Ragin' Cajuns special teams player T.J. Wisham out with wrist injury
T.J. Wisham, a key contributor on special teams for the Ragin’ Cajuns, is out due to surgery he needs to repair a wrist injury sustained in UL’s win over UAB on Friday night.
“Coming back stronger!” Wisham tweeted with reference to the surgery.
How long UL will be without Wisham, who plays on four special team units, remains to be seen.
“He’ll be out for a while ... and we’ll evaluate his situation based off the surgery,” said coach Billy Napier, whose Cajuns (4-1, 2-1 Sun Belt) visit Texas State (1-6, 1-2) on Friday (7 p.m., ESPNU).
A reserve running back from Episcopal School of Baton Rouge and a transfer from Army, where he played three games in 2017, Wisham has no carries this season.
But the redshirt junior had 15 for 133 yards for UL in 2019.
“Some would consider him a leader from a ‘game-changer’ perspective,” Napier said, referencing what he calls his special teams players. “He was a guy that did a great job of leading, taking ownership in that area. ... We’re gonna need some players to step up and fill that void.”
Reserve linebacker Tanner Wiggins, who plays on three kick/punt units, felt similarly.
“T.J. is awesome. I love T.J.,” Wiggins said. “That’s one of the ones who motivates me on special teams, for sure. I’ll always know that T.J.’s got my back, for sure.
“T.J. will definitely bounce back real fast. … As long as they say T.J. can play, he’s gonna be on the field, for sure.”
Smith, Trahan honored
UL running back/kick returner Chris Smith, who brought a kickoff back 100 yards for a touchdown in the 24-20 win over UAB, was named Sun Belt Special Teams Player of the Week on Monday.
It’s the second time this season Smith has won the award. He also was recognized after returning a kickoff 95 yards for a TD in UL’s season-opening upset win at Iowa State.
Smith also was named Louisiana Sports Writers Association (LSWA) state co-Special Teams Player of the Week along with return man Trey Palmer of LSU while Cajuns safety Bralen Trahan, who three pass breakups and a game-sealing interception at UAB, was named LSWA Defensive Player of the Week.
Homecoming kickoff time set
A kickoff time of 11 a.m. has been set for UL’s Nov. 7 Homecoming game against Arkansas State at Cajun Field.
The game will air on ESPNU, marking the Cajuns’ seventh straight national cable television appearance this season.
Whitfield, Gant commit
The Cajuns received a recruiting commitment earlier this month from Cameron Whitfield, a 6-foot-3, 240-pound defensive end from Dawson High in Pearland, Texas.
Whitfield also received offers this year from Arizona, Washington State, Tulane, Houston, Memphis, Southern Miss, Texas-San Antonio, East Carolina, Hawaii, San Diego State, Nevada, New Mexico, Wyoming, Houston Baptist and Prairie View A&M.
UL offered in late April. Memphis was the first to offer Whitfield, in February.
UL football recruiting:Class of 2021 Cajun commit bios
The Cajuns also recently picked up a non-binding verbal pledge from Kendre’ Gant, a hybrid strong safety/linebacker who redshirted in 2019 at Florida International and is spending this school year at Independence (Kansas) Community College.
A one-time Central Florida commit, Gant is a product of Port St. Joe High in Florida originally offered by UL in May 2018.
He also had offers from Florida Atlantic, UAB, Marshall, Louisville, Southern Miss, Georgia State, Georgia Southern, Cincinnati, Temple, Middle Tennessee and Western Carolina while in high school.