SLU's Alford named to All-Southland Preseason Team

From Southeastern University

FRISCO, Texas – Southeastern Louisiana University defensive back Robert Alford was named to the Preseason All-Southland Conference football team that was released Tuesday by the league office.

Alford, a senior and Hammond native, was named to the second-team and was the Lions' lone representative on the preseason squad.

As a junior in 2011, Alford earned second team All-Southland Conference honors after establishing himself as one of the league's elite cornerbacks. He started all 11 games for Southeastern, finishing second in the Southland with five interceptions and fourth with seven pass breakups. Alford finished the year with 52 tackles (45 solo) and his five interceptions was the eighth-highest single-season total in school history.

Twenty-five of the 26 first-team selections, including all the defensive members, highlight the two teams that also see nine second-team picks return for an automatic spot on the preseason squads. Four of the conference's individual award winners from last year are back, including Sam Houston State juniors Tim Flanders and Richard Sincere, the league's player of the year and offensive player of the year, respectively, along with senior teammate Darnell Taylor, the reigning defensive player of the year, and Stephen F. Austin junior Willie Jefferson, the conference's newcomer of the year a season ago.

A total of 35 of the 52 Southland Conference football players who earned all-conference honors after the 2011 season return for the 2012 season and earned spots on the preseason all-conference teams in advance of next week's Southland Conference Football Media Day that will take place on July 24 in Lake Charles.

Four Southland institutions have at least six student-athletes named to the preseason all-conference teams. Sam Houston State, which put together an undefeated regular season en route to winning the 2011 conference title, leads all schools with 19 selections, including a conference-best 11 first-team honorees. Stephen F. Austin and Central Arkansas each have nine all-conference selections. The Lumberjacks have four first-team members while the Bears place three players on the first team. McNeese State is next with six, followed by Northwestern State and Nicholls State with four each.