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Fall Sports Fan Day: Ragin’ Cajuns Enjoy Fan Day + Football Update + Photo Gallery

David Collins, Athletics Communications Assistant

LAFAYETTE – With just over one week of training camp in the books, Louisiana Football spent the better half of Saturday afternoon rubbing elbows with the Louisiana fan base during a heavily attended 2018 Louisiana Fan Day, presented by Cox, at the Cajundome Convention Center. 

MEET AND GREET WITH THE CAJUNS: Joined by Louisiana Soccer and Louisiana Volleyball, the football team enjoyed a few hours of its Saturday away from the grind of Training Camp, signing autographs and getting to know the fans that will cheer them on come Sept. 1. Head coach Billy Napier, along with head coaches Scot Wieland (soccer) and Heather Mazeitis-Fontenot (volleyball) each spoke to the gathered fans to get them ready for each sport’s upcoming seasons.

Roughly 2,000 fans attended the Fan Day event, with Louisiana’s student-athletes busy signing everything from footballs, yard signs, t-shirts and anything else in between the fans could find to be autographed.

Athletic Network Footnote by Dr. Ed Dugas.
The Advertiser, August 13, 2018
Click here to view the photo gallery of the 2018 Fall sports Fan Day, Saturday, Aug. 11, at the Cajun Dome Convention Center.

SATURDAY NIGHT WARMUP: Later in the evening, Louisiana took to Cajun Field for its first scrimmage of Training Camp 2018. It allowed for Coach Napier and his staff to see how the Ragin’ Cajuns put together everything they have worked on so far in a real-game situation.

The weather held off and the atmosphere was only a taste of what is to come when the 2018 season kicks off under the lights at Cajun Field. Louisiana worked on several game situations as position battles across the team begin to iron themselves out.

COACH NAPIER SPEAKS: On Friday, Coach Napier met with the media to talk about the first week of camp and how the team was preparing for Saturday’s scrimmage.

Opening Statement:
"The day off this week helped us and our energy showed it during practice. Saturday’s scrimmage is a big step for our football team. The key thing for each player is to play with great effort and energy and show us that they have the discipline to execute and do their job. We have tons of competition at almost each position. In particular quarterback but all three specialists’ positions as well. I am anxious to see some high quality game changer work to see which guys are willing to compete on special teams and get those jobs. I think the progression that has taken place this camp has been good and as a team we’re holding together pretty well."

On Evaluating Scrimmage Performances:

"There are enough variables on both sides of the ball were the defense and offense doesn’t know exactly what each side is doing. We are at the point where we are making the correct calls and adjustments on both sides of the ball and I would say that we are not at that point where we are an open book on both sides of the ball. But we will look to keep the concepts that we call relatively simple to make sure as a staff that we can truly evaluate who can truly perform."

On Which Side of The Ball Is Ahead:
"It has been pretty competitive up to this point. There have been days where when you walk off the field you say that the offense had a better day but at the same time there are just as many days where you walk off the field and say that the defense had a better day. And that is what you want from your team. It has been a competitive camp and that is the way that we like it."

On Who Has Stepped Up on The Defense:
"Overall we have added a lot of quality players on defense. Lorenzo McCaskill has really showed that he can be a real capable player for us. Chauncey Manac gives us a big physical edge player, the young corners, to go along with Michael Jacquet III and Kendall Johnson’s move, have helped us out big time. I think that Andre Riley is a young player that can help us as a pass rusher on defense. In general, the depth up front, with the addition of Garrald McDowell, Masry Mapieu and Timaje Porter has helped us, along with Zi’Yon Hill, in my opinion, being the standout player on defense so far. We had a complete overhaul on that side of the ball, adding at least 15 to 16 scholarship student-athletes, including moving three players from offense to defense, in looking to improve that side of the ball. Our staff has done a great job teaching what we want that side of the ball to do and our yearlong plan of installation and player development has paid off there."

THREE WEEKS AND COUNTING: Louisiana opens the 2018 regular season on Saturday, Sept. 1, when the Ragin’ Cajuns host Grambling at Cajun Field for the 17th Annual Herbert Heymann Classic. Kickoff is scheduled for 6 p.m.

It’s the first of six Saturday home games at Cajun Field throughout the season, with Coastal Carolina coming to Lafayette on Sept. 22 for the second home game during the month of September. 

TICKETS ARE AVAILABLE: Both individual tickets and season tickets are available for purchase by either heading to ragincajuns.com/tickets or by calling the Louisiana Athletics Ticket Office at the Cajundome, (337) 265-2357, or by visiting the office in person.

FOLLOWING THE RAGIN’ CAJUNS: Follow the Ragin’ Cajuns on Twitter, Instagram and Facebook (@RaginCajunsFB) to stay up-to-date with Louisiana Ragin’ Cajuns Football.