2023 Louisiana Football Preview: Nicholls State

Nicholls State Colonels

By Grant Chachere

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Head Coach: Tim Rebowe (9th Season)

Offensive Coordinator: Rob Christophel

Defensive Coordinator: Tommy Rybacki

2022 Record: 3-8 (3-3 Conference)

Level/Conference: Division I (FCS)/ Southland

Nicholls State head coach Tim Rebowe (Photo courtesy of Nicholls State Athletics)


Nicholls State suffered its first losing season (3-8) after having five straight winning seasons (2017-2021), three straight appearances to the FCS playoffs (2017-2019), and won back-to-back conference championships (2018, 2019), which is the first and only time the Colonels have won the conference title in consecutive years.

Not only did the offense struggle as they averaged only 362 yards and 18.45 points per game, but the defense was also bad as well as they allowed 433 yards per game. The Colonel defense allowed almost double as many points as the offense scored as they allowed 35.27 points per game to opposing offenses as well.

In a league where there are three other teams in the state (McNeese State, Northwestern State and Southeastern Louisiana) as well as an emerging FCS power in Incarnate Word, Nicholls may have a tough time trying to get back to where they were near the end of the last decade.

Nicholls Offensive Coordinator Rob Christophel (Photo courtesy of Nicholls State Athletics)


If the Colonels want to make another push for a Southland Conference title, it needs to improve in the passing game. Nicholls only completed 55.84% of its passes last season and threw more interceptions than touchdowns.

With last year’s quarterback Kohen Granier departing, the new starting quarterback will be Mississippi Gulf Coast Community transfer Pat McQuaide (6-0, 190, So.). While at Mississippi Gulf Coast, McQuaide was named to All-South MACCC First Team as he tallied 2,730 yards passing, 24 touchdowns, a 64.5% completion percentage, and a 154.8 passer efficiency. He also led the nation in passing yards, passing yards per game, and passing TDs, and was third in the country in completion percentage.

Nicholls also returns wide receivers Neno Lemay (21 catches, 291 yards, one touchdown) and Terry Matthews (18 catches for 245 yards and two touchdowns) as well as tight end Lee Negretto (245 yards and two touchdowns.

The Colonels will return experienced running back Collin Guggenheim (5-11, 205, Jr.) who was named to the 2023 Preseason First Team All-Southland team. Guggenheim rushed had 105 carries for 543 yards (5.2 yards per carry) with four touchdowns as the No. 2 running back behind last year’s starter Julien Gums who has since departed.

The Colonels’ offensive line will be anchored by First Team All-Southland linemen Evan Roussel (6-2, 290, Jr.) and Mark Barthelemy (6-4, 290, Sr.).

Nicholls State defensive coordinator Tommy Rybacki (Photo courtesy of Tommy Rybacki)


The defense will return one of its stalwart First Team All-Southland Conference defensive linemen Perry Ganci (6-2, 260, Sr.). Ganci had four sacks for the Colonels last fall.

Nicholls will have a strong linebacking corps in redshirt sophomore Kylin White (70 tackles, five quarterback hits, and three tackles for a loss), senior Brandon Lairy (60 tackles and 4.5 tackles for a loss and sophomore Eli Ennis (45 tackles, 10 tackles for loss and 2.5 sacks and seven quarterback hits).

The secondary will also return standout defensive back Tyler Morton (5-10, 165, Jr.). Morton had 71 tackles, 4.5 tackles for a loss, one sack and two interceptions

Special Teams

The special teams will return both senior kicker Gavin Lasseigne and sophomore Kylan Dupre. Lasseigne went 10-16 on field goals but needed to be more consistent as he went 7-15 from 30 yards and over. Dupre had an average of 40.2 yards per punt.

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