July 21, 2011
BEAUMONT - Lamar University wide receiver Marcus Jackson and linebacker Asim Hicks were first-team selections on Phil Steele's 2011 Preseason All-Southland Conference Team, while wide receiver J. J. Hayes and linebacker Jonathan Ekpe garnered second-team honors.
A 6-foot-1, 195-pound senior from Tyler by way of Navarro College, Jackson scored the first points in 21 years for Lamar last year when he snared a 26-yard pass from quarterback Andre Bevil in the Cardinals' season opener at McNesse State on Sept. 4. He had six catches for 123 yards in that game, and he went on to finish the season with 41 receptions for 727 yards, the seventh-best single-season total in school history.
Hicks, a 6-foot, 210-pound senior from Newark, N.J. by way of Dean College, led Lamar in tackles last season with 102, including 77 of the solo variety. He had eight tackles, including one sack, in the Cardinals' season opener at McNeese State.
Hayes, a 6-3, 205-pound senior from Diboll by way of Navarro College, led the team in receptions with 52 last season despite missing two games with an injury. His 745 receiving yards rank as the fifth-best single-season total in school history, and his 52 catches rank sixth.
Ekpe, a 5-11, 205-pound senior from Cape Vincent, N.Y. and also by way of Dean College, finished second on the team in tackles with 75, and he had 8.5 behind-the-line traps. He had a season-high 10 tackles, including two for losses, against Sam Houston State on Oct. 2.
The Phil Steele College Football Preview is the first college magazine devoted solely to Football Championship Subdivision coverage.