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Football: Michael Desormeaux – Total Package

If his passing picks up, Desormeaux may be the NCAA’s ultimate weapon

Joshua Parrott • jparrott@theadvertiser.com • August 27, 2008

 The bumps and bruises finally caught up with Mike Desormeaux by the end of last season. The quarterback from New Iberia was hurt on the first play of the second quarter against Florida International in Week 11, injuring his clavicle and bruising his ribs.

Those injuries were severe enough to force him to the sideline for the season’s final seven quarters.

In the offseason, Desormeaux wanted to get stronger and bigger. And he did with plenty of hard work in the weight room. He enters his senior season at 6-foot-2, 215 pounds – up 15 pounds from his playing weight a year ago.

"I knew I wanted to get a lot stronger because last year I pretty much missed the last two games due to injury," Desormeaux said. "I wanted to make it through the whole season this year.

"I don’t want to let those guys down and have them have to go out there without me."

The feeling is mutual.

Desormeaux, who has also played receiver, defensive back and on special teams during his career at UL, once again proved he is one of the Sun Belt’s most versatile players last season. He accounted for 2,546 yards and 17 touchdowns. That included a team-high 1,141 yards on the ground for the nation’s seventh-ranked rushing attack. He became the 24th quarterback in NCAA history with at least 1,000 rushing yards in a single season.

But Desormeaux must improve as a passer for the Cajuns to improve on a 3-9 season. He averaged only 127.7 passing yards per game last year and threw as many interceptions (10) as touchdowns in one season under ex-quarterbacks coach Blake Anderson.

Desormeaux will have plenty of chances to stretch the field under new offensive coordinator Ron Hudson and first-year quarterbacks coach/passing game coordinator Jorge Munoz. No longer will the passing routes be short patterns play after play.

Instead, receivers will run deeper routes to help pull defenders away from the line of scrimmage.

If the plan works, there would be more room for Desormeaux and running back Tyrell Fenroy to operate with the ball. Desormeaux compared the offense to what the Cajuns ran when Rob Christophel was the program’s offensive coordinator from 2002-06.

Rick Stockstill, the head coach at Middle Tennessee, knows Desormeaux can be an effective dual-threat. Last year, Desormeaux burned the Blue Raiders for 327 yards and two touchdowns in UL’s 34-24 win.

"I think he’s a great player, a great athlete and a really good person," Stockstill said. "I like being around good people. I have a lot of respect for him as a person and a player."

Desormeaux reminds people he engineered a similar attack at Catholic High, passing for nearly 2,500 yards as a senior. Despite his doubters, Desormeaux believes the Cajuns have the personnel to balance out the offense.

"I’ve got receivers out there that can go out and make plays," he said. "Our running game will only help out the passing game.

"I don’t see any reason why we can’t throw the ball down the field and make some plays."