Several Cajuns change positions before UL football camp
NEW ORLEANS – As UL prepares to open its 2018 preseason camp next week, a few Ragin’ Cajuns have been on the move.
Speaking this week at the Sun Belt Conference’s football Media Day here, first-year Cajun coach Billy Napier revealed a handful of position changes.
None of them involve starters, but some do involve scholarship players.
But Napier said Carlos Robinson, a fourth-year scholarship junior who had been at tight end, will now play defensive end.
The product of Ouachita High in Monroe did not play in any games and was a member of UL’s scout team last season, but in 2016 he appeared in 10 games primarily as a member of the Cajuns’ PAT unit.
FOUR OBSERVATIONS: Cajuns coach Billy Napier on Sun Belt Media Day
Rogers followed in the footsteps of Andre Landry, an Acadiana High product who after being redshirted on scholarship in 2017 made a previously reported move from tight end to defensive end early during 2018 spring drills.
Napier said both switches were made partly for practice-related reasons.
“Those guys were open to that,” the Cajuns coach said, “and they have experience doing that (playing on the defensive line, in high school) in the past.”
In a related move, Hunter Bergeron — a walk-on from St. Thomas More High who spent last season on UL’s practice squad — has moved from defensive end to tight end.
One other position switch, according to Napier: Kendall Baker, a scholarship player who has spent the last two seasons on UL’s scout team, has moved “back over to offensive line” from the defensive line.
JACQUET STILL TWO-WAY
After moving him from receiver to defensive back in the spring, but continuing to use him on offense as well, the Cajuns still plan to use Michael Jacquet on both sides of the ball in 2018, Napier said this week.
Jacquet, who had 31 catches for 288 yards and two touchdowns playing exclusively as a sophomore receiver last season, currently is penciled in to be one of UL’s starting cornerbacks in the season to come, which opens Sept. 1 against Grambling.
ARCHIE IS GONE
Napier said SchDarren Archie, a scholarship defensive back, no longer is with the program.
Archie, a product of Brandon High in Mississippi who spent his 2017 freshman season as a member of UL’s scout team, came out of spring practice listed a co-backup at cornerback.
Since Napier was hired to coach the Cajuns in December, UL has lost less than a half-dozen scholarship players.
Others include Lorenzo Cryer, a defensive back who played mostly on special teams, and longtime safety Travis Crawford, both of whom exited before spring practice opened, and former starting quarterback Jordan Davis, who decided shortly after spring drills ended to not return for his senior season.
BARNES BACK FOR SURE
Napier this week also confirmed that, as expected, tight end Matt Barnes has been granted a sixth year of eligibility for medical reasons.
Barnes redshirted in 2013, then missed all of the 2015 with a major knee injury.
With Chase Rogers (foot surgery) out for the season, he’s a candidate to become a first-year starter for the Cajuns.
RADIO CREW ADDS LANAUX
Former UL defensive end Chris Lanaux will be the new color commentator for the Ragin' Cajuns' KPEL 1420 AM/KHZT 107.9 FM radio broadcast crew, 1420 reported Wednesday.
He'll join longtime play-by-play announcer Jay Walker and sideline reporter Cody Junot on the three-member team.
Lanaux played for UL from 2005-09 and was a senior-season team captain.
He replaces ex-Cajuns receiver Richie Falgout, who according to 1420 is expecting the birth of his third child soon and "made the decision to step away from the role to spend more time with family" after spending three seasons in the booth.
New UL multimedia rights holder Learfield Communications and KPEL parent company Townsquare Media recently agreed to a new five-year partnership.