LAFAYETTE — If the quarantine has taught Cajuns Head Coach Billy Napier anything, it's that he got into coaching for fellowship more than football.
"We always talk about keeping people at the core of what we do," Napier said. "Now, more than ever, I have more conviction about that. What is our purpose as a coach? I think people are at the top of that list."
UL began voluntary summer workouts Tuesday in the Leon Moncla Indoor Practice Facility, after 3 months away due to COVID-19. For Napier, seeing his players return felt similar to a holiday.
"It's like Christmas, knowing that our guys are going to be in the building." Napier explained. "Just a different level of energy. Just to know that we're going to have an opportunity to do what we love to do."
Louisiana is currently holding 4 sessions of workouts per day. The Cajuns are separated into 20-25 players per session, and each workout last nearly an hour.
"The way were approaching this is this is a physical acclimatization period," Napier said. We're gonna work for 4 weeks to get back in position. Try to eliminate some of the the injuries that can happen if you're not ready for activities."
UL Spring Camp was canceled only 3 practices in, due to the threat of COVID-19. Even with a lack of access to the facility, local high schools and public gyms over the last 3 months, the Cajuns are still entering the "Regimen" Phase 5 of their offseason program. While strength will have to be rebuilt, Napier is encouraged by the progress his players have made during quarantine.
"I've never seen as much creativity from our strength and conditioning staff and our players to try to simulate it," Napier said. "Our big message has been the running part. Let's come back with our lungs and our legs in shape and well get caught up from a weight room perspective in the summer time."
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