Randle named Preseason All-Southland

Published 8:45 pm Thursday, July 13, 2017

Lamar sports information

BEAUMONT — Junior defensive back Rodney Randle has been named to the 2017 Preseason All-Southland Conference team, league officials announced Thursday morning.

It marks the second time in his career Randle has been named to the conference’s preseason squad. Randle is a second-team selection.

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“We are very excited for Rodney,” said LU head coach Mike Schultz. “He did a great job during spring camp, and has worked hard during the offseason. He is bigger and stronger than any other point in his career.”

Randle battled through injuries to start eight games as a sophomore. He ended the year with 19 tackles, including 12 unassisted stops, and one for a loss. He was also credited with two pass breakups. Randle was a key figure in the Cardinals unit which led the Southland Conference in pass defense (surrendering fewer than 190 yards per game).

Randle was one of the Southland’s top freshmen in 2015. The Beaumont native garnered second-team All-Southland honors following a rookie campaign that saw him record 28 tackles (including 21 solo stops) and five pass breakups. He also ranked among the league leaders with three interceptions.

Randle proved himself as a dual threat during his freshman season ranking among the nation’s elite kick returners. He returned 26 kicks for 635 yards (24.4 ypr) and a touchdown in 2015. During his two seasons in the Golden Triangle, he has returned 59 kicks for nearly 1,300 yards (21.5 ypr).

“The offseason can tell you who will have a strong year,” said Schultz. “Those who work hard out of season normally go on to have a productive year. Rodney has worked very hard and has done what we’ve asked him to do.”

Despite his junior status, Randle will be a veteran on the Cardinals roster in 2017. One of just 14 returning starters, Randle will be counted on to provide leadership on the defensive side of the ball. Randle is one of just five returning starters on defense, and one of just two returning specialists.

Randle is one of two selected players who will travel to Houston for the annual Southland Conference Media Day event, joining Schultz and offensive linemen Matthew Oubre. The Southland Media Day will take place Thursday, July 20.

Randle, Oubre and the rest of the Cardinals return to campus Sunday, July 30, to open fall camp. The players will spend the first day in meetings and hold their first official workout the following day.