LAFAYETTE — When the windows of opportunity narrowed for the Louisiana-Lafayette football team’s offensive units on Friday, coach Mark Hudspeth knew the Cajuns were making progress in big ways.
“Defensively today, we took a huge step forward to being the best team in the country in regards to running to the football,” Hudspeth said. “Our ball pursuit today made huge strides. It was evident that you get what you emphasize. It was impressive ... not where we want to be, but the strides we made were impressive.”
Freshman receiver Michael Jacquet from Beaumont, Texas, managed to make some strides when he hauled in a pass over tight coverage near midfield. Jacquet reached the end zone on a 50-yard sprint with the defense in pursuit.
“You want to see guys that make plays in live situations,” Hudspeth said. “When the windows (to catch the ball) are small, you’ve got to have great timing. The receiver has to come out of the break. The tighter the window is, the better your timing has to be or it’s going the other way.”
For the underclassmen, Hudspeth said it is vital for them to come out with energy when they are facing a tough challenge. “I have been real pleased (with the young guys),” Hudspeth said. “Their enthusiasm is contagious.”
One-month mark in rearview
With the season-opener against Kentucky less than a month away, senior running back Effrem Reed said these first few days of camp mark an important milestone for the Cajuns.
“This close to the season, time is of the essence,” Reed said. “Our biggest thing right now is to get a lot of team cohesion and a lot of timing down. It’s really big for us to get out here and prepare like game day is tomorrow. We are on such a short time limit. The first game is September 5, and we have to be ready by any means.”
Even though time is short, Reed said the guys who have experienced the intensity of fall camp and a season-opener can help the freshmen get ready for the long haul.
“It’s all about them asking us questions,” Reed said. “We have to take the time out to get those young guys prepared because we have seen things they haven’t seen on the field and off the field.”
Ex-Griffin Christy in the fold
The Cajuns added former Mississippi State and Dutchtown High receiver Shelby Christy to their squad Friday. Christy, 6-foot-3, 210 pounds, did not play in two seasons for the Bulldogs. He redshirted as a freshman in 2013 before he suffered a season-ending knee injury in the 2014 fall camp.
“We are excited to have Shelby join our team,” Hudspeth said. “He is a fine young man, and he has great size. We hope that he will be able to help our team in the future.”
Christy will sit out this season to fulfill the NCAA transfer rule before having two years of eligibility remaining starting in 2016.
As a senior at Dutchtown in 2012, Christy caught 39 passes for 663 yards and five touchdowns. He caught 25 passes for 400 yards and seven touchdowns as a junior.