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Football: Cajuns lose a commit one week after Hudspeth's firing

Tim Buckley, The Advertiser, Dec. 11, 2017

Seven days after the firing of coach Mark Hudspeth, the Ragin’ Cajuns lost one of their recruiting commits.

Jeremiah Davis, a safety from Lufkin High in Texas, tweeted Sunday that “I would like to thank University of Louisiana Lafayette for the opportunity but im (sic) choosing to decommit and reopen my recruiting”

Davis had been committed to UL since last June, ahead of offers from FCS Texas Southern and NCAA Division II-member Arkansas-Monticello.

On the day Hudspeth was fired, Dec. 3, at least five Cajun recruits listed themselves as UL commits on their personal Twitter accounts: Davis, Plaquemine High receiver/defensive back Percy Butler, defensive lineman Jaylen Whitaker of St. Aloysius High in Mississippi, offensive lineman Chris Heiskell of Cy Woods High in Texas and Butler (Kansas) Community College defensive lineman Darrian McMillan.

Butler, Whitacker, Heiskell and McMillan all remained identified in their Twitter profiles as UL commits as of Sunday.

More: Will any of Hudspeth's commits be left in the lurch?

Hire vs. signing date: 'Move swiftly,' but no rush

But Butler was offered by Texas State two days before the firing, Whitaker was offered by UL Monroe the same as the firing and McMillan – who was offered by New Mexico State one day before the firing – visited North Texas as expected over the weekend.

The NCAA’s new early signing period opens Dec. 20.

UL athletic director Bryan Maggard said previously that the early date “plays a role” in his timetable for making a hire, but added that “certainly we’re not gonna compromise the quality of the next head coach to meet that deadline.”

UL’s search for Hudspeth’s successor is ongoing; a new hire could be announced sometime this week.

More: UL fires head football coach Hudspeth, citing inconsistent play, declining support

HUDSPETH’S SON LEAVES

Hudspeth’s son, former Cajuns reserve quarterback Gunner Hudspeth, revealed on Twitter that he is leaving UL and enrolling as a student as Mississippi State.

Five days after the elder Hudspeth’s dismissal, he reportedly was hired to coach tight ends at Mississippi State, where before coming to UL he coached receivers for two seasons from 2009-10.

The younger Hudspeth played in one game for the Cajuns in 2016, and after re-tearing an ACL he served as an offensive intern with the team this season.

Related: What was Hudspeth's demise? What is his legacy at UL?

More: Amid report of new job, Hudspeth 'agreed' with firing

CAJUNS HONORED

Five Cajuns have been named first team All-Sun Belt selections by Pro Football Focus, a college/NFL player analysis website.

Four from UL were picked on offense: running back Trey Ragas, junior slot receiver Ryheem Malone and guards Robert Hunt and Kevin Dotson.

One Cajun defensive player, lineman Kevon Perry, was honored as well.

LOVINGS SELECTED

UL’s Marquase Lovings was one of 35 college coaches selected last week to the 2018 American Football Coaches Association’s prestigious under-age-35 Coaches Leadership Institute.

Lovings coached UL’s running backs – including Elijah McGuire, currently with the New York Jets, and Alonzo Harris, formerly of the Green Bay Packers – for six seasons from 2011-16. This season, he moved to the other side of the ball and coached Cajun defensive ends.

More: What qualities does UL want in its new football coach?

Related: Pool of candidates for UL coaching job taking shape

Updated: List of possible UL coaching candidates

HAMILTON TO CHIEFS

Former UL defensive lineman Justin Hamilton was inactive for Kansas City’s NFL game against Oakland on Sunday.

After playing in three games earlier this season for Philadelphia, Hamilton was signed by Kansas City from the Eagles’ practice squad late last week and added to the Chiefs’ 53-man active roster.

NFL success: Ex-Cajun Hamilton debuts, McGuire scores

Athletic Nttwork footnote by Dr. Ed Dugas.

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