Football loses seniors

When this season is over the Sam Houston State University Bearkats football team will have a lot of players to replace. When this senior class walked onto the field for the first time a little more than four years ago, head coach K.C. Keeler could not have dreamed of what this group would accomplish both individually and collectively. The individuals themselves are special; quarterback Jeremiah Briscoe, defensive lineman PJ Hall, wide receiver Yedidiah Louis, and running back Corey Avery are not only some of the best players in the history of Bearkat football, but their legends will live on in Southland and FCS lore for years to come. Collectively this senior class has 44 victories to its name, the most of any senior class in SHSU football history.

The combination of Briscoe and Louis may be the best in the history of the conference. On Nov. 15 Briscoe became just the third player in Southland conference history and the first Bearkat ever to eclipse 10,000 yards passing. It is worth noting that he did so while starting for just two and a half seasons at SHSU. Briscoe owns several single season records as well. In what was perhaps the best season by an FCS quarterback ever, Briscoe threw for a school record 4,602 yards in 2016 while setting a new NCAA Division One record with 57 touchdown passes in his Walter Peyton award winning campaign. Nov. 15 was also a special day for Louis, who tied fellow Bearkat receiver Matt Dominguez for the most receiving touchdowns in his career with 27. Louis also holds Southland conference records in career receptions (271) and receiving yards (3,659).

“[Louis] is the best receiver in the history of the conference,” Keeler said, and it is hard to disagree.

With such a prolific passing attack the running game can get overlooked, but Avery is among the Bearkat elite, as well. On Nov. 15 Avery joined Timothy Flanders as the only Bearkats to ever rush for 3,000 yards in their careers, doing so in just three seasons after transferring from Kansas University. Avery’s 36 career touchdown runs are also good for second all-time among Bearkat running backs.

On the defensive side, Hall has been the force that drives the Bearkats for four years. Like Briscoe, Hall does not only hold Sam Houston records, but national ones as well. On Nov. 8 Hall became the FCS’ all-time leader in career tackles for loss with 82, breaking the previous record of 80. Hall also holds the SHSU career record for sacks with 42, and is just half a sack shy of breaking the career FCS record. Hall has also made a name for himself on special teams, blocking 14 kicks in his career, the most in Bearkat history.

Simply put, this senior class has been outstanding for the Bearkat football program. As these four enter their final playoff run as Bearkats, it is time to take a look at what they have done and realize that SHSU will likely never have four players of this caliber on campus at the same time again, making now the time for the Bearkats to commandeer a national championship. This is a special group that will be talked about for years to come here at Sam Houston State University.

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