Lake Charles, Louisiana: The 2023 Preseason All-Southland Conference football team was released today and the Pokes appear to be slighted by the voters (league head coaches) with just five selections and one on the first team.

McNeese State University
McNeese State University
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Sophomore kicker and freshman All-American Garrison Smith was the lone McNeese first-team representative while offensive linemen, sophomore Cole Leclair and junior Dylan Dauzart, were named to the second-team offense.

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On the defensive side, sophomore lineman Welland Williams and sophomore defensive back Javon Davis were picked for the second team.

Southeastern Louisiana led the way with 17 total selections, including at quarterback where it landed both the first and second-team spots. Nicholls, who won three games in 2022, followed with 11. UIW added eight selections followed by McNeese and HCU with five while Lamar and Texas A&M-Commerce each penned four.

McNeese State University
McNeese State University
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Smith, a first-team all-SLC kicker last year, earned Freshman All-America honors by Hero Sports after a stellar freshman campaign in 2022. The Norwalk, Ohio native connected on 10 of his 11 field goal attempts and was perfect on extra points, hitting all 25. His longest of 47 yards came against UIW and was the eighth-longest in school history. His 10 made field goals ranked second in the conference along with his 84 points scored. He also kicked off 44 times with 27 of those going for touchbacks, and punted seven times for a 40.4 average.

Leclair had a great freshman season with the Cowboys after transferring from Valdosta State. The Middleburg, Florida native is ranked as one of the top returning offensive linemen in the FCS in several publications. Dauzart, a junior from Alexandria, is another returning starter for an offensive line that added incredible size during the offseason.

McNeese State University
McNeese State University
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Williams, a sophomore from Reserve, recorded 17 tackles, two tackles for a loss, and a sack in his redshirt freshman year last season.

Davis, a sophomore from River Ridge, collected 27 tackles on the year with 1.5 sacks and six tackles for a loss. He added a forced fumble and two pass breakups in his true freshman year.

Nationally, his 90.9 success rate in field goals ranked fourth in the FCS while his 10 makes ranked as the 52nd most in the nation.

McNeese State University
McNeese State University
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Returning all-conference selections from the previous season are automatically named to the preseason all-conference teams and may advance to higher team slots if they are vacated by non-returning players. Open positions are nominated and voted upon by the league's head coaches.

The preseason poll will be revealed on Monday, July 24, to kick off the 2023 Southland Conference Football Media Day on ESPN+.

The Cowboys will report to fall camp on Sunday, July 30, and will hold their first practice on Wednesday, August 2.

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