Ex-Teurlings QB Blazek in four-man battle to be UL No. 3

Tim Buckley
The Daily Advertiser

NEW ORLEANS — A battle between Andre Nunez and Levi Lewis for the No. 1 job won’t be the only fight going on among UL quarterbacks when the Ragin’ Cajuns open their 2018 preseason camp next week.

Former Teurlings Catholic High quarterback Wesley Blazek, shown here against Westgate last season, is a walk-on now in a four-way battle to be UL's No. 3 QB.

There also will be competition for the No. 3 spot on the depth chart, with Dion Ray, Jake Arceneaux, ex-Toledo QB Quentin Gibson and Teurlings Catholic High product Wesley Blazek all in the mix.

“I think we have, really, four players that will be competing for that third spot, in my opinion,” first-year UL head coach Billy Napier, who doubles as the Cajuns’ quarterback coach, said earlier this week while in New Orleans for the Sun Belt Conference’s football Media Day.

More:Four from Napier during Sun Belt Media Day

Not long after being hired last December to replace the fired Mark Hudspeth, Napier said having six scholarship quarterbacks on the roster amounted to too many.

The situation rectified itself as Kadon Harrison was moved to receiver early in spring practice — “The move of Kadon has been positive,” Napier said this week — and, shortly after spring drills ended, Jordan Davis, who opened 2017 as UL’s starter, left the program prior to what would have been his final season with the Cajuns.

That also, though, left UL with just four QBs.


Napier boosted the number back to six, but did so by adding Blazek and Gibson as walk-ons.

With current commitments from two Class of 2019 quarterbacks — Archbishop Rummel’s Chandler Fields and Spring (Texas) High’s Clifton McDowell — UL’s count of QBs on scholarship will rise to five next year.

Related:Read more about Fields and McDowell

That factors in Nunez being a senior in 2018, and assumes Lewis, Ray and Arceneaux all remain with the program.

Ray and Arceneaux both return with experience, albeit limited, as Cajun QBs.

Arceneaux — an Ascension Episcopal High product — made two late-game appearances as a third-year sophomore last season, getting a few snaps at Ole Miss in November and at Appalachian State in December.

He ran twice and completed his only pass attempt during the two games combined.

More:Several Cajuns change positions before UL football camp

Dion Ray, shown here running against Georgia Southern in 2016, rushed for 813 yards as UL's Wildcat quarterback last season. He's now fighting to be the Ragin' Cajuns No. 3 QB.

Ray, from Helen Cox High near New Orleans, has seen much more action, playing six games in 2016 and nine last year.

The Wildcat QB never has completed a pass as a Cajun, but he ran for four touchdowns in 2017.


It’s Gibson and Blazek — both new to the program, and both listed at 6-foot-3 — whom Napier seems most high on for now, however.

“The two newcomers have been with us the entire summer,” the Cajuns coach said, “and we like what we see out of those guys.”

Both will be on UL’s 110-man roster when the Cajuns hit the practice field, sans pads, next Friday.

The strong-armed Blazek made just two starts as a high school junior, both when then-starter Hayden Cantrelle — now the starting shortstop on UL’s baseball team — was injured.

Related:Wesley Blazek shouldering load for banged-up Teurlings Catholic offense

More:UL's Robichaux says Cantrelle 'plays the game slow'

He did not become a full-time QB starter until his senior season at Teurlings.

But Napier called Blazek “a guy who really is a late-bloomer,” and said he was “a guy who we actually recruited to be a preferred walk-on candidate.”

“Really didn’t have a lot of evidence that he was a college player as a junior. Overlooked, to some degree,” Napier said. “Had a great senior year, and really grew up a lot physically.”


Napier called Gibson a “quality young man” and a “great student.”

He started his college career at Toledo of the MAC, redshirting in 2014 and serving as a reserve but not appearing in any games in 2015.

Injured in 2016, Gibson then spent an injury-abbreviated season last year at East Central (Mississippi) Community College.

More:Five injured Cajuns out; key UL personnel recovering

He appeared in just five games in 2017, going 13-of-26 for 141 yards and one touchdown before getting hurt in ECCC’s season-opener against Holmes Community College.

Gibson is a product of Archbishop Shaw High in the New Orleans area, where he was a Semper Fidelis All-American and ESPN.com’s No. 22-ranked QB in Louisiana.

He’s listed by UL as a fourth-year junior, and according to the Cajuns he has two seasons left to play.

Napier made it clear Gibson’s not a contender to start heading into camp, but he obviously sees something in the walk-on.

“He certainly has been very business-like in his approach so far,” Napier said of Gibson, who also was the nation’s No. 56 pro-style QB coming out of Shaw according to 247Sports.com composite rankings.

“He’s made a positive impact and impression on his teammates and everybody in the organization.

“He still has a little bit of an injury that we’re working through, and he’ll be modified a little bit early in training camp,” Napier added. “But I think he’s a good get for free, for sure.”

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