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Football: Cajuns Wrap Up Second Week Of Spring Practice
David Collins, Athletics Communications Assistant
LAFAYETTE – On Saturday, Mar. 24, the Louisiana Ragin' Cajuns football team wrapped up their second week of spring football practice during a near perfect day on Cajun Field.
JUNIORS IN THE HOUSE: Saturday the Cajuns hosted Junior Day and over 400 high school student-athletes and their families attended the practice. Along with the practice they got a tour of the campus and the Cajuns $32 million facility. On top of that the attendees got to meet the entire Cajuns coaching staff along with a great amount of the team's supporting staff.
PRO DAY IS COMING: On April 5 starting at 1 p.m., the Cajuns will host their Pro Day for professional scouts to come and check out the Cajuns who have a perspective future in the professional ranks. On that day 17 former Cajuns players will do a collection of workouts starting in the weight room and finishing on the field in the Leon Moncla Indoor Practice Facility.
DON'T FORGET ABOUT THE GAME: Louisiana's Vermilion-White Spring Game is right around the corner, as each practice brings the team a bit closer to the event that's scheduled for a 12:30 p.m. kick-off on Saturday, Apr. 21. The game is free to attend for all fans, and anyone who can't make it out are encouraged to tune into Cox Sports TV to watch the action live.
(Head Coach Billy Napier)
"Our guys have made tremendous progress in several areas. We're moving forward when it comes to the intangibles and I can see better chemistry with the team. We're learning how to practice and there's a general appreciation for what we're trying to accomplish in all three areas of the game. From a technical and execution standpoint we've still got a lot of work to do but we're just six practices in so that will come. We're where we need to be and I'm excited by the buy in from the players."
On the Leadership of The Team
"We grew up a bit in a maturity standpoint. We changed their routine a bit last week and it showed, but this week we got guys in bed earlier and the team showed a bit more maturity and we had a lot more energy due to that. We're getting better in terms of conditioning during practice."
On Coaching the Quarterbacks
"The only time I'm not with the quarterbacks is during the special team's periods and they're off doing individual work. Our graduate assistant Matt Bergeron has done a great job working with those guys during those periods. I'm excited about the progress we're making at that position but being a no-huddle style offense there's work to be done to get the guys where we want them but I'm excited about what we've been doing there."
On the Tight Ends
"We're pretty young at tight end this season, but we added a quality player in Johnny Lumpkin who was a mid-year enrollee. He brings a certain element to the position that we like so far and Chase Rogers is everything that you'd want in a tight end in our system. Rogers has great athletic ability and he can stretch the field and he's got great toughness. He's been engaged and done a great job of improving technically. Overall I'm excited about everyone we've got at tight end."
On the Offensive Line
"We've got size and power up front. There's a bit of maturity and experience up there that we can lean on. Even though we're missing two guys that have played a lot of football for us, we still have a ton of depth up front. It's got a good group up there and we've got some guys there that can really provide some leadership for us on the offensive side of the ball."
(Robert Hunt, Jr., OL)
On the Transition to A New Staff
"It's been good, coach [Rob] Sale and [D.J.] Looney are both solid coaches. They came in and demanded a lot and their expectations have made me a better player."
On Losing Weight
"I'm down about 20 pounds from last season. I worked hard to lose the weight because coach Napier came to me and said that if you want to improve you have to play just a bit lighter up front. The extra weight I've had on during season's past made me play slightly slower and I'd get tired easier, so now I feel that it's helped me a lot."
On Working with Coach Rob Sale and Coach D.J. Looney
"They're pretty much the same guys. They coach you hard and they love you hard at the same time. They'll coach you hard so that they make sure you understand what it is they're trying to teach you. It's hard but, you can tell that coach Sale cares and he's got a great amount of passion when it comes to the game of football."
(Andre Jones, So., DE/OLB)
On Changing Position
"I played defensive end as a freshman and now I've moved to outside linebacker, since we've changed the defense to a 3-4 scheme. I'm playing standing up now, and it means that I'll be dropping back into coverage along with rushing the passer."
On Experience Playing in a 3-4 Defense
"I played a bit of outside linebacker in high school. And I did a bit of coverage in high school as well, including dropping back into the flats and covering both backs and receivers."
On Possibly Getting an Interception
"I got my first interception in practice the other day, and I'm looking forward to running one back for a pick six in a game. I'd like to get the entire stadium to go wild by making a big play."
FOLLOWING THE RAGIN' CAJUNS: Follow the Cajuns on twitter (@RaginCajunsFB), Facebook (RaginCajunsFootball) and Instagram (ragincajunsFB) to stay up to date with all things Cajuns football as they roll through the spring season.
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