Cajuns gearing up for spring game; coach Mark Hudspeth pleased _lowres

Coach Hudspeth greeting fans at Cajun Field during a brief pause from the rain. Nov 21, 2015 - Photo by Scott Clause

LAFAYETTE — The Louisiana-Lafayette football team returned to the practice field Tuesday evening, beginning the team’s final week of spring drills.

Coach Mark Hudspeth’s team will practice again Wednesday and Thursday before taking Friday off to prepare for Saturday’s Red-White game. The annual contest will conclude the spring practice session for the Ragin’ Cajuns. Kickoff is scheduled for 2 p.m.

Tuesday’s workout was the team’s first since Saturday and Hudspeth said he was pleased with what he saw.

“I didn’t think we had a very good day Saturday and I challenged the team to respond and I thought they really answered the call. It was an intense practice, very physical practice,” Hudspeth said.

Hudspeth said running backs Jordan Wright and Darrius Hoggins and receiver Ja’Marcus Bradley stood out in Tuesday’s drills. Hudspeth was also pleased with the way his defense performed.

If the Cajuns are to be successful in 2016, the defense will need to take a few steps forward. Last season was the first under co-defensive coordinators Melvin Smith and Charlie Harbison.

Senior linebacker Otha Peters saod je expects to see big strides in Year 2.

“Spring is going really well with all of the veterans we have, I feel we’re starting to gel,” Petes said. “We’re understanding the defense, knowing where everyone needs to be and knowing what to check to.”

Aside from just the defense growing, Peters is looking for the entire team to take a step up by the time fall camp comes around in August.

“As a team I just want to see leadership, more aggression and a better understanding of the concepts on offense and defense, so when (fall) camp comes around we won’t miss a beat,” he said.

On Friday the NCAA passed several pieces of key legislation, and Hudspeth had mixed feelings on the new rules. He expressed frustration over not being consulted before any rules were changed.

“I think it’s a bad deal personally, the head coaches in Division I are never consulted until after the fact and I’m really frustrated with that part of it, how we’re never consulted,” he said.

Hudspeth said he disagrees with the deregulation of the number of text messages that a coach can now send a prospect.

“It’s bad for recruits because they’re going to get 10,000 texts a day; it’s a travesty,” he said.

Hudspeth was on board with the NCAA’s controversial decision to ban satellite camps.

“I am in favor of banning the camps. It’s totally out of control, just ruining the entire summer for prospects and for coaches, he said. “Plus that keeps more in state players here. We’ve got a lot of talent in this state and we want those guys coming to our camp this summer.”

As a result of the ban on satellite camps, UL-Lafayette will no longer be allowed to hold camps away from campus. Hudspeth indicated that the Cajuns will expand the number of camps they hold on campus.

The Sun Belt Conference, which voted in favor of banning satellite camps, did not get Hudspeth’s input before voting.