPRADLING.

LSU linebacker, La. Tech QB are LSWA’s Players of the Year

In a Louisiana college football season full of highlights, Louisiana Sports Writers Association members had little trouble picking their top honorees for the 2012 All-Louisiana College Football Team, announced Monday.

Louisiana Tech quarterback Colby Cameron, who led the Bulldogs to nine wins, was named Offensive Player of the Year, and one of the anchors of the LSU defense, linebacker Kevin Minter, was selected Defensive Player of the Year.

Tech running back Kenneth Dixon was Freshman of the Year, and Louisiana-Lafayette quarterback Terrance Broadway’s was Newcomer of the Year. Louisiana-Monroe’s Todd Berry, who will guide his team to its first bowl appearance Friday at the Independence Bowl in Shreveport, was named Coach of the Year.

The voting process began after nominations were submitted by sports information/media relations directors from the state’s football-playing schools. Members of the Player of the Week voting committee as well as three media voters were allowed for each team. The nominating SIDs were not allowed to vote for their school’s players, and each SID had to submit a ballot to have his nominees’ votes be counted. All statistics are through the end of the regular season.

Cameron, a senior from Newbury Park, Calif., was named WAC Player of the Year after he set the NCAA record for consecutive pass attempts without an interception (428).

He led an offense that ranked No. 1 nationally in scoring and No. 2 in total offense. He completed 359-of-522 passes for 4,147 yards and 31 touchdowns. He completed 68.8 percent of his passes for an efficiency rating of 153.2. The Davey O’Brien Award semifinalist was No. 4 in the nation in total offense.

Minter, from Suwanee, Ga., earned All-America honors as he led the Tigers and tied for third in the SEC with 111 tackles. A finalist for the Butkus Award, given to the nation’s top linebacker, Minter earned national Player of the Week honors for his efforts against Florida and Texas A&M.

In the Florida game, he set an LSU record with 17 solo tackles, and he helped hold Texas A&M’s Johnny Manziel to 27 rushing yards, no touchdowns and three interceptions in LSU’s 24-19 win.

When Cameron wasn’t throwing the ball, it was going to Dixon, a native of Strong, Ark. The true freshman led the nation in scoring with 28 touchdowns (27 rushing) to break Marshall Faulk’s NCAA freshman records for touchdowns, rushing touchdowns and points. Dixon had 200 carries for 1,194 yards, an average of 99.5 per game. Dixon also set the WAC record for rushing touchdowns in a season.

Broadway, who transferred from Houston, made the most of the opportunity by leading the Cajuns to their second straight New Orleans Bowl victory. He took over as starter early in the year and completed 185-of-283 passes for 2,526 yards and 16 touchdowns.

He was third in the Sun Belt in passing efficiency (153.3) while setting a school record in completion percentage (65.1). He finished with 3,187 yards of total offense.

Berry took his team to a bowl in his third season at the helm of the Warhawks, posting an 8-4 record and 6-2 mark in the Sun Belt. ULM made an early splash with an overtime win against then-No. 8 Arkansas, and the Sun Belt Coach of the Year’s team started 4-0 in conference play to reach bowl eligibility in the final weekend of October. The eight wins is the highest total for ULM during the FBS era (1994-present).

Joining Cameron and Dixon on the first team were offensive linemen Arinze Agada of McNeese State, Josh Dworaczyk of LSU, Andre Huval of ULL and Tech’s Oscar Johnson and Stephen Warner; Nicholls State tight end Nick Scelfo; receivers Brent Leonard of ULM and Quinton Patton of Tech; and Louisiana College running back Ryan Montague.

With Minter on the first-team defense were linemen IK Enemkpali of Tech, LSU’s Barkevious Mingo and Sam Montgomery and ULL’s Emeka Onyenekwu; linebackers Lamin Barrow of LSU and Derek Rose of Northwestern State; and defensive backs Robert Alford of Southeastern Louisiana, LSU’s Craig Loston and Eric Reid and ULL’s Jemarlous Moten.

Two national award winners comprise the specialists’ first team: Lou Groza winner Cairo Santos of Tulane was the kicker, and two-time Ray Guy winner Ryan Allen of Louisiana Tech was the punter.

Louisiana Tech’s D.J. Banks was the return specialist.