On Monday, UL coach Billy Napier announced redshirt sophomore tight end Chase Rogers was lost for the season after suffering a broken foot for the third time in his three-year college career.
Later that night, the news broke Rogers had decided to transfer to Ole Miss. Napier said it’s uncertain if Rogers will ever play football again.
“Chase entered the portal three, four, five days, maybe even a week after the injury,” Napier said. “Once he went through that process kind of researching his injury relative to playing football again, what that was going to look like, Chase came to us and kind of expressed that he may not even want to play football again. He’s just been through a lot — same foot broken for three years.”
Napier said the door to playing again hasn’t been “completely closed,” but the injury transition would be easier for him back in his home state.
He rushed for over 2,200 yards as a junior at Cecilia High, and another 2,600-plus yards as a senior with 56 combined rushing touchdowns over …
“Chase did a tremendous job for us,” Napier said. “I have nothing but respect for him. It’s not bitter. I totally understand where he’s at. The most important thing to me is that Chase handles this adversity well. I hope he has a healthy return. I hope the guy plays football again. I really do.”
Napier suggested this wasn’t the first time Rogers transferring had been considered.
“While Chase was here, we had a great relationship,” Napier said. “We’ve met several times since he first got here. When he first got here, his name was in the transfer portal.”
Napier also said the diagnosis was tricky.
“It was a little bit unique situation, the x-ray said maybe it wasn’t broken and then the CT scan uncovered a second break,” he said. “It’s just tough for the kid.”
FRESHMAN TURNS HEADS
A handful of true freshmen hope to make an impact with the Cajuns this fall.
As the team finishes camp, the best first impression was left by 6-foot-5, 342-pound offensive lineman O’Cyrus Torrence of St. Helena Central.
Achieving goals is what UL redshirt sophomore running back T.J. Wisham was trained to do.
“O’Cyrus is a true freshman who has probably impressed me as much as anyone in that rookie class in terms of his maturity, his intelligence,” Napier said. “It’s not too big for him. He just kind of shows up and takes coaching really, really well.
“Right now, he’s the backup at left guard and he’ll play.”
Napier said the rest of his depth chart decisions will be finalized soon.
“These next two practices that we’re going to have are going to be very, very competitive and determine how we’ll rep the players going into actual game weeks,” Napier said. “So these next two practices will be critical for that pool of players on our team that are battling for more playing time.”
FINAL CAMP THOUGHTS
UL’s camp ended after Wednesday’s practice, but there were a few lingering details Napier wanted to address in Thursday’s news conference.
With Thursday being an off day, the team will attend a movie as a group Thursday night, getting a sneak peek to the new release “Angel Has Fallen” in an effort to simulate a game-week routine.
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Before camp ended, former LSU and Buffalo Bills’ All-Pro defensive lineman Kyle Williams addressed the team as part of Napier’s summer speaker series.
“He had some great advice, lots of wisdom,” Napier said. “He really challenged our team relative to their work habits and the type of teammates they were.”
His message to the team’s leaders was, ‘What you allow, you encourage, so be willing to confront and demand.’ I thought it was outstanding.”
Napier said Thursday running back Elijah Mitchell is back practicing, while offensive guards Kevin Dotson and Ken Marks are expected back at practice Friday.
“We’re in good shape there (injuries), really outside of the tight end injuries,” Napier said.
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