Posted: Aug 6, 2013 5:47 PM by UL Sports Information
Updated: Aug 7, 2013 10:18 AM
LAFAYETTE, La. - Ragin' Cajuns head coach Mark Hudspeth had a term for the weather conditions that the Louisiana football squad faced during its first 105-player practice of the year.
"That was some Southern Louisiana Gumbo heat today," Hudspeth said after stepping off the field following the two-hour session.
"Today was a good day. It was good to get the whole team together, shake the rust off the veterans and go at it for two hours. We can't have contact in practice until the end of the week, but the guys are getting used to their helmets, their gear and the heat," Hudspeth added.
With an air temperature of 88 degrees and a relative humidity in the high 50's that made it feel like 96 outside, the Cajuns practice for 24 five-minute sessions under a mostly-sunny skies.
With the first day behind them, the Cajuns newcomers were able to see for the first time the practice pace that Hudspeth expects from all his players. For some, it was an experience unlike anything that they had encountered before.
"You could see the eyes of some of the new guys get bigger when they squaring off with the veterans," Hudspeth said. "They are in a new environment and it is hot and the play is physical so they are naturally intimidated. They just need to push through things, get over that feeling and adapt and improve."
Although two hours of practice can hardly tell the future, Hudspeth is seeing some trends on the field that is making him happy with the team's progress.
"Defensively, the guys look good," Hudspeth said. "They have created some turnovers already and it seems like they are all in the right position on the field. They need to get better fundamentals and react to the live bullets in practice so that they can act out of instinct without thinking about things."
Hudspeth was impressed with the quality and depth of the Louisiana receivers. "We thought we had a pretty deep unit last year but from what I've seen so far, we can be even deeper and more talented this year," Hudspeth said.
Hudspeth singled out the play of redshirt freshman wide receiver LaMarcus Allen and freshman defensive back Corey Trim for their performance on Tuesday.
"LaMarcus is quickly showing us that he can do some things on the field that will help us this fall," Hudspeth said. "Corey had a good day and is showing us that he can play the position."
After the morning practice, the Cajuns broke for lunch and returned early in the afternoon for position meetings and a weight room session.