Southland awards Langley second player-of-week honor

Published 12:05 am Tuesday, November 15, 2016

BEAUMONT — Brendan Langley doesn’t claim a secret to becoming one of the Southland Conference’s premier players.

“God, a lot of prayer and a lot of hard work,” the cornerback and return man said Monday, hours after being named the conference’s Special Teams Player of the Week. “A lot of people ask me all the time, ‘What is the secret?’ There’s no secret. You just have to put in the work and have some prayer. The work you put in, you’ll see what you get out of it.” 

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Langley won a weekly award from the Southland for the second time this season. He was named Defensive Player of the Week on Oct. 3 after intercepting three passes against Southeastern Louisiana.

Langley, of Marietta, Ga., was honored for returning two punts for touchdowns in Saturday’s home loss to Incarnate Word. One went for 90 yards in the third quarter, and the other started at Lamar’s own 25 and then went back to the 10 before Langley took off for the score, officially a 75-yard run back.

Along with Zae Giles’ 98-yard kickoff return, Lamar returned a kickoff and punt for a TD in a game five years to the day the Cardinals last did so. Marcus Jackson took back a 78-yard kick and Adrian Guillory returned a blocked punt 29 yards in a win over Nicholls State on Nov. 12, 2011.

A transfer from Georgia, Langley said he didn’t wake up Saturday morning thinking he was going to achieve such a big personal feat.

“You just go in the game trying to win, so that was my No. 1 focus,” Langley said. “Anything other than winning is just icing on the cake. I had my icing, but I didn’t have the cake. As everybody knows, icing isn’t good without cake. It’s bittersweet.”

So has been the past two seasons for Langley. He transferred to Lamar shortly after the Cardinals posted their only winning season since restarting football seven years ago. The 8-4 season Lamar enjoyed in 2014 was capped off by a 27-24 win at McNeese.

Cardinals coach Ray Woodard said he was sure that victory would be a common theme in the locker room for motivation.

“I haven’t heard it too much, but I’m pretty sure it’s on everyone’s minds,” Langley said. “I haven’t been here as long as some other seniors have, but I’ve heard a couple of seniors and other guys mention that the last time we went there, we did win. I guess we can make it a tradition and go up there and win, year after year.”

McNeese State (5-5, 4-4 Southland) needs a victory just to preserve a winning season after going 10-0 last year and winning the conference. The Cowboys last had a losing record in 2004 (4-7).

Langley returned six punts for 206 yards Saturday, both season highs, mainly seeing more action in the special teams with sophomore Rodney Randle out for the season (unspecified injury). But he’s gained more attention on defense, leading the conference with six interceptions. (Two others are tied for second with four.)

With two weekly awards from the Southland in tow, Langley just wants one more thing to close his college career with a bang.

“It’s definitely been a fun journey being able to go through these times with the coaches and players, but the goal for this week is just to get the win,” he said.

I.C. Murrell: 721-2435. Twitter: @ICMurrellPANews

About I.C. Murrell

I.C. Murrell was promoted to editor of The News, effective Oct. 14, 2019. He previously served as sports editor since August 2015 and has won or shared eight first-place awards from state newspaper associations and corporations. He was born in Memphis, Tennessee, grew up mostly in Pine Bluff, Arkansas, and graduated from the University of Arkansas at Monticello.

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