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Football: UL’s Fouguier has his own La. Tech memories

Tim Buckley, The Advertiser, September 5, 2014



UL linebacker Kevin Fouquier (44) looks forward to squaring off against Louisiana Tech this Saturday. (Photo: Paul Kieu/The Advertiser)


Kevin Fouquier remembers tagging along with his father to work back in the day.

"I remember everything," he said. "The weight room, his office."

Well, almost everything.

"I remember the big mural of … what’s that quarterback?" he asked, searching for a name.

Someone threw out a likely possibility, loud enough for Fouquier to hear.

"Terry Bradshaw, yes," he said.

That’s it. Ol’ what’s-his-name.

Fouquier really does recall the good times in Ruston, where his father (also named Kevin Fouquier) was defensive line coach at Louisiana Tech from 1995-1999 and where some ol’ QB named Bradshaw ruled the roost before winning four Super Bowls with the Pittsburgh Steelers from 1975-80.

"I remember the place," he said. "There’s really nothing to do over there, but I remember it."

Fouquier was barely getting going in grade school when his father left Louisiana Tech to become defensive coordinator at Central Arkansas in 2000, an assistant for five seasons at Middle Tennessee, defensive coordinator at Florida International in 2006 and, starting in 2007, defensive coordinator UL.

The elder Fouquier no longer is a coach with the Ragin’ Cajuns, but the younger Fouquier is a redshirt sophomore preparing for his second career start at Mike linebacker when UL plays host tonight to Louisiana Tech.

For several seasons at Cajun Field, the young UL linebacker watched others doing what he’s doing now.

"I really can’t explain the feeling. I used to sit in those stands," he said this week. "I’ve watched the white smoke go up, and seen my dad’s players run out on that field. Being a part of that, it’s unbelievable.

"It’s a great feeling, and I can’t wait to experience it again (Saturday)."

Fouquier is in his third season at UL.

But it’s his first as a starter, in large part because ex-Mike linebacker Justin Anderson – recently waived/injured by the NFL’s New York Giants with a hamstring injury – was the Cajuns’ top tackler in 2012 and 2013.

"I don’t wish he was around," Fouquier joked when asked about Anderson, "because then I think I wouldn’t play. Definitely not start."

Anderson may not be playing for the Cajuns any more, but he has been around since getting waived as an undrafted free agent.

Fouquier ran into him, in fact, two nights before UL opened with a 45-6 win over Southern in which the new Cajun starter recorded five solo tackles.

The occasion: Cajun kicker Hunter Stover’s birthday.

"Smoke (Stover) was like, ‘So you have any words for Fouq for Saturday’s game?’ " Fouquier said. "And Justin was like, ‘Look, man. You got it. Just don’t be scared.’ That was about it."

Fouquier didn’t really need much more advice.

"Besides that," he said, "I really just took Justin’s film-work ethic and the way he approached each week and really tried to understand his opponent."

Making things easier, Fouquier said, is having players around like Christian Ringo and Justin Hamilton on the defensive line and safeties Trevence Patt and Sean Thomas in the secondary.

"It’s really not that hard when you’ve got veterans all around you," he said.

Helping too is the fact he’s the son of an ex-coach.

Fouquier is the first to admit he doesn’t remember actually seeing a whole lot of what was happening on the field in Ruston, which is not surprising considering he was about 3 years old when his father started coaching there.

But he does recall going onto the field with his dad to celebrate a 1999 upset road win over Alabama. And he hasn’t forgotten what he usually did do when the Bulldogs were at home.

"Back when I was little, I really didn’t watch the games," Fouquier said. "I would always try to find some little kids to start my own game with."

Now his games are the ones being watched by the thousands.

Last Saturday against Southern, that meant being seen by a few fans who know his name quite well.

"With my dad, it was, ‘You shoulda did this, you’ve got to get in your drop a little faster, read your mama’ – what he means by that is read my keys, the offensive lineman," Fouquier said. "He was really kind of critiquing my game – what he saw from the stands. I guess he couldn’t resist, being an old coach.

"But, soon after, he told me he was proud of me. And I got to kiss my little sisters, and tell them, ‘Hey,’ too. It was fun."