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Acadiana Lifestyle

Football Preview 2012

08/31/2012 01:37PM ● By Aimee Cormier

Editor’s Note: Acadiana LifeStyle welcomes for a second year KATC TV3 Sports Director Travis Webb with his Football Preview. Webb is a graduate of Syracuse University in Syracuse, NY, with a degree in Broadcast Journalism. He is a Crowley native who played the position of center for the football program at Notre Dame all four years of high school. You can watch Travis Webb weekdays at 6 p.m. and 10 p.m. and on Friday nights for “Friday Night Football” at 10:35 p.m.  KATC TV3 is debuting a new show this fall, “Ragin’ Cajun Sports: All-Access,” which will air Mondays at 9 p.m. on KATC-CW.  This weekly recap of UL sports will feature highlights, interviews, feature stories and more.

UL Lafayette Ragin’ Cajuns

This time last year, many were wondering what could Mark Hudspeth do to turn around a Louisiana program that had not been to a bowl game in 41 years. What a difference a year makes.

Not only did “Coach Hud” guide UL Lafayette to a New Orleans Bowl win over San Diego State in his rookie campaign, but Hudspeth reinvigorated the UL fan base.

The new question around Lafayette these days is: “What can’t Hudspeth do with the Cajuns?”

Expectations are sky high in Cajun Country for 2012 and for good reason. UL returns nine starters on offense and Hud believes the defense could best last year’s unit.

After accomplishing the unfathomable in just one year, the Ragin’ Cajuns have their sights set on a Sun Belt Conference title and beyond.


Hudspeth aside, the emergence of quarterback Blaine Gautier was the jumpstart the Cajuns needed en route to being bowl bound. The senior was inserted as the starter at Florida International and never let go of the reigns. Gautier smashed the Cajun record books becoming the school’s single-season leader in passing yards (2,958), touchdowns (23) and total offense (3,444).

Gautier and the UL offense loses its top threat Ladarius Green to the San Diego Chargers but the Cajun skill players will provide UL with a super-charged attack. Javone Lawson had a breakout season in 2011, becoming just the fifth 1,000-yard receiver (1,092 yards) in UL history. The 1st team preseason All-SBC member will spearhead a deep group of receivers including Daryl Surgent, Harry Peoples, Devin Figaro, Jamal Robinson and James Butler.

Filling in the shoes of Green will be a trio of tight ends. The group of Ian Thompson, Jacob Maxwell and Larry Pettis all do something different well. Expect the threesome to be used interchangeably.

Preseason 1st team All-Sun Belt tackle Leonardo Bates anchors an experienced offensive line. Four linemen are back that started all 13 games a season ago. Andre Huval, Daniel Quave and Jaron Odom will welcome redshirt freshman Mykhael Quave to the mix. This group will be an imposing force in conference, averaging 6-4 and 308 pounds.

Running through the holes will be reigning SBC Freshman of the Year Alonzo Harris. The preseason 1st teamer should improve on his 700 rushing yards and eight touchdowns in 2011. Freshmen Effrem Reed and Montrel Carter will provide a change of pace for the bruising Harris.


The Cajuns defensive line will have a bit of an overhaul, but just in name. While UL must replace all three starters from a year ago, five of the Cajuns’ top six on the preseason depth chart all received serious minutes last year. Cordian Hagans and Emeka Onyenekwu are the only seniors in this young crop of D-linemen. Justin Hamilton (6-3, 330), Brandon McCray (6-5, 300) and Christian Ringo (6-1, 285) provide size for Greg Stewart’s defense.

The secondary has been the primary strong suit for the Cajuns defense in recent memory. Charles Tillman, Ike Taylor and Dwight Bentley headline a long list of UL defensive backs that have gone on to the NFL. Senior Melvin White looks to continue that trend. The 6-3 preseason 1st team All-SBC pick will be joined by fellow returner JeMarlous Moten at cornerback. Darius “Tig” Barksdale and Rodney Gillis are slated to man the safety posts.

Linebacker will be a hotly contested position with as many as 10 players that are in the conversation for a starting spot. Second leading returning tackler Jake Molbert (65) and LeMarcus Gibson should have solidified spots with Dominique Tovell and Justin Anderson slated to complete the corp. Juniors Ryan Mosby and Brandon Nash, sophomores Boris Anyama, Qyendarius Griffin and Trae Johnson will also vie for time.

Special Teams

Brett Baer is undoubtedly the hero of 2011 after kicking a game-winning 50-yard field goal in the New Orleans Bowl. The senior is on pace to become one of the all-time NCAA leaders in field goal accuracy at .926 (25-27) and his placekicking ability is just the tip of the iceberg for the preseason Lou Groza Award watch list member. Baer is an unheard of 7-for-9 on onside kick attempts and will also once again man punting duties as well.

Daryl Surgent will anchor the return game for the Cajuns again. The junior was 12th in the nation last year in punt return average (12.0 YPR).

Local Ties: Despite a crowded receiving corp, New Iberia Senior High product LaMarcus Allen is making his case for playing time as a true freshman. Allen has received rave reviews from Coach Hudspeth and offensive coordinator Jay Johnson. Don’t be surprised for Allen to make a big impact in his first year in Cajun Country.


Louisiana benefits having to play its three toughest SBC opponents all at Cajun Field: FIU, Arkansas State and Western Kentucky. The ASU tilt will be on a Tuesday night in front of a national audience on ESPN2 (Oct. 23). The Cajuns kick off the slate against Lamar inside the Swamp (Sept. 1) before opening up SBC play at Troy (Sept. 8).

The Cajuns will have two opportunities to make a name for themselves this year with trips to reigning Big XII champ Oklahoma State and Florida. Other home games this year are against Tulane and South Alabama. UL has road trips to North Texas (Oct. 16, a Tuesday night on ESPN2), ULM and they close out the year at Florida Atlantic.

LSU Tigers

For the second time in as many seasons, preseason off-the-field troubles have given a talented LSU team newspaper headlines it’d rather not have. Instead of a late night bar fight, this August it’s the unexpected dismissal of Heisman finalist Tyrann Mathieu due to a reported failed drug test. Despite the “Honey Badger,” expectations are still high in Tiger Town thanks to several other key returners, incredible depth and a new quarterback that promises a more balanced offensive attack in 2012.


For better or worse, the never-ending saga of Jordan Jefferson and Jarrett Lee is officially over. The Tigers now hand the keys to the offense over to junior Zach Mettenberger. The one-time Georgia quarterback and JUCO transfer showed during this year’s spring game (270 yards, 2 TDs) that he can bring a consistent high flying vertical game missing from Baton Rouge the last few years.

Mettenberger’s supporting cast will be arguably deeper and more talented than any other in the country. LSU will have a crowded backfield that should make for an interesting camp battle. Spencer Ware, Michael Ford and Alfred Blue all rushed for more than 500 yards in 2011. Despite the wealth of talent, Miles would like to trim down the depth chart.

LSU returns two of its top four receivers in Odell Beckham, Jr. (475 yards, 2 TDs) and Russell Shepard (190 yards and 4 TDs). The Tigers will bring a promising young group of receivers with James Wright, Kadron Bone and Jarvis Landry looking to live up to their self-given nickname “Quick 6 Nation.”

Despite the Tigers’ wealth of talent around the offense, the offensive line may be the best group on the entire squad. LSU returns five players who have combined for 102 starts. P.J. Lonergan will anchor the line at center with bookends Chris Faulk and Alex Hurst back for another year.


How do you go about replacing four defensive stars drafted including three in the secondary and the sudden loss of the reigning National Defensive Player of the Year? Well, while not easy, LSU can do it easier than most. The Tigers replenish one of the nation’s top defenses with more stars set to shine in Tiger Stadium.

The defensive line will once again rotate hockey-style lines thanks to tremendous depth. Defensive ends Barkevious Mingo (8 sacks) and Sam Montgomery (9 sacks) are sure-fire first round picks this spring and Anthony Johnson will build on an impressive freshman season.

If there is any weak spot on LSU’s roster it is at linebacker. Kevin Minter is back to man the middle and the Tigers welcome Luke Muncie and Lamin Barrow to the outside spots. As we saw last year, defensive coordinator John Chavis may use a number of linebackers depending on the opposing offense.

Rangy junior Tharold Simon is now the elder statesman in the secondary with the loss of Mathieu. A product of Eunice, he ranked third in the SEC last fall with 10 pass breakups. Simon hopes to turn those batted balls into interceptions in 2012. Now opposite Simon will be redshirt freshman Jalen Collins. The Mississippi native was viewed by the staff as the “next generation” of great defensive backs at LSU. Collins won the “Most Improved” award after Spring Drills.

Junior Eric Reid is expected to make a big jump this fall. The preseason All-SEC safety is the team’s returning tackles leader (76). Craig Loston will move into a full-time role after serving in complementary roles in 2011.

Special Teams

The Tigers feature a dynamic duo on the kicking team. Australian sensation Brad Wing became the second punter in LSU history to earn first team All-American honors, and senior Drew Alleman comes off a 2011 campaign that saw him kick at a school’s best 88.9 percent clip. Both Wing and Alleman will once again vie for national honors. The return unit will suffer a huge blow with the loss of Mathieu but have a trio of more than able replacements. Wide receivers Odell Beckham, Jr., Russell Shepard and Jarvis Landry are all expected to compete for time as returners.

Local Ties: Catholic High School’s Josh Dworaczyk was granted a medical waiver for a 6th year in Baton Rouge. The 6-6, 301 pounder will compete with La’el Collins for the starting left guard spot. New Iberia’s Colby Delahoussaye makes his way as a preferred walk-on as a kicker. The freshman will try to position himself to take over after Acadiana’s Drew Alleman graduates.


The biggest game of 2012 will be the same the Tigers played twice in 2011: Alabama. LSU welcomes the National Champions on Nov. 3 for a nighttime rendezvous in Tiger Stadium. The Tigers play eight home games this season including the first three of the year against North Texas, Washington and Idaho. Other home tilts include Towson, South Carolina, Mississippi State and Ole Miss. LSU opens SEC play on the road at Auburn, as well as stops at Florida, new SEC member Texas A&M and Arkansas.

New Orleans Saints

To say that the Saints have had a tough offseason would be the understatement of the century. March 2 was when the first news came that the NFL announced it had found evidence of a bounty program within the franchise. The dominoes that fell soon thereafter were large and many.

- Former defensive coordinator Gregg Williams suspended indefinitely.
- Head coach Sean Payton suspended for the 2012 season.
- Linebacker Jonathan Vilma suspended for the 2012 season.
- General manager Mickey Loomis suspended for the first eight games of 2012.
- Assistant Joe Vitt suspended for the first six games.
- Will Smith and former Saints Scott Fujita and Anthony Hargrove also were dealt suspensions.
- Loss of draft picks and monetary fines were tacked on.

NFL Commissioner Roger Goodell dealt the Saints a swift blow. If that wasn’t enough, the Saints and Drew Brees waged an offseason-long contract dispute that was finally resolved just a few days before the start of training camp. While the aftershock of the NFL’s investigation will be felt this season and into the future, the pieces are still in place to accomplish another piece of history: to become first NFL franchise to play in a Super Bowl in its home city.


There are 100 million reasons why Drew Brees is the most important player in Saints history. Literally. The quarterback became the NFL’s richest man in history this offseason signing a 5-year, $100 million contract. The NFL’s single season passing yard record holder (5,476) says that he now has to “earn” that money and deliver the Saints back to the promised land of the Super Bowl.

Brees has a cupboard stocked full of option yet again. Tight end Jimmy Graham will once again be the Saints’ top target after establishing himself as one of the game’s best last year, thanks to a 1,310-yard and 11 touchdown season. Marques Colston, Devery Henderson and Lance Moore will once again be counted on as outside threats with rookie Nick Toon also expected to contribute.

The offensive line lost a key member with All-Pro guard Carl Nicks signing with Tampa Bay in the offseason. To offset the loss of Nicks, the Saints went out and grabbed Ravens’ guard Ben Grubbs. The Pro Bowler from a year ago will join regulars Jermon Bushrod, Brian de la Puente, All-Pro Jahri Evans and Zach Strief. This group should once again be one of the league’s elite.

The Saints welcome back their entire stable of backs and all are healthy entering the year. Pierre Thomas will be starter in name but single-season all-purpose yards record breaker (2,696) Darren Sproles, Mark Ingram and Chris Ivory will give offensive coordinator Pete Carmichael, Jr., all the tools necessary to keep the Saints machine rolling despite the absence of Sean Payton.


Former Rams head coach Steve Spagnuolo takes over after Williams was unceremoniously “not retained” in the offseason. Spagnuolo is known for crafting great defenses during his time as coordinator with the Giants. “Spags” is known for zone coverage and reliance of a front four pass rush, a departure of Williams’ bend but hopefully don’t break man blitz-happy scheme.

The Saints will welcome the new defense without their unquestioned leader: Jonathan Vilma. The Saints won’t have that much of a letdown in play after acquiring former Falcon Curtis Lofton in the offseason. Scott Shanle and fellow newcomer David Hawthorne at linebacker join Lofton.

The defensive line will look very similar to last year’s bunch after Will Smith returns from his four game suspension. Sedrick Ellis and Cameron Jordan are back with ex-Eagle Brodrick Bunkley joining the front four. Turk McBride, Junior Galette and rookie Akiem Hicks will be counted on to provide depth and a consistent pass rush.

The secondary welcomes third year corner Patrick Robinson to a full-time starting role. The former Saints first rounder split time with Tracy Porter, who left for Denver in the offseason. Opposite Robinson is Jabari Greer with Roman Harper and Malcolm Jenkins manning the safety spots. Johnny Patrick and Elbert Mack are expected to play big roles in the Spagnuolo’s scheme as nickel backs.

Special Teams

The Saints kicking duties will be a highly contested battle in camp. Garrett Hartley returns from a season ending injury last year but will be pushed by veteran John Kasay who filled in last year. Thomas Morstead has been a steady punter for the Saints earning him a lucrative $21 million extension this offseason. The Saints will rely on Darren Sproles and his game breaking ability in the return game.


The road back to New Orleans for Super Bowl XLVII is a daunting one with primetime tilts against San Diego, Philadelphia, at Denver and Super Bowl champ NY Giants. Revenge will be on the Saints mind with games against Green Bay and San Francisco to go along with the improving NFC South.

Westgate High School Tigers

After three years at West Saint Mary, Ryan Antoine makes his way back to Westgate after serving as the Tigers’ defensive coordinator previously. Antoine hopes to keep the Westgate “machine” running and not do much different schematically. The seven-year coaching vet does hope to change the attitude of his squad and have the Tigers become a dangerous team starting in September instead of waiting until the postseason.

The offense returns six starters and none bigger than offensive guard Josh Boutte. Literally and figuratively. The massive 6-5, 305 pounder is a LSU commit, an U.S. Army All-American game participant and should once again pave holes for the Westgate run game to thrive. Devante Brown and newcomers Marcel Winston, Brandon Dupree and Dylan Courville will join Boutte on the line.

Behind Boutte and bunch is returning All-District running back Jamal Sam. The junior has his fullback, Brandon Livingston, back as are tight end Chris Peter and wide receiver Torrey Jones. Junior Aaron Bird is tabbed to lead the offense as the Tigers’ quarterback. Fellow newcomer Brandon Gonsoulin rounds out the Westgate offense.

Defense is where Westgate has hung its hat the last few years. Despite several key departures, a solid nucleus is back to make the Tiger D a stout unit in 2012. While not the biggest bunch, Westgate will rely more on speed and a team concept defensively.

Defensive linemen Jalen Briscoe and Tay Thibodeaux are back up front. Fellow juniors Devante Brown and Jason Collins join the duo. James Walker and Bryson Youman are back for another year at linebacker. Trevonte Williams will be the newcomer to the group.

The secondary is led by returning seniors Bryson Broussard and Tyland Gregiore. The junior tandem of Anthony Dugas and Justin Francisco round out the defensive back unit for Westgate.

In addition to quarterbacking duties, Aaron Bird returns as the team’s kicker. The junior will also be Westgate’s punter.

As it has been the case the last few years, Westgate has loaded up its non-district schedule. The Tigers have an area gauntlet that includes road dates at Acadiana and St. Thomas More after opening the year against Breaux Bridge at home.

Catholic High School Panthers

Last fall was a season to remember for Catholic High. All Keith Menard did was guide the Panthers to an upsets over Teurlings and Notre Dame, a district championship and a quarterfinals appearance losing to Evangel. Most of the key parts to last year’s run is back and has Catholic eyeing an even deeper run in the postseason in this year’s campaign.

All-State quarterback Joe Lissard returns to lead a Panthers offensive attack that returns four starters. The senior tossed for 3,111 yards and 39 touchdowns in 2011. Lissard welcomes back his top target in junior wide out Gabriel Fuselier (826 yards, 11 TDs). Joining Fuselier as pass catchers are sophomores Andre Bellefontaine and Jason Pellerin. Junior Joe Dworaczyk mans the tight end duties.

Aaron Berry is back as Catholic’s running back. He’ll run through the holes of fellow returnee Josh Childers and four new offensive linemen. Juniors Jordan Brumm, Connor Henry and sophomores Jack Bordes and Tristan Primeaux will make up this year’s offensive line.

Defensively is where the Panthers have the most coming back with seven starters back. The front six will be an area of strength for CHS.

The defensive line will feature seniors Elliot Broussard, Jordan Johnson and junior Ridge Poirrier back to anchor the front line. Connor Savoy joins the trio.

The linebackers and safeties remain intact from last fall. Juniors Joe Dworaczyk and Devin Verrett at safety flank the linebacker duo of seniors Jared Bullock and Hunt Simon.

CHS rounds out the defensive with seniors Jacob Daley, Brayden Landry and sophomore Peyton Pharr in the secondary. Devin Verrett is back to man punting duties while Ethan Poche takes over placekicking.

Catholic opens the year with a chance to make another statement as Teurlings comes to New Iberia. The Panthers host Erath before going on a three game road swing at North Vermilion, Church Point and Notre Dame. After an open date during week six, the Panthers open district play.

Delcambre High School Tigers

The “Mojo” for Delcambre, as head coach Darcy Delcambre says, will be a “work in progress” in 2012. The Panthers return eight starters from last year’s 3-6 squad and the players filling in those holes will be mostly underclassmen.

There is reason to believe Delcambre can find itself back in the postseason and that starts with senior RB/DB Jace Dore. The two-time All-District performer comes off a 940-yard season but Coach Delcambre hopes to lighten Dore’s load this year. Fellow seniors fullback Ashton Eastin and quarterback Robert Primeaux return to make the Panther backfield a veteran bunch. Coach D hopes the trio can share the burden of offense and “spread the wealth.” Newcomer Jesse Mayfield completes the Delcambre backfield.

The offensive line is where Delcambre was hit hardest by graduation. Dylan George is the lone returner on the line. The offensive guard/linebacker welcomes juniors Fawaz Green and Luke Campbell as well as sophomore Judd Trahan to the front line.

Thanks to quarterback Robert Primeaux with another year under his belt, the Panthers believe they can air it out more this year. Catching the balls will be seniors Christian Mitchell and Ridge Leblanc with sophomore tight end Reese Leblanc joining the fray.

The defensive back seven will be the squad’s strength with four starters returning. Dore anchors the secondary at free safety and will be joined by fellow “Iron Man” starter Primeaux. Jesse Mayfield and Chevaun Walters are projected as the starting cornerbacks.

Ashton Eastin and Dylan George are slated as middle linebackers. They will be flanked by sophomore Bubba Latiolais. While size may not be their strong suit, these linebackers are fast and will be able to make plays both in the run and pass game.

Once again, the defensive line will return just one starter. Senior Toby Duhon welcomes sophomores Justin Turner, Reese Leblanc and senior Sean Peltier to the line.

On special teams, Dylan Leblanc returns for place kicking duties while Zachary Trahan will serve as the Panthers’ new punter.

Delcambre opens the year with two road games at Erath and Lake Arthur before welcoming Elton and Hanson to town. The Panthers head to Ascension Episcopal before opening up the rugged 6-2A district slate. The Panthers close the year at Covenant Christian.

Highland Baptist Bears

After an LCSAA title game appearance in 2011, Highland Baptist makes the jump to the big boys: the LHSAA. Highland Baptist won’t play a full slate in Class 1A with this season’s “transition” year, but the step is four years in the making for the upstart program.

It will be a rebuilding year for Artie Liuzza’s crew. The Bears return just six starters from last year’s squad and will have to replace longtime quarterback Zach Fleming. Helping matters will be an increase in numbers. Liuzza expects HBCS to suit up 23 players in comparison to 17 last year.

Logan Jordan is tabbed to succeed Fleming behind center. Jordan will also be part of a new offensive scheme for the Bears as they transition to the Wing-T.

Jordan will be joined in the backfield by returners Zach Gibbons and Dain Usey. Two-way star Gary Roberts and David Provost will man the receiving duties.

Defensively, Liuzza says his 50-defense will rely on the linebackers for their play making ability. It will be a learning experience on defense for the Bears with just two starters returning.

Highland Baptist opens up LHSAA play in week one with a road date at Gueydan. The Bears will also travel to Covenant Christian, Houma Christian and get a big test with Class 3A Baker in week nine.

Jeanerette High School Tigers

It will be a welcome home for new Jeanerette head coach Ananias “Snipe” Johnson. The New Iberia native returns back to the Teche area after being hired in early June to replace four-year head coach Terry Lewis.

Johnson, a one-time assistant at Jeanerette in his early coaching days, will take over a 2-win program from a year ago that still qualified for the postseason. Jeanerette will once again lean on senior running back Abdul Tate. The 5-11, 195 pounder was instant offense in 2011 and will try to provide the same punch for this year’s Tigers.

The Tigers lose just five seniors from a year ago so while experienced Jeanerette may be, they may still have trouble thanks to a difficult 6-2A schedule.

Jeanerette opens the year with three straight road trips to Kaplan, St. Mary and Northwest. The Tigers follow that with a two game home stand against Morgan City and St. Charles. During 6-2A play, Jeanerette will head to Patterson for a tough road test. The Tigers do have the benefit of playing the two district favorites, Catholic and Loreauville, at home in 2012.

Loreauville High School Tigers

The tradition of running backs at Loreauville is strong. From Butsy Walet and Derwin Antoine to more recently B.J. Green and Nick Julien, the storied history falls on Jermaine Antoine. While not a running back in name, Antoine will look to fill the offensive void left by the 2,000-yard rusher Julien.

Speed will once again be the Tigers’ calling card on offense and that vaunted spread attack will also be Loreauville’s strength.

Antoine is one of eight starters back on that side of the ball for the Tigers. The Bonnette brothers, junior quarterback Raymond and sophomore tailback Rashid, are back in the backfield, as are tight end Charles Francois and wide receiver John Reed. Newcomer Spencer Mitchell rounds out the skill position players for the Tigers.

The line will have great size headlined by returners Jawaan Eabair (6-0, 300) and Andrew Bell (5-11, {called for weight}). Freshman Lee Paul Castille (6-2, 320) and seniors Hunter Broussard (6-0, 220) and Matthew Wingfield (6-2, 210) should help pave the road for the Loreauville attack.

The defense will be a completely different story. The Tigers lose seven starters including All-State linebacker Si Theriot. Junior Austin Antoine will try to fill Theriot’s void after having an All-District campaign last year.

Joining Antoine at linebacker will be seniors Josh Albert and David Guy. The secondary will once again be a position of strength with returners Rashid Bonnette and Jermaine Antoine being joined by sophomore Tyiren Anthony and junior John Dugas. James Francois is the lone starter back on the defensive line. Seniors Charles Francois, Matt Wingfield and junior Denzel Harris make up the front foursome.

Special teams is one area of concern for Delahoussaye. The Tigers must replace four-year starter placekicker Zach Galatas and All-District punter Kyle Francois.

Loreauville will be tested early with three of its first four games on the road starting with Central Catholic. St. Thomas Aquinas and North Vermilion come to Loreauville in non-district action. As was the case last year, the Catholic showdown could decide district. This year it is at Tiger Stadium.

New Iberia Senior High Yellow Jackets

After what NISH Coach Rick Hutson considered a “rebuilding” year at 8-3, if you could consider it that, the Yellow Jackets hope to once again be a major Class 5A player around Acadiana in 2012. New Iberia welcomes back nine starters total from last year’s squad but the Jackets are confident the pieces are in place for a run towards a 7-5A District championship.

After spending last year at H-Back, senior Jason Jones assumes the quarterback duties. RB Tyler Archon joins Jones in the backfield. Archon played a significant role last season in the run game. The line returns Brennon Lopez at center and Kyle Steva at guard to provide some leadership up front and welcome newcomers Tyler Romero, Bryce Leslie and Dylan Meche.

New Iberia loses UL freshman LaMarcus Allen out wide but do return Nick Edwards and Andrew Nicks to NISH’s 4-wide attack. Josh Richie and Antonio Jack round out the Jackets’ receiving corp.

NISH switches to a 3-4 alignment thanks to lots of athleticism on that side of the ball. The defensive line has great size with returner Julio Hernandez, converted offensive lineman Ross Frilot, and Khalil Loston. The trio averages 6-1, 270 pounds.

The linebackers are a position of strength with All-District senior Dre’ Fuselier manning the middle with Jacob Jenkins. Ka’vionte Haywood and Kylan Clemons are slated to start on the outside.

The secondary features All-District senior Trent Bourque at safety and fellow returner Daniel Lewis. Sophomore Austin Stoltz and junior Michael Sam round out the defensive backs.

LSU freshman Colby Delahoussaye leaves a big hole in the kicking game that Coach Hutson hopes Cody Seditisky and Jordan Gray can fill.

The non-district schedule will present a good test for the squad with trips to Acadiana and Lafayette, and with St. Martinville heading to Lloyd G. Porter for the season opener.

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