Napier, Nine Ragin’ Cajuns Earn LSWA Honors

Cajun Nation
FILE - Louisiana-Lafayette head coach Billy Napier directs his team from the sideline during the second half of an NCAA college football game against Iowa State in Ames, Iowa, in this Saturday, Sept. 12, 2020, file photo. Louisiana-Lafayette won 31-14. No. 25 Louisiana-Lafayette is on track for one of the best seasons in program history under coach Billy Napier. But it could come crashing down this week if the Ragin’ Cajuns stumble against South Alabama. (AP Photo/Charlie Neibergall, FIle)

FILE – Louisiana-Lafayette head coach Billy Napier directs his team from the sideline during the second half of an NCAA college football game against Iowa State in Ames, Iowa, in this Saturday, Sept. 12, 2020, file photo. Louisiana-Lafayette won 31-14. No. 25 Louisiana-Lafayette is on track for one of the best seasons in program history under coach Billy Napier. But it could come crashing down this week if the Ragin’ Cajuns stumble against South Alabama. (AP Photo/Charlie Neibergall, FIle)

Head coach Billy Napier and nine members of the Louisiana Football team were recognized for their stellar play during the 2020 season when they earned spots on the Louisiana Sports Writers Association’s (LSWA) All-Louisiana Teams.

Napier garnered Coach of the Year honors from the organization, while the nine student-athletes voted by media and athletics communications contacts marked the most of any team in the state.

Elijah Mitchell (RB), Max Mitchell (OL), Zi’Yon Hill (DL), Bralen Trahan (S) and Chris Smith (RS) all picked up First Team honors, while Levi Lewis (QB), Trey Ragas (RB), O’Cyrus Torrence (OL) and Tayland Humphrey (DL) were voted to the Second Team.

During the 2020 season, Napier led Louisiana to a Sun Belt Conference Co-Championship, its third-straight Sun Belt West Division title and its second-straight bowl victory, a 31-24 win over UTSA in the SERVPRO First Responder Bowl. Over the last two seasons, the program has compiled a 21-4 record.

Napier’s team finished the year ranked No. 15 in the AP Top 25, No. 16 in the USA Today/Amway Coaches Poll and No. 19 College Football Playoff.

Mitchell led Louisiana in rushing, toting the ball 141 times for 878 yards and eight touchdowns en route to First Team All-Sun Belt honors. His yardage was third in the Sun Belt and 23rd nationally, while is eight rushing scores were the fifth most in the Sun Belt and tied for 41st nationally.

The Erath, La., native finished his career rank fifth in career rushing touchdowns (41) and sixth in career rushing yards (3,267). He was drafted by the San Francisco 49ers in the Sixth Round of the 2021 NFL Draft.

On the offensive line, Mitchell started in 10 games for Louisiana in 2020, with eight coming at right tackles and two coming at left tackles, and helped the position group earn Joe Moore Award Semifinalist honors.

Defensively, Hill led all Louisiana defensive lineman with 49 tackles on the season, while adding 5.0 tackles-for-loss, 4.0 sacks, two quarterback hurries and two fumble recoveries to earn Second Team All-Sun Belt honors and Honorable Mention All-America honors from Pro Football Focus.

Trahan led the team in passes defended (13), pass breakups (9) and interceptions (4), while ranking fourth on the team with 48 total tackles. He tied for fourth nationally with 13 passes defended on the year and tied for 22nd nationally in passes broken up (9), while his four picks ranked eighth nationally.

The Lafayette product went on to earn Second Team All-Sun Belt honors and was named a Third Team All-American by Pro Football Focus.

Smith was one of the most productive returners all year, taking back 23 kickoffs for 617 yards and two touchdowns. He was one of four players in the nation with two return touchdowns, joining Baylor’s Trestan Ebner, Boise State’s Avery Williams and Rutgers’ Aron Cruickshank, while his 617 return yards were the fourth most in the nation and the most in the Sun Belt.

His production saw him garner First Team All-Conference honors and earn All-America honors from CBSSports/247Sports (First Team), Pro Football Focus (First Team) and the FWAA (Second Team).

Lewis finished the 2020 season 177-for-297 through the air for 2,274 passing yards and 19 touchdowns. His yardage total ranked third in the Sun Belt Conference and 26th nationally, while his 19 passing scores ranked third in the league and tied for 20th in the nation. He was named Second Team All-Sun Belt and was a Davey O’Brien Award’s 2020 Quarterback Class Nominee.

Ragas rushed for 758 yards and 10 touchdowns in his final season with the program. His yardage total ranked fifth in the Sun Belt and tied for 37th nationally, while his 10 scores were the fourth most in the league and tied for 22nd nationally. He was named a Second Team All-Conference performer.

The running back out of New Orleans finished his career ranked third in program history with 3,572 career rushing yards and sixth in program history with 38 rushing scores. He signed a professional contract with the Las Vegas Raiders following the 2021 NFL Draft.

Torrence started all 11 of Louisiana’s games at right guard and was part of an offensive line that ranked first in the Sun Belt and fifth nationally in tackles for loss allowed (3.64) and first in the league and seventh nationally in sacks allowed (0.82). Along with Mitchell, he helped the unit become Joe Moore Award Semifinalists and picked up Second Team All-Sun Belt honors.

Humphrey posted 29 tackles, the ninth most on the team and third most among defensive lineman, 2.0 tackles-for-loss and a quarterback hurry. He added Honorable Mention All-League honors.

Copyright 2021 Nexstar Media Inc. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.

National Sports

More National Sports

Local News

More Local

Trending Stories

Sidebar