LAFAYETTE — Louisiana-Lafayette coach Mark Hudspeth is planning on declaring a winner of this spring’s quarterback competition after this Saturday’s spring game.
Well, sort of at least.
“I think, at least, we’ll be able to name who’s the leading candidate,” Hudspeth said. “And I think that’s been pretty obvious this spring.”
Hudspeth is likely speaking about sophomore Jordan Davis, who has taken all of the first-team offense snaps during portions of practice open to the media this spring.
Despite that fact, Hudspeth has declined to name Davis the starter at any point this offseason. Officially, he’s still in a competition with redshirt freshman Chris Weaver, who has impressed Hudspeth and the Cajuns coaching staff with his strong arm.
“All the quarterbacks have made some nice progressions,” Hudspeth said. “But I think we’ll pretty much know who it’s going to be, or at least name a guy who’s leading (the competition).”
The Cajuns went through this a year ago, when a competition between Brooks Haack and Jalen Nixon carried through the spring, through fall camp and into the first few weeks of the season.
But Hudspeth sees advantages to both sides of the coin.
“Sometimes it’s an advantage to not name a starter, because you’ve got two guys that bust their rear ends all summer trying to beat the other guy out, so you still have that competition,” Hudspeth said. “The advantage of naming a starter or a leading guy is that he can sort of take control of the team and be that one voice on the offense. There’s advantages both ways.”
Real game back
The past few seasons, the Cajuns spring game has been more of a glorified practice than an actual game, but Hudspeth said that will change this Saturday.
“This is a full game,” Hudspeth said. “The teams are going to be divided, red and white, it’ll be scored like a regular game.
Hudspeth said the only thing his team won’t do live Saturday is kickoff, kick return and punt return. Offenses will either start at the 25-yard line as if taking over after a touchback, or wherever a punt is caught.
In recent years, the Cajuns just went offense against defense and awarded points based on a complex system that Hudspeth devised. It’ll be a little easier to pick a winner this year, and the reason for that is depth, Hudspeth said.
“The reason we had to do the scoring system in the past was we didn’t have enough offensive line or didn’t have enough whatever. When you don’t have enough of one position, especially offensive line, you can’t have two full teams.”
According to a press release last week, the teams will play four 10-minute quarters.
There are expected to be a lot of familiar faces returning to Cajun Field at halftime of Saturday’s spring game, including Jake Delhomme, Brian Mitchell and Jamal Robinson.
Delhomme and Mitchell are among a handful of former Cajuns quarterbacks returning for a sort of skills competition during the spring game.
Robinson is only going to be represented as a two-dimensional facsimile.
“It’s going to be just like you’ve seen on TV with the big 4-by-8 poster of a guy catching the ball — which is Jamal Robinson on a golf cart that’s going across the field,” Hudspeth said. “They’ve got to take a ball from different areas and throw it, hit the cart and add their points up.
“I think it’ll be pretty fun.”
Also competing in the event are Jerry Babb, Michael Desormeaux, Nathan Granger and Don Wallace.