Locals playing for top 25 FCS teams

Published 12:51 pm Friday, August 28, 2020

Getting your Trinity Audio player ready...

A trio of former football high school football players from Washington Parish are part of Top 25 teams in the Stats Perform FCS Preseason Poll.

Nicholls State University and Southeastern Louisiana University are ranked in the Top 25. Nicholls State is ranked 14th, while the Lions are 21st.

Nicholls State and Southeastern represented two of the top three teams in the Southland Conference last season. Nicholls State won their second-consecutive conference title after going 7-2 in conference with a 9-5 overall record. The Colonels reached the second round of the playoffs, but lost to top-seeded and eventual FCS champion North Dakota State University, 37-13.

Nicholls State University senior offensive lineman P.J. Burkhalter is a 2015 Franklinton High School graduate.

Southeastern went 6-3 in league play with a 7-5 overall mark. Southeastern also reached the second round of postseason,  but lost to Montana, 73-28.

Southeastern has two players from Washington Parish in redshirt senior fullback Damien Dawson and redshirt sophomore Brendon Kelley. Dawson is a 2016 Franklinton High School graduate and Kelley graduated from Pine in 2018.

North Dakota State University is the No. 1 team in that poll.

Nicholls State University and Southeastern Louisiana University were scheduled to open the season in September, but the Southland Conference postponed fall semester sports with the intent to explore conference competition in the spring semester.