Williams leads list of LA Tech football players named to All-State team

Milton Williams photo by TOM MORRIS.

LA Tech Athletics Communications

Former Louisiana Tech defensive lineman Milton Williams was named the Louisiana Sports Writers Association (LSWA) Co-Defensive Player of the Year while seven Bulldogs earned spots on the 2020-21 LSWA All-Louisiana college football teams as announced by the organization on Monday.

Tech has now had a player earn LSWA Defensive Player of the Year honors in back-to-back seasons after Amik Robertson earned the distinction in 2019.

Williams, who was recently selected as the 73rd overall pick by the Philadelphia Eagles in the 2021 NFL Draft, was also named First Team All-Louisiana.

He earned 2020 First Team All-C-USA honors by both the conference and Phil Steele, and was named a third team All-American by Pro Football Focus. In the 2020 season, the native of Crowley, Texas, ranked third in C-USA in tackles for loss with 10.0 and seventh in sacks with 4.5. Williams was fifth on the team in tackles with 44, including 21 solo. He had a season-high eight tackles and a career-high 3.0 TFLs against UAB on Oct. 31.

Williams registered at least three tackles in every game of the 2020 campaign. He also posted two quarterback hurries and one fumble recovery during the season.

Three other Bulldogs were named First Team All-Louisiana in freshman linebacker Tyler Grubbs, sophomore defensive back BeeJay Williamson and senior offensive lineman Kody Russey.

Grubbs was a FWAA, ESPN and 247Sports.com Freshman All-American. He was named first team all-Conference USA by both the league and Phil Steele while also earning a spot on the Conference USA All-Freshman team.

The New Orleans native registered a team-best 99 tackles and finished second on the team in both solo tackles (45) and tackles for loss (9.5). Grubbs opened the season with back-to-back double digit tackle performances with a career-high 16 tackles against Southern Miss (Sept. 19) and a 12-tackle outing against Houston Baptist (Sept. 26). He ended the 2020 campaign with a career-high 12 solo tackles against Georgia Southern at the R+L Carriers New Orleans Bowl (Dec. 23). Grubbs finished the season ranked second in C-USA and 25th in the FBS in tackles per game at 9.9, and he was sixth in C-USA in tackles for loss with 9.5.

Williamson was named first team all-Conference USA by both the league and Phil Steele. The native of Dallas was third on the team with 56 total tackles, including 32 solo, while also registering 2.0 tackles for loss, 1.0 sack, three interceptions, three pass breakups, one quarterback hurry and one forced fumble. Williamson recorded two interceptions against UAB and forced a fumble at the goal line to give LA Tech the game-winning possession. He registered multiple tackles in every game of the 2020 campaign.

Russey was also named first team all-Conference USA by both the league and Phil Steele. The Burleson, Texas, native helped lead an offensive front that ranked first in C-USA and second in the FBS in fourth down conversions at 88.9 percent (16-of-18). Russey led an offense that ranked fourth in C-USA and 53rd in the FBS in red zone offense at 84.6 percent (33-of-39). He helped the offense average 315.8 yards of total offense, including a 216.6 passing yard average and a 99.2 rushing yard average.

Louisiana Tech saw three Bulldogs earn Second Team All-Louisiana honors in senior linebacker Trey Baldwin, redshirt freshman kicker Jacob Barnes and sophomore return specialist Wayne Toussant.

Baldwin was named second team all-C-USA and earned a spot on the Phil Steele All-Conference USA third team. The Orange, Texas, native finished the season second on the team with 85 total tackles, including a team-best 53 solo tackles. Baldwin posted a career-high 18 tackles, including 14 solo, at UTSA on Oct. 24. His 18 tackles tied for the 11th most nationally in the season, while his 14 solo tackles ranked second in the nation. He ranked first in C-USA and 11th in the FBS in solo tackles with 5.9 per game and was third in the conference in tackles per game at 9.4. Baldwin registered 7.0 tackles for loss, including 1.0 sacks, five pass breakups, one interception and one quarterback hurry during the 2020 campaign.

Barnes was a Lou Groza National Collegiate Place-Kicker Award Semifinalist, named to the Conference USA All-Freshman Team, was an All-Conference USA Honorable Mention and earned a spot on the Phil Steele All-Conference USA Fourth Team. The native of Baton Rouge, was a perfect 33-for-33 in PATs, including a career-best 9-for-9 against HBU (Nov. 26). He opened the season with eight straight made field goals, including a career-long 51-yarder against HBU. Barnes finished the season 12-for-14 in field goals, including the game-winning 35-yarder in double overtime against UAB (Oct. 31).

Toussant was named first team all-Conference USA by both the league and Phil Steele as a kick returner. The Maringouin, native led C-USA and ranked 34th in the FBS in kickoff returns, averaging 23.0 yards per kick return. He ranked 11th in C-USA in all-purpose yards per game with 83.9. Toussant returned 28 kicks for a total of 644 yards and registered a season-high 60-yard kickoff return against UTEP (Oct. 10). He totaled at least 50 kickoff return yards in seven of LA Tech’s 10 games.

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