Mar 13, 2014 11:51 PM by UL Sports Information
LAFAYETTE - The Louisiana Ragin' Cajuns football team held its second workout of spring practice on Thursday, working for nearly two hours in helmets on the Ragin' Cajuns practice fields.
With the return of 66 players who were on the roster for the R+L Carriers New Orleans Bowl, highlighted by 17 starters, the Cajuns have been able to get in plenty of work at a steady pace.
"We've got a lot of veterans out here that know how to practice, and they're working hard and trying to push each other," fourth-year head coach Mark Hudspeth said. "And we've got a lot of young kids who are feeding off the veterans.
"So, when you've got a group of veterans who are showing the young kids how to practice, with the tempo, how to practice with the effort, the intensity ... you've got something, I think, is special. And it all starts with the veterans."
After posting its third consecutive 9-4 season, which was highlighted by claiming its first Sun Belt Conference championship since 2005, the Ragin' Cajuns have put extra emphasis on an already rigorous off-season program with the results paying dividends throughout the roster.
"We've had a really good off-season, about seven-and-a-half weeks of really grinding out in the weight room before we started spring ball," Hudspeth said. "Our bodies have changed, our defensive backs are starting to look like what defensive backs are supposed to look like. We're a little more physical, we're a little bit bigger. Hopefully, that will pay off too."
One of the key positions being focused on is at center, where Terry Johnson looks to replace two-time All-Sun Belt Conference performer Andre Huval. Johnson, who started all 13 games last season for the Ragin' Cajuns at left guard, has taken the majority of snaps in practice and has solidified his spot
"Terry Johnson has looked really good, he's got the athletic ability to do it," Hudspeth said. "He just has to get some experience and get used to making all the calls. Now, he can't just know his role, he has to know all five of the offensive lineman's roles and get everybody going in the right direction."
With senior Terrance Broadway entrenched as the Ragin' Cajuns' starting quarterback, sophomore Brooks Haack has given the Cajuns a solid backup after playing in five games in 2013 and replacing an injured Broadway in the regular-season finale at South Alabama.
‘He's looking good and throwing the ball well," Hudspeth said of Haack. "He competes everyday. He'll be ready."
The Ragin' Cajuns will return to action on Saturday at 9:40 a.m. The Cajuns will hold their annual Spring Game on Saturday, April 12, beginning at noon at Cajun Field.
Louisiana will open its 2014 season on Aug. 30 when it faces Southern University.