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Spring Football: New coach encouraged by UL practice

Spring Football: New coach encouraged by UL practice

Spring Football: New coach encouraged by UL practice

First full-pad drills promising to Anderson

It may have been only the first day in full pads, but UL’s offensive football squad has already impressed new offensive coordinator Blake Anderson.

His unit converted six of 12 third-down situations in a practice-ending session against the Ragin’ Cajun defense Saturday, and Anderson said he’ll take 50 percent all season long.

"I was pretty encouraged," Anderson said following the Cajuns’ two-hour session that wrapped up the first week of spring drills. "We’ve thrown a lot at them, and their heads are swimming a little bit. We’ve installed for three straight days, and they’ve handled it pretty well."

UL began its 15-practice spring session Wednesday, but was limited to helmets and shorts by NCAA mandate on Wednesday and Friday. Saturday’s morning session was the first in full gear, with three more next week prior to a scheduled Saturday scrimmage.

Monday’s 3:45 p.m. practice, though, will be the first that hasn’t dealt strictly with installation of the new offensive package.

"We’ve installed three straight days," Anderson said. "We put a lot of it in at once. You’re never completely through, but we talked as a staff and we decided to give them a day to get their thoughts in order."

Part of the installation includes new terminology, although not as new as it could be. That’s a benefit for Anderson’s quarterback crew, one that includes a returning regular performer in Michael Desormeaux and two players, John Hundley and Connor Morel, who are going through their second spring.

"We tried to keep some of the terminology for that reason," Anderson said. "I’ve changed some of mine to adapt to what they’ve been using, and some of it I think we’ve changed for the better."

Desormeaux took most of the snaps with the number one unit Saturday, including the final period when the offense was able to make third-down yardage six times. Desormeaux converted one of those with an athletic move on a scramble.

"It’s tight," Anderson said of the quarterback situation. "We’re going in open-minded in terms of who’s going to be the guy. At this point, you expect mistakes from everybody. The key will be eight or 10 days from now and see who’s picked it up and who’s still making those same mistakes."

UL head coach Rickey Bustle said prior to the spring that the new offensive system was designed to take some of the pressure off the quarterback slot and not allow the effectiveness of one position to determine the success of the entire unit.

Anderson said Saturday he’s in the process of evaluating the other skill position slots to accomplish that task.

"If the quarterback has a bad day, there are five other skill guys that can have a great day," he said. "We don’t know who those guys are yet, but we’re going to find the five guys that can move the chains. We’re not going to put all the pressure on one guy … we’re going to spread it to as many guys as possible.

"We know (Tyrell) Fenroy’s a great back and Mike’s a great athlete back there, but there may be a guy to come out of the woodwork and be our best playmaker. The talent level’s better than I anticipated form looking at game films."

BANQUET SET: UL’s football banquet will be held at a new time of year effective this spring, with the banquet at 7 p.m. on Friday, March 30, one night prior to the spring game, at the River Oaks Conference Center.

Tickets for the banquet are $30 and are available at Lafayette Motors. Information is available at 233-0930.



UL’s squad is scheduled to hold workouts Monday, Wednesday and Friday, weather permitting. The team is slated for a first full-scale scrimmage next Saturday morning at Cajun Field, with the time to be determined.