Kade Harrington Named Southland Freshman of the Year Ten Cardinals land All-SLC recognition, including three first-team honorees
FRISCO, Texas – Lamar running back Kade Harrington highlights a long list of Cardinals who have been named to the 2013 All-Southland Conference teams announced league officials Tuesday afternoon. Harrington has been named Southland Freshman of the Year, as voted on by the league coaches and media relations directors. In addition to Harrington, nine other Cardinals received postseason accolades, including three first-team selections. Lamar's three first teamers include defensive lineman Jesse Dickson, defensive back Tyrus McGlothen and punter Kollin Kahler, while Reggie Begelton (WR), Kyle Gillam (C) and Kevin Johnson (PR) garnered second-team honors.
" I'm proud of everyone of these young men who have been named to the All-Southland Conference teams," said head coach Ray Woodard. "They each had great seasons, and it is a well-deserved honor. The great thing about it is not all of our selections were seniors, so we will have several of these guys back in the years to come."
The 10 players selected to the conference's postseason squad set a new record for Lamar since the resurrection of the program. It also marks the second-straight year a Cardinal has received one of the league's superlative honors (Kevin Johnson – 2012 SLC Newcomer of the Year).
In addition to first and second-team selections, four players received honorable mention recognition. The player breakdown includes four players on offense, four defensive players and two special team selections.
Harrington, a 5-9, 185-standout from Kingwood, worked his way into the starting lineup in the third game of the season, and finished the year with seven starts. He made his mark in the conference by finishing the year sixth in the league in rushing, averaging better than 73 yards per game. The league's top freshman running back, Harrington was also among the league leaders with eight rushing touchdowns. Harrington set a new freshman single-season rushing record at Lamar in 2013, and his 880 rushing yards were the most by a Cardinal since 1972.
Harrington was more than just a threat running the football. He also finished among the league's top 10 with 48 receptions for 376 yards and four touchdowns. Harrington led the team with 1,256 all-purpose yards during his rookie campaign.
"Kade exceeded everyone's expectations," said Woodard. "He has a very bright future ahead of him at Lamar. I'm really looking forward to seeing what he can do over the course of the next three seasons."
A member of the original signing class after Lamar announced the return of football, Dickson put together one of the best seasons, from his defensive line position, of anyone in the nation. He finished the year tied for ninth in the conference with 81 total tackles. He was the only defensive lineman to rank among the league's top 30 in tackles. He also finished tied for tops in the league in tackles for losses and was fifth in sacks.
McGlothen was a huge reason for Lamar being able to repeat as the Southland's top passing defense. Tied for the team lead in tackles, McGlothen picked off two passes on the season, both of which he returned for scores. As a team, the Cardinals surrendered less than 198 passing yards per game.
The team's lone first-team preseason all-conference selection, Kahler lived up to the billing on the field. The school's career punting average leader, Kahler finished second in the conference, averaging better than 41 yards per punt. He recorded 12 punts of at least 50 yards or more, including a long of 64. He also buried 19 punts inside the opponent's 20 yard line.
In a conference known for big-play receivers, Begelton became the league's elite wide out in only his second season in Beaumont. Begelton led the Southland with 82 receptions, and was fourth in the conference averaging better than 71 receiving yards per game. Begelton had three 100-yard receiving games on the season, including a career night against Stephen F. Austin that saw him catch a school-record 18 passes for 167 yards. He also became the school's single-season receptions leader in that contest.
Playing in the shadows of big-play threats this past season, the heroics of Gillam at times went unnoticed, but not to the LU coaching staff. Gillam started every game of his collegiate career, missing only a handful of snaps during his four seasons. In that time, Gillam became the anchor of one of the league's strongest lines protecting for an all-conference running back and quarterback.
On the heels of being named 2012 Southland Newcomer of the Year, Johnson returns to the conference's postseason squad as a punt returner. Johnson made an impact with Lamar in all phases of the game playing receiver, safety and returning punts and kicks. He led the Southland averaging 18 yards per punt return, and was tied for the top spot in the country returning two punts for scores.
In addition to Harrington, junior quarterback Caleb Berry, senior linebacker James Washington and senior defensive back Chad Allen garnered honorable mention honors.