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Football: Cajuns in NFL watch Red-White game

Football: Cajuns in NFL watch Red-White game

Football: Cajuns in NFL watch Red-White game

The rain may have washed out the second half of the game, but it didn’t stop UL’s former finest from finding their way to Cajun Field.

Current NFL players like Ike Taylor, Antwain Spann and DeAnthony Batiste took cover when the sky opened up, as did former NFL great Brian Mitchell.

“It’s great to come back and talk to a lot of old friends and meet some new ones,” Mitchell said. “Right now I’m doing some radio and TV in D.C. and just enjoying life.”

Mitchell said it is important for former players to come back and support the university when they can.

“People talk a lot about the tradition that the Cajuns have, but when you come down and actually get to see it, you start to make that connection,” Mitchell said. “The players see guys like me and Jake (Delhomme), and Brandon (Stokley), and Ike (Taylor) and we are guys who have played in a Super Bowl. They see that you can come to UL and you will be found.”

Spann said he was excited to be back because he feels like the Cajuns are on the cusp of excellence.

“We are so close to that break out year like Rutgers had last year,” Spann said. “There is a lot of talent here and it’s just going to take that one big win and big season to put UL on the map.”

Spann admitted that before he was recruited he had no idea who the Cajuns were.

“I had never heard about UL Lafayette or anything like that, but when I got down here the people treated me real nice and I just loved it here,” Spann said. “It’s good to see old teammates and catch up. I like what they are doing with the program, building the indoor facility and how they’ve decorated the stadium; it’s really nice.”

For seniors at UL who are trying to make it into the NFL this year, seeing guys like Spann is an inspiration.

“It’s really motivation for me,” said defensive tackle Tony Hills. “To see somebody who came from UL, it just makes you determined to do it, because you might be the next one who makes it.”

Spann agreed with Hills.

“It does motivate them when they hear us talking about the league,” he said. “They want to work harder when they see players like us who have come from the same place. We don’t have a lot of UL guys in the NFL right now, but there will be in the next couple of years.”

Hills is nursing a hamstring injury but said he has been working out and rehabbing. Hills is also working to earn his civil engineering degree.

“I’m in my last 30 hours, so wherever I end up, hopefully there will be a school nearby where I can finish up,” he said. “Education is the main thing. I came here to get a degree; football is just an added bonus.”

Hills said he has had private work-outs with teams, but said it was in his interest not to disclose them at this time.

John Rowland/jrowland@theadvertiser.com

Jason Chery breaks a tackle by Justin Lee, left, and Daylon McCoy to score a touchdown Saturday for the Red team during UL’s spring game at Cajun Field.

Red 24, White 23

White Team (10) 7 0 6 — 23
Red Team 7 17 0 — 24
NOTE: White team started game with 10-0 lead.
First Quarter
RED — Michael Desormeaux 60 run (Drew Edmiston kick), 7:52
WHITE — Marlin Miller 75 pass from Connor Morel (Tyler Albrecht kick), 0:00
Second Quarter
RED — Jason Chery 21 run (Edmiston kick), 6:49
RED — Chery 61 pass from John Hundley (Edmiston kick), 3:46
RED — Edmiston 27 field goal, 0:00
Third Quarter
WHITE — Miller 9 pass from Morel (kick failed), 4:18
Game halted because of rain and field conditions with 4:18 left in third quarter.

RUSHING — White, Deon Wallace 10-64, Chancellor Roberson 2-15, Connor Morel 2-6, Matt Dupree 3-2, Caleb Rubin 1-minus 3, John Hundley 3-minus 7. Red, Tyrell Fenroy 6-48, Mike Desormeaux 5-45 1 TD, Abdule Levier 5-42, Jason Chery 1-21 1 TD.
PASSING — White, Morel 3-4-0 86 2 TD, Hundley 3-4-0 14. Red, Desormeaux 7-11-0 92, Hundley 2-2-0 68 1 TD.
RECEIVING — White, Marlin Miller 3-89 2 TD, Ray Givens 1-10, Wallace 1-2, Dupree 1-minus 1. Red, Chery 3-95 1 TD, Derrick Smith 2-30, Fenroy 2-20, Richie Falgout 1-8, Levier 1-7.
MISSED FIELD GOALS — Red, Edmiston 42.