Ragin’ Cajuns’ Mark Hudspeth unveils new-look linebacker unit _lowres

Associated Press file photo by G.M. ANDREWS -- Louisiana-Lafayette safety T.J. Worthy (27) and linebacker Justin Anderson wrap up South Alabama quarterback Ross Metheny in December in Mobile, Ala.

LAFAYETTE — After putting a hard grade on film from last weekend’s scrimmage, Ragin’ Cajuns coach Mark Hudspeth hoped to have his depth chart figured out.

For the most part, it was. But there was one position group still nagging at the coach after his team finished practice Monday morning.

“In the secondary, we’ve got so many guys out right now that it’s hard to say (where the depth chart stands),” Hudspeth said. “(Junior safety) T.J. Worthy didn’t play, (junior cornerback) Antoinne Adkins was not out there. (Sophomore cornerback) Dominick Jones was really limited and probably shouldn’t have scrimmaged. It was really hard to get a bead on the (No.) 2 secondary, because the twos weren’t even there.”

Worthy, who Hudspeth said would likely be the third safety behind seniors Sean Thomas and Trevence Patt, has missed more than a week after sustaining a concussion. He was still unable to practice as of Monday.

The 6-foot-2, 195-pound Worthy started 10 games last season at strong safety and has 102 tackles in two seasons, but experience can’t make up for everything he’s missing in camp.

“Every day he misses is that much further he’s behind,” Hudspeth said. “We really need to get him back sooner rather than later. I was hoping we’d get him back today, but it didn’t happen.”

In Worthy’s absence, redshirt freshman Tracey Walker has taken reps as the team’s No. 3 safety.

Adkins was wearing an orange jersey at practice Monday, an indicator he is still limited. He lost a battle with Jones at the start of camp for the starting job opposite Corey Trim.


With a crowded group of upperclassmen tight ends vying for limited snaps, Hudspeth decided to slap a new label on one of them.

Redshirt freshman Matthew Barnes is no longer a tight end — or in the Cajuns’ offensive terminology, a “Y.” After making numerous catches in Saturday’s scrimmage, Barnes proved he was capable of playing as an “H,” or slot receiver.

“We’ve got depth at our tight end spot, and he’s probably one of our most effective wideouts at the inside position,” Hudspeth said. “He’s a big target, it’s easy to find him and he’s got big, strong hands and very elusive speed.”

Hudspeth said Barnes and the expected starter Al Riles are even, calling the first unit slot receiver “Riles slash Barnes”

Barnes wasn’t the only player to come out of the scrimmage with a new position.

Jarad Martin got some work at offensive guard in the scrimmage, but Hudspeth said it’s clear the senior is better suited to tackle. Martin will back up junior Mykhael Quave while sophomore Jeremy Sparks moves in as the backup guard.

And then there were two

Hudspeth still needs some time to decide on who will serve as the Cajuns’ primary kick returner, but he has trimmed down the list of candidates to two of the Cajuns’ speediest players.

“If we had to send somebody out there today, it’d be Montrel Carter or Devin Scott,” Hudspeth said.

Luke Johnson