Burkhalter is preseason all-conference

Published 12:11 pm Friday, July 12, 2019

A former Franklinton player was recently selected as a preseason all-conference player.
Nicholls State University redshirt junior P.J. Burkhalter was named a first-team preseason all-Southland Conference offensive lineman.
“It’s an honor to get noticed by the Southland Conference,” Burkhalter said. “I’m excited.”
Last year, the 2015 Franklinton High School graduate was an all-Southland Conference honorable mention player.
In the 2018 season, Nicholls led the Southland Conference in several offensive categories, including 3,208 rushing yards, 5.3 yards per carry, 32 touchdowns and 246.8 yards per game.
“Last year, offensive-line play was good. Even the running backs were good. They would meet with us and talk about protection. They knew what we were doing up front, so it made us play faster. It was really a group effort,” Burkhalter said.
Burkhalter is the only returning starter on the offensive line.
“It’s going to be a good year, but a lot of people are going to be missing from the O-line (because of graduation), but we’ve got a good group coming in,” Burkhalter said. “They’re young and they’re hungry. I feel like we have a good O-line. We’re going to try to lead the league in rushing again.”
Burkhalter was one of eight Colonels to make the top team.
The rest are quarterback Chase Fourcade, wide receiver Dai’Jean Dixon, punter Winston Jones, defensive lineman Sully Laiche, linebackers Evan Veron and Allen Pittman and defensive back Darren Evans.
Nicholls’ second-team players are running back Dontrell Taylor, offensive lineman Jair Joseph and defensive back Khristian Mims.
Nicholls enters this season after a 9-4 year in 2018. The Colonels went 7-2 in conference and captured the league title.
Nicholls reached the second round of the playoffs, but lost to Eastern Washington, 42-21.
Nicholls begins the 2019 season with a quartet of road games against Kansas State on Aug. 31, Prairie View A&M on Sept. 14, Stephen F. Austin on Sept. 21, and Texas State on Sept. 28.
The Colonels’ opening home game is Oct. 5 against Central Arkansas, with kickoff set for 3 p.m.