Seven Cajuns named to All-Sun Belt teams

NEW ORLEANS — Seven Louisiana-Lafayette football players, including first-team honorees Brett Baer, Jermarlous Moten and Emeka Onyenekwu, have been named to the 2012 All-Sun Belt Conference Football teams.

The teams were voted on by the league’s head coaches and media and released Wednesday.

Baer earned first-team honors as both a kicker and punter, while Moten was picked in the secondary and Onyenekwu on the defensive line.

In addition, offensive linemen Leonardo Bates, Andre Huval and wide receiver Harry Peoples were named to the All-Sun Belt second team with quarterback Terrance Broadway and offensive linemen Jaron Odom being accorded honorable mention status.

“The awards today are indicative of the success that we have had this season,” head coach Mark Hudspeth said in a statement recently. “When you have a successful year on the field, it is appropriate that the players who were responsible for leading the team be recognized.

“I am especially happy for the five seniors who were named to the teams. Our 18 seniors have meant so much to this program because of the sacrifices that they have made to become the first seniors with back-to-back bowl appearances and eight-win seasons.

“I feel like all of the Cajuns are all-league. Guys like Javone Lawson, Justin Anderson, Cordian Hagans, Melvin White and Alonzo Harris and others — players who have meant so much to us this year — are just as deserving as those who have been recognized,” Hudspeth added.

Baer, a senior from Brandon, Miss., led the Sun Belt with 100 points this year. He was 17-for-20 in field goal attempts and 49-for-51 on extra points to post only the fourth 100-point season in school history.

Baer is one of the most accurate field goal kickers in NCAA history, converting 42 of his 47 career attempts (.894) for third in ULL history with 243 career points.

As a punter, Baer led the Sun Belt with a 42 yard average per punt. He punted 54 times for 2,266 yards with eight kicks of 50 yards or more. He had 22 punts downed inside the 20 with just two touchbacks.

Moten, a senior from Leland, Miss., was one of the leaders in the Cajuns secondary, finishing third with 59 tackles and second with three interceptions. He forced a pair of fumbles, returning one 56 yards for a touchdown against Troy. He has 134 career tackles with six interceptions.

Onyenekwu, a senior from New Orleans, closed his ULL career with his best season. A starter in eight games, he led the team in both quarterback sacks with 6½ and tackles for loss with 12½, ranking third and sixth in the Sun Belt, respectively.

His 37 tackles ranked second among the Cajuns’ defensive linemen.

Bates, a senior from New Orleans, is a repeat member on the All-Sun Belt second team. He has started 25 consecutive games at left tackle, helping the Cajuns rank 15th nationally by allowing just 12 quarterback sacks this season.

Huval, a junior from Scott, emerged as a leader on the offensive line this season. A starter in 25 consecutive games at center, he was named to the preseason watch list for the 2012 Rimington Trophy this year.

He was a first team Capital One Academic All-District selection this fall, with a 3.52 cumulative grade point average while majoring in business accounting.

Peoples, a senior from Winona, Miss., took over as the lead receiver, catching 61 passes for 774 yards and five touchdowns for fourth in the Sun Belt in receptions and seventh in yardage. He posted three games of 10 or more catches and three with 100 or more receiving yards.

Peoples ranks eighth in UL history with 118 catches, totaling 1,471 yards and seven touchdowns.

Broadway, a sophomore from Baton Rouge, took over as the starter midway through the season because of an injury to Blaine Gautier and led the Cajuns to an 8-4 record. He completed 185-of-283 passes for 2,531 yards and 16 touchdowns. He also rushed 104 times for 666 yards and eight touchdowns.

In the eight Sun Belt games, Broadway led the league in passing efficiency (164.8) and total offense (339.1), and was fourth in both passing yards at 264.9 per game and rushing at 74.2 per contest.

Odom a senior from Carver Ranches, Fla., is the third member of the offensive line to receive mention. A starter in every game at right tackle during the last two years, he played 1,577 consecutive offensive snaps during a 23-game period.

The seven Louisiana honorees close the 2012 season when the Ragin’ Cajuns face East Carolina Dec. 22 at 11 a.m. in the R+L Carriers New Orleans Bowl at the Mercedes-Benz Superdome.

Tickets for the game still are available by contacting the Cajundome ticket office at (337) 265-2170 during business hours. Fans also can download the ticket order form at the Bowl Central page on RaginCajuns.com and submit it via mail, email or in person to the Cajundome ticket office.

The priority deadline for tickets is today.

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