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Football: UL guard Quave lost for the season

Tim Buckley, The Advertiser, October 7, 2015



UL senior offensive guard Mykhael Quave has been lost for the season with an injury.(Photo: Advertiser file photo)


The blow is a huge one for the UL football team, and will prompt major change on the Ragin’ Cajun offensive line.

Senior offensive guard Mykhael Quave is out for the season with a shoulder injury sustained in the Cajuns’ loss last Saturday night at Louisiana Tech, UL coach Mark Hudspeth said after practice Wednesday night.

Hudspeth said Wednesday that Quave tore a rotator cuff, an injury that requires nine-to-12 months of recovery time and jeopardizes the highly regarded pro prospect’s status for the 2016 NFL Draft.

“He was having, personally, an outstanding season so far,” said Hudspeth, whose 1-3 Cajuns open Sun Belt Conference play against Texas State on Saturday night.

“I’m really disappointed for the kid, because he has worked as hard or harder than any player we have had in the last four years. He’s been a leader; he’s been a hard worker. He practices hard, prepares hard, and I’m hurting for him, and our team is hurting for him, too.”

Quave was the cornerstone of the Cajuns’ offensive line this season, having started 43 straight games at guard and tackle.

Hudspeth said the Lombardi Award national watch list member was injured in Saturday’s first quarter at Ruston and “played the rest of the game with” the injury even though “he couldn’t even lift his arm.”

With Quave lost, UL is making almost wholesale changes up front.

Hudspeth said first-year starting center Eddie Gordon moves to Quave’s old spot at left guard, first-year starting left tackle Grant Horst moves into Gordon’s center spot and D’Aquin Withrow will now start in place of Horst at left tackle.

Horst spent some of this past spring at center, and has been UL’s backup at the position despite also starting at tackle.

Gordon, a one-time North Carolina State redshirt, was a reserve center and guard at UL last season.

Withrow has been working regularly as a backup tackle – but on the right side, not the left he’s now at. He appeared in two games last season, and was named UL’s Most Improved Player on offense coming out of spring drills.

“I feel good about Withrow,” Hudspeth said of the 6-foot-6, 304-pound redshirt sophomore from West Jefferson High in Harvey, near New Orleans. “He’s played … not a lot, but he’s (gotten) quality reps.”

The right side of UL’s line remains the same with returning starters Donovan Williams at guard and Octravian Anderson at tackle.

“It’s been a shift,” Hudpseth said, “but those are our best five.

“It is a challenge, because when you come into camp it takes a while for even your starters to just learn to work together — your combinations — and fit it right,” the Cajun coach added with reference to having so many changes at once. “Once they get it down, they come out like a well-oiled machine. They communicate; they talk. Now we’re sort of starting like first week of two-a-day practices.”

Saturday’s game against 1-3 Texas State at Cajun Field will mark the first time since Quave entered the starting lineup in 2012 that a Cajun offensive lineman has missed a start.

Quave’s other brother, Daniel Quave, who briefly spent time with the Dallas Cowboys this past NFL offseason as an undrafted free agent, made 52 consecutive starts in a Cajun career that ended last year.

He recently signed with the Hudson Valley Fort, a minor-league team in the New York-based Fall Experimental Football League.

“He (Mykhael Quave) is a guy that probably was gonna have an opportunity to play in the Senior Bowl, go to the NFL Combine,” said Hudspeth, who was unsure Wednesday just how Quave’s pro future and status for upcoming NFL Drafts would play out. “That’s the part that I’m just hurting for him.

“We’ll overcome, but I hate it for Mykhael Quave, because of the person he is. He has stood for what a Ragin’ Cajun is.

“He had a chance to tie Daniel’s record, too … and he would have been tied in the history of the school at No. 1,” Hudspeth added, “and I hate that, because to do something like that is pretty special.”