Nicholls State, SLU players voted to All-SLC preseason team

FRISCO, Texas — Paced by a pair of first-team performers, Southeastern Louisiana earned five selections on the 2013 Preseason All-Southland Conference football team, the league office announced Wednesday.

Named to the first team was offensive lineman Gasten Gabriel and kick returner Xavier Roberson. Second-team selections were linebacker Kaleb Muse and defensive back Todd Washington.

Nicholls State had three players named to the All-SLC team. Tight end Nick Scelfo was on the first team, while running back Marcus Washington and kicker Andrew Dolan received second-team recognition.

Scelfo, a native of Baton Rouge, was an automatic selection after garnering second-team All-Southland last season. A two-time all-conference honoree, Scelfo ranked second among tight ends in the Southland in receptions (22), receiving yards (300) and touchdowns (two).

Gabriel, a 6-foot-5, 310-pound senior, earned second-team All-SLC honors in 2012 after earning honorable mention notice in 2011. The former West Feliciana High standout started all 11 games for the Lions last season and helped anchor an offensive line that allowed the third-fewest sacks (18) among SLC schools.

Roberson led the Conference in kick returns as a true freshman averaging 33.3 yards per attempt with a pair of touchdowns.

Muse, a 6-foot junior from Ponchatoula, led Southeastern overall and ranked 10th in the conference in tackles (80).

Washington, who was named a preseason all-american selection on Tuesday, earned honorable mention notice after recording 27 tackles, an interception and a team-high nine pass breakups last season.

Returning student-athletes who earned all-conference honors at the conclusion of the 2012 season were automatically named to the preseason teams.

Coaches from the eight Southland schools voted for the remaining 36 positions, which included eight on the first-team offense, 12 on the first-team defense, seven positions on the second-team offense and nine on the second-team defense. Coaches could not vote for their own players.

The conference’s two preseason polls — coaches and sports information directors — will be announced on July 24 during Southland Conference Media Day at L’auberge du Lac Resort in Lake Charles.

McNeese State first-team selections on defense are defensive backs Terence Cahee and Guy Morgan and junior linebacker Deonte Thompson.

Named to the second team offense are running back Marcus Wiltz and tight end Nic Jacobs. On defense, defensive linemen Everett Ellefsen and Chris Loveless were named to the second team.