Over the past two seasons, Louisiana football's defense did a 180. Like Joel "Do a 180" Embiid, oh never mind.
The Cajuns were a bottom 20 defense in the country when Billy Napier came in with new defensive coordinator Ron Roberts. This season the defense was a top 20 defense in the country.
"Coach Ron Roberts, he's now the defensive coordinator at Baylor. When people are successful it opens doors. We were successful and we opened up a door for him, and he opened up untapped potential we had, and we flourished," said linebacker Jacques Boudreaux.
Boudreaux and defensive back Michael Jacquet are among a contingent of six Cajuns who hope to end up in NFL camps this summer.
But their story is anything but a touchdown after the quarantine left them unable to workout for team.
"I think the biggest disadvantage is the eye test. Have those scouts lay eyes on you and talk to you again," Boudreaux said. "Face-to-face interaction, some people excel in that and I think that would have been a strong suit of mine."
Boudreaux is a tackling machine, leading the Cajuns with nearly 200 tackles over the last two seasons. But still, he's generally considered to be an undrafted free agent at best.
Jacquet is talented, but lacks experience in the secondary having only moved there ahead of his junior season.
Both would have benefited from a pro day which would have brought many scouts to Lafayette.
"I thought we had a lot of talent to show at our pro day. Robert Hunt, Kevin Dotson, Ja'Marcus Bradley, Mike Jacquet, myself and others," Boudreaux added.
So Jacques did the next best thing and held a virtual pro day. Alongside his agent an a former NFL scout, he got measured, and ran drills at South Plaquemines high school.
"We had a former scout with the Falcons, Bruce Plummer, he came down to South Plaq and I did one on the turf field and did the 40 (yard das) and had everything and my official 4times verified by him."
Boudreax isn't the only prospect to hold a virtual pro day as players look for any way to raise their stock. For some it will be enough to be drafted, other will have to continue to work.
"I really don't dwell on 'what if I'm not drafted,'" he said. "I'm more focused on staying true to who I am and just working."
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