|« Griz Start Spring Drills In A Hurry||PSU Viking Spring Practice Set to Begin »|
McNeese State Ready To Open Spring Drills
McNeese State’s Southland Conference champions begin spring football workouts Thursday with 55 lettermen, including 15 returning starters, on hand.
The Cowboys will hold their first workout in shorts, tee-shirts and helmets beginning at 3 p.m. on the A. I. Ratcliff field that day. Their first day in full pads will be Tuesday March 23 and they have their first scrimmage scheduled for March 27.
This year McNeese will have a pause in its workouts as the university’s spring break is slated to run the week of March 29 to April 3. Practice will resume on April 6 with another scrimmage set for April 10.
The annual spring game is scheduled to be played April 17 beginning at 3 p.m. in Cowboy Stadium.
Cowboy head coach Matt Viator said that everyone was excited to get spring camp going.
“We’ve had a really good off-season program and all of the players have a great attitude,” the coach said.
He noted that one position that will certainly create a lot of interest is that of quarterback, a post that four year starter and 2009 SLC and Louisiana player of the year Derrick Fourroux has vacated.
The Cowboys have five listed at the position heading into the spring and none have had any college experience. Zack Fourroux, Zack O’Quinn and Blake Barousse all go in as letter winners but none got to pass or run the ball in games last year.
Also lining up there in the spring will be redshirt Cody Stroud and walkon Trent Whitley of Westlake.
Fourroux is the younger brorther of Derrick and in his senior year at Erath High he passed for 1,010 yards and 12 tds. O’Quinn prepped at Sam Houston High where he had been named his district’s MVP and had earned all-state honors while Barousse played at Lafayette High where he passed for 2,000 yards and 20 tds in his senior season.
Stroud was a two-time all-state performer at Montgomery High and passed for 2,892 yards and 35 tds as a senior, completing his prep career with over 7,500 yards passing and 83 tds. Whitley was an all-district standout at Westlake High.
Joining that group in the fall will be signee Will Briscoe, the offensive player of the year in Louisiana’s Class AAAAA for 2009 as the quarterback at Central (Baton Rouge) High. He passed for 3,080 yards and 38 tds last year.
Defensively the Cowboys have 10 of 11 starters back. Linebacker Matt Kreamer is the only player lost but Deron Minor, the starter there until an injury sidelined him last year, has regained his year back and will practice in the spring.
Geremy Pilate is the other returning starter at linebacker while Josh Ellison and Terrance Freeman at back at end, Desmund Lighten and Damion Aultman at tackle and Ford Smesny, Chris Raggett, Seth Thomas, Darrell Jenkins and Malcolm Bronson are back in the secondary.
Also rejoining the team in the secondary is letterman London Durham who missed last season.
Offensively, besides replacing Derrick Fourroux at quarterback, other openings are at tailback, fullback, wide receiver and tackle.
Returnees Champlain Babin and Javaris Murray will work at tailback along with redshirt Marcus Wiltz while Drew Johnston will move up at fullback.
Corday Clark will move up at tight end and a group of wide receivers including Chris Royal and John Leday who had 13 receptions each year last season, will challenge for starting roles there
In the line, Taylor Johnson returns at tackle, Marcus Bellow and Miguel Gauthreaux are back at guard and Mase Duge at center. Alec Savoie is expected to move up at tackle to replace Casey Richter.
Also, Jonathan Landry will be back.
Josh Lewis, who kicked eight field goals and made 44 of 49 PAT attempts last season, is back to do the place kicking while Ben Bourgeois will get a shot at the punting duties.
All-conference players returning for the Cowboys this year are Lighten, Bronson, Jenkins, Gauthreaux, Pilate, Thomas, Clark, Ellison and Freeman. Bronson was the Louisiana and SLC’s freshman of the year last season while Lighten was McNeese’s defensive player of the year,
The Cowboys posted a 9-3 overall record last year, tied for the league title with Stephen F. Austin and were selected to play in the NCAA’s FCS playoffs. They finished the year ranked No. 12 nationally.
By McNeese State University Sports Information