November 20, 2017

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Louisiana College Football Camp Update: Week One Down

One week into the 2017 Louisiana College football fall camp and things are beginning to take shape for the Wildcats. The focus on energy and discipline that dominated the first few days has continued, and created an atmosphere of excitement for the players and coaches as they continue to prepare for the September 2 home opener against Wayland Baptist University.

This first week of camp has also moved offensive coordinator Ben McLaughlin and head coach Justin Charles one step closer to finding a successor for Easton Melancon at quarterback.

“We started camp with three guys that we thought all could play,” McLaughlin said. “Unfortunately, one of our guys suffered a set back due to an injury and could miss a significant amount of time, so right now it’s really a two man race.

“I challenged D’Ondre [Joseph], as the guy that’s been here the last two years and the oldest quarterback on the roster, to be the leader and he has had the best camp that I’ve seen since he’s been here. Wayne Griffin was the only freshman quarterback that we brought in and he too has exceeded my expectations, especially for an incoming freshman. When he’s on the field he acts like he’s the starting quarterback, and for a freshman to have that kind of moxie, talent, and athleticism is exciting.”

McLaughlin plans to continue split the number of snaps between the two players through the next week and a half and use the scrimmage against Hendrix College as a barometer for the starting spot in week one. The other notable replacement from the 2016 team will come at running back, and according to McLaughlin, there are four players that have created an exciting battle for that starting job.

“Le’Vonte [Owens], as a transfer guy, has come in and been a real spark for us at running back along with D’Angelo Moore, who came from Northeastern Oklahoma,” McLaughlin said. “Combine those guys with our senior Donyell Young, who is like the leader of the group, and Nick Sumrall who we moved from receiver last year, and we have four guys that are really competing to get that playing time.”

Whoever carries the ball for the Wildcats will do so behind one of the most experienced offensive lines in recent years. All five linemen have at least two years of starting experience. Ryan Morris at center and Jacob Alford at left tackle have started for three years for the Wildcats.

“We knew coming in that the strength of our offense was up front,” McLaughlin said. “Our line is better than it was last year, all these guys are one year older with one year more experience in this league.”

With some questions still to be answered before September 2, the inner-squad scrimmage scheduled for Saturday will serve as an opportunity for several players to prove themselves and earn playing time.

“For the most part we know what our older guys can do,” Charles said. “But these bubble players are going to be the ones that provide us depth and give us different looks in certain situations. Saturday will be a crucial time for them. The biggest thing that I see is that we need to improve on some depth in the secondary, we’ve got some young guys there but they’re just young and we need some guys to step up and earn those spots.”

The Wildcats will continue full days of practice, meetings, weight training, and film study through the end of this week before classes begin on Monday. The final tune up for LC comes on August 26 when the Wildcats travel to Arkansas for a scrimmage against Hendrix College. LC opens the 2017 season at home on September 2 against Wayland Baptist, their only non-conference game of the season, and will play three games in five weeks at Wildcat Stadium to start the year.

Season tickets are still available and can be purchased by visiting www.lcwildcats.net/tickets or calling 318.487.7432.

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