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Apr 2018 Vol 4 Issue 4 $7.99

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CONTENTS

Matt Viator

Head Coach ULM

5.1.2018 8 LSU 10 Ragin Cajuns 11 Louisiana College 12 Diamond In The Rough: Will Delahoussaye 13 Southeastern Lions 14 Nicholls State 15 Northwestern State 16 Tulane 18 Southern University 19 Louisiana Tech 20 McNeese State 22 A Warhawk on A Mission: An Interview With Caleb Evans 30 Diamond In The Rough: Calvin Watson 32 Diamond In The Rough: John G. McKernan 34 Diamond In The Rough: Ben West 36 Diamond In The Rough: Tayte Langley 37 Diamond In The Rough: Garret Russo 38 Diamond In The Rough Freddie Mango 40 Diamond In The Rough: Cameron Wight

Upcoming Issues June

Draft Analysis and High School Edition

July Tailgating Super Issue August NFL Preseason Sept

College Preseason

Oct-Dec Season Updates Jan

All-Louisiana Team

Feb

Louisiana Players Entering The Draft

March College Recruiting April

NFL Draft

May

Look At Spring Football

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STAFF Andy Bryson- Owner/Publisher

Laura Norsworthy– Senior Editor

Kristen Bryson– Editor

Jason Saucier– Photographer

Richard Hebert– Dir. Of Ad Sales Pablo Mejia III– Advertising/Sales

and Business Development

Marquise Ricard— H/S Sales

Kevin Empey --NFL Writer

Josh Sibley— H/S Scout/ Writer

Traveon Anderson–Scout/Writer

Tyler Smith– H/S Scout/ Writer

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Dear Readers, May is an exciting month around m house with spring football in full swing. Spring football not just for college players but also for high school as well. Players are working hard to improve their game, and fans are starting to gear up for the season ahead.

Keep in mind that a magazine subscription (print or digital) is a great gift for those football lovers in your life. A single issue of the digital magazine will be $3.99 and a digital subscription will be $17.95. By purchasing a digital subscription you save $29.93 for the year! You can find the digital copy on our website under the new ‘digital magazine’ tab. You may be thinking that football season is about to end as college football season traditionally ends in December with Bowl games. However, football season never truly ends and we here at LGF love it! Additionally if you ever wondered what it would take to advertise with us here at LGF either in the magazine or online please contact our knowledgeable sales crew at (225) 931-8711 or louisianagridironfootball@gmail.com.

Sincerely,

A. Bryson www.LouisianaGridironFootball.com

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By: Josh Sibley

The Purple team edged out the White team on Saturday, April 21st, by stopping a two-point attempt in the last few seconds of the game, outlasting White 28-27. White had been rallying in the last two minutes of the fourth with an 11 play drive of 60 yards, that was highlighted by a 12 yard rushing TD by quarterback Justin McMillan to make the score 28-27. The White team decided to go for the two point conversion but a pressured McMillan had his pass attempt to tight end Foster Moreau fall incomplete.

White had 36 rushes for 163 yards, while Purple rushed 15 times for 52 yards. The two teams combined for 53 first downs and only seven penalties. White was 5-of-14 on third downs, but was 4-of-6 on fourth down attempts. The Purple team was 3-of-8 on third down attempts and 0-2 on fourth downs.

All three quarterbacks combined for 534 yards passing and rotated between both teams. They had three touchdowns and only one interception. Justin McMillan was 14-of-29 for 216 yards, while Myles Brennan completed 11-of-23 for 113 yards, and Lowell Narcisse went 6-of-13 for 205 yards. Each quarterback had a touchdown, while Brennan had the only interception in the game. Narcisse had some yardage help as an out route turned into a huge 94-yard touchdown to Justin Jefferson in the first quarter. Jefferson would lead all receivers with five receptions for 128 yards. White would jump out to a 14-0 lead following an 18-play 88 yard drive that was capped off by a score from Nick Brossette from the one yard line.

The Purple team got back into the game with two quick drives before the end of the half, one of four for 65 yards, and a two play 72-yard series to tie the game at 14 before the half. Lanard Fournette had a two yard touchdown run and receiver Drake Davis caught a 33-yard from quarterback Justin McMillan. Purple would go on to score 21 unanswered points as they were the only team to score in the third quarter. Tae Provens scored on a 28-yard run, and finished the game with six carries for 64 yards. Leading rusher Clyde Edwards-Helaire, 14 carries for 74 yards, got the White team back even at 21 with a score from the two yard line, that capped off a 60 yard drive. Brennan would put the Purple team back on top with a five yard toss to Jacory Washington, 28-21, that would set up a last chance rally for White.

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By: Josh Sibley

Vermilion failed to score on its first possession and turned the ball over to White, who then went 90 yards in just nine plays. It was capped off by a Calloway 28-yard touchdown run. Vermilion was able to get on the board soon after with a 20-yard field goal by senior SteSophomore quarterback Levi Lewis went 14-of-22 for 275 yards vie Artigue. and two touchdowns, including a 75 yard completion, which was the longest in the game. Junior receiver Ja’Marcus Bradley, The next four scores would belong to the White team, with Clyefer led in receiving with five catches for 96 yards. While senior run- Bass rushing for two touchdowns of eight and one yards. With the one -yard touchdown finishing off an eight play 78 yard possession. Senior ning back Lenard Calloway had 17 carries for 66 yards, and kicker Calvin Linden made a 29-yard field goal, while Calloway scored three touchdowns to help lead to a White victory. his second touchdown on a 5-yard run to end an 11-play 78-yard drive. On the Vermilion team, senior quarterback Jordan Davis went 9 -of-13 with 117 yards and one touchdown. Junior running back Vermilion did get the final touchdown of the full scrimmage portion, Davis connected on an 11-yard touchdown pass to sophomore Chase Ashton Johnson led the team with 39 yards on 11 carries. Rogers. At halftime, four student-athletes were granted scholarships for their hard work and dedication that they have put into the Cajuns Football program. Ashton Johnson, junior defensive back Deuce Wallace, senior linebacker Chaiziere Malbrue, and sophomore receiver Jalen Williams. White beats Vermilion, 81-51, in the 2018 Louisiana Ragin’ Cajuns Football Vermilion & White Spring Finale played Saturday, April 21st, at Cajun Field.

Teams were scored the following way: a touchdown gave the scoring team six points; a turnover was worth three points, and a field goal resulted in the normal three points. If the defense held the offense to a three-and-out it got a point; a converted extra point was one point and any red zone stops resulted in one point for the defense. For the “Game Changers” portion in the individual matchups, whoever won, scored one point for their team. The situation drills were scored as well. During first down drills, if the offense got four or more yards, that team got a point, but if the defense held them to under four yards, the defense earned a point. If the offense converted on third down, they received a point, and if the defense stopped them, the defense got a point.

After individual position drills and 7-on-7 drills, the Cajuns split up unto their respective teams, (Vermilion & White) and a 70minute running clock was put on the board to start things off. Vermilion won the coin toss to start.

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By: Josh Sibley

The Blue and White game this year at Louisiana College saw freshman quarterback Wayne Griffin use his feet often to extend plays in order to find open receivers for the Blue team. For the White team, wide receiver Leondre James had an impressive game working against defensive back Joshua Pickett. The offensive lines for both teams looked to show improvement, while the defensive line looked stout up front causing both quarterbacks to break the pocket and either make a play while scrambling or tuck the ball away and try to get positive yardage. The running backs had decent rushing yardage considering they were not allowed to wear pads for the spring game. Aaron Woods looked excellent in pass protection for the Wildcats. On the side of coaching, Coach Charles, allowed his assistants to take the lead on this front, and observed them from the sidelines. He noted that each team did an excellent job on both sides of the ball, and that the coaches also did an excellent job.

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Diamond In The Rough: Will Delahoussaye By: Tyler Smith

Will Delahoussaye is a 5’10, 175 lbs linebacker from Lafayette High School. Will has great speed and can make excellent tackles in open space. Going into his senior year Will is expected to be a leader on the defense and help the team end the recent drought of not reaching the playoffs. Bench: 285 40 Time: 4.7 Height: 5’10 Weight: 175

GPA: 4.0 ACT: 32 When and Why did you start playing football? What do you love about football? I started playing football back in the 7th grade at Paul Breaux. And I wanted to because of the competitiveness of game and how it runs in my family. My brother played football so I wanted hamstring injury. I came back for the 5th game of the season and still to follow his footsteps. made first team all-district. You seem pretty quick do you run track or play any other sports?

What is one thing you want to improve on during the offseason?

No, I only play football in high school. I used to play soccer.

I would say, could only get better and continue to be a leader and help my team get better.

What Colleges would you like to play for?

What are some goals you have heading into your senior year?

Not limited to a certain school but I would prefer a school that has good academics.

A big goal of mine is to make the playoffs with my team and have more forced turnovers than last season.

How do you feel your junior season went?

What helps you stay successful at football?

My junior season went pretty well for the most part even though I was out for the first half of the season because of a

My mindset I work very hard and take pride in it. I never keep my head down, if I make a mistake I brush it off and play the next play.

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By: Josh Sibley

The Southeastern Louisiana offense and defense both had impressive moments during their annual Spring Game, this past Saturday, April 21st, as they closed out spring practice in Strawberry Stadium for Super Lion Saturday.

had the longest play of the day with a catch for 34 yards. Sophomore Delmonte Hall led Southeastern with seven rushes for 24 yards.

The Lions ended up running approximately 60 plays over a 40 minute scrimmage that saw the Gold (offense) edge out the White (defense) 40-35. Points were awarded to the offense by scoring touchdowns, but also by earning first downs, on explosive plays, and trips to the red zone. The defense could earn points on turnovers, sacks, on 3-and-out plays and stops.

The defense of the Lions forced three different turnovers, with an interception by junior Matthew Wright, and senior Sean Clavelle, and junior Xavier Lewis both recovered fumbles. Defensive back junior Tre’ Spann had a team high five tackles, followed up by freshman Ferlando Jordan and senior Tamarcus Russell with four each. Spann, Jordan, Russell, senior Jon Miller and junior Isaac Adeyemi-Berglund each also notched a sack on the day.

Even with the offense topping the defense on the scoreboard, Southeastern first year head coach Frank Scelfo was very pleased with the effort of the defense.

Senior kicker Jonathan Tatum connected on 2-of-3 field goal attempts, connecting on field goals of 36 and 22 yards, while missing on a 34 yarder.

“On one hand, we turned the ball over too many times on offense,” Scelfo stated. “But, we were proud of the defense for forcing those turnovers. We’ve had good energy and played fast all spring and we were able to see that again today, so overall we were pleased.”

Junior Quarterback Chason Virgil led in passing, going 8-of-12 for 101 yards with an interception. While senior receivers Nih-Jer Jackson (2 catches for 39 yards), Jake Ingraffia (3 catches, 22 yards) and junior receiver Bransen Schwebel (3 catches of 17 yards) were the top targets of Chason. Senior Darren Johnson

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By: Traveon Anderson

Nicholls State just recently completed its annual spring game and it was an exciting contest. This highly competitive game ended with a final score of 26-13, with Team Red being victorious. Although the score was low, this game gave great insight as to how productive the team should be in the upcoming season. Offense and defense showed no disparities when it came to competiveness, and this shows great promise for the upcoming season.

backs, Tyler Green had the most exciting play of the day. Green managed to record an interception that he returned for an astonishing 73 yard touchdown, which helped to seal the White teams victory.

A lot can be taken away from the Colonel’s annual spring game. The offense, will put up numbers seeing as though the receiving core is extremely talented. The running game was something that was not prioritized during the game, but still can surprise teams during the regular season. Alternatively, the defense looks to be extremely dominant, as athleticism surges through every aspect of it. Defensive Offensively, quarterbacks shined during the game, with Chase backs are ball hawking in nature, and the defensive line is just as Fourcade and Kohen Granier performing extremely well. Fourhard-nosed as some of the best lines in the nation. The Colonels cade showed just how dominant he can be, and finished the should have productive 2018-2019 season, and they are sure to surgame with 140 yards, with 10 total completions. Along with this, prise numerous teams. he managed to add a touchdown to his record when he connected with Dai’Jean Dixon for a 67 yard score. Granier proved to be the more productive of the two and finished the game with 189 passing yards on 10 completions. He managed to find open receivers everywhere, and his favorite target was Mason Roberts. Roberts proved to be a viable wideout, and finished the game with 5 receptions for 92 yards, along with a touchdown to cement his creditability as an offensive threat. The running game was somewhat quiet for the Colonels, but still proved to be efficient. Kyran Irvin managed to finish the game with 7 carries for 33 yards, while Dontrell Taylor finished with 56 yards on 16 carries. Along with a consistent rushing attack, the running back core also proved to be efficient pass catchers as well. Although the offense remained the focal point of the spring game, the defense performed well. The score was kept low due to how aggressive the defense was as whole. The defensive line showed bright spots, with numerous players recording 3 or more tackles. Along with this, the defense downright abused the opposing team’s offensive line, and made it easy to harass the quarterback. Hezekiah White, Tyler Johnson, and Devin Simoneaux all recorded sacks for their respective teams. Ronald Ollie was a bright spot among the defense, as he is maturing into a top level player. Ollie finished the game with 4 total tackles, and also contributed one tackle for a loss during his time on the field. Grid Isidore Jr., was outright amazing, and managed to record 8 total tackles for the Red Team. Among the defensive

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By: Traveon Anderson

Spring football is a time that fans around the country wait for anxiously. This game gives fans insights into how well or bad their favorite team may perform in the upcoming season. Northwestern State, located in Natchitoches, LA, gave hopefuls and fans a glimpse into what their team will producing next season. Unlike most teams, The Demons hold numerous spring games, and this was their third bout against each other. During each phase of the spring practices, new schemes are introduced so that players can fully grasp the playbook before the start of the season. Interestingly enough, The Demons also use a modified scoring system, which concluded with a final score of 87-70. The offense and defense proved to be just as stout as some of the top teams in the nation, and it showed during their final scrimmage.

Offensively, four different quarterbacks lead the team’s offense. Each of the quarterbacks helped to gain 5 touchdowns, with a total of 458 passing yards. Individually, Shelton Eppler lead the quarterback core with 143 passing yards, with Kaleb Fletcher close behind him with 136 passing yards. This depth at the quarterback position embodies the concept of “next man up�, and shows that Northwestern has viable leaders no matter the quarterback. Along with the high production from its passers, one wide receiver was able to differentiate himself from the pack. Bourque proved to be a legitimate deep threat and managed to lead all receivers with 151 receiving yards on six catches. He also managed to add an impressive 57 yard scoring drive to his stat line as well. The run game also showed promise, as Jared West amassed 120 rushing yards on 10 carries, which was a game high. In total, the offense combined for 687 total yards, with 220 yards coming from a prominent rushing attack. Each play averaged about 6.3 yards, even with the modified scoring system in place. Defensively, Northwestern showed extreme athleticism which is something they want to take advantage of in the upcoming season. The coaching staff has simplified the defense, which allows players to remain fundamentally sound, and use their athletic ability to make miraculous plays. In total, the defense combined for 7 sacks, and were responsible for batting down 7 of the 16 incomplete passes thrown during the contest. Dez Gray lead the defense with 7 total tackles, with Krolczyk close behind him with 6.5 tackles, which also included a sack. Two interceptions were recorded during the game, and they can be attributed to Deshon Ficklin and Blake Stephenson respectively. As a whole, this final spring contest proved to be productive for the Demons. They showed that they have the ability to score whether it be on the ground or through the air, as well as showing colossal amounts of depth at the quarterback position. The defense also proved, that they can create scoring opportunities for themselves based on their athletic ability alone. They have a knack for swarming to the ball, and it can be accredited to their simple schemes. The Demons are looking to bounce back from their previous season, and with their talent pool this may be their best one yet.

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By: Traveon Anderson

yardage. The best defensive series of the night came when the offense marched down the field to the 2 yard line. Most defenses get nervous as a team approaches its respective endzone, however the defensive line showed that it can be dependable in tight situations. The Tulane defensive line held its ground, and created 8 yards of negative plays for the offense, and held them to a field goal in what could be seen as automatic points for the Offensively, the Greenwave showed their ability to make big offense. The defense as whole, showed extreme amounts of plays, but redzone struggles plagued the first team offense. promise, especially in regards to defending the redzone. Redshirt Senior, Terren Encalade has knack for making ridicAs a whole, Tulane showed that is has the ability to perform exulous plays as a receiver and he proved this during the game. He finished with a total of 137 receiving yards, and a tremely well on both sides of the ball. Offensively, it has the receiving core to dominate opposing secondary’s, as well an up few jaw-dropping plays as well. His first play came in the form of leaping 49 yard catch over the outstanding P.J. Hall, and coming run game to compliment it. Defensively, Tulane will as well as 78 yard reception where he was able to out speed terrorize opposing teams, especially in the trenches. This combithe Greenwave defensive backs for a score. His dominance nation of consistency and good fundamental play should produce success for the Greenwave in the upcoming season. at the wide receiver position can be attributed to his conSpring football is coming to conclusion in the State of Louisiana, and Tulane looked to improve upon its 5th place finish in the American West Conference. The spring game ended with onlookers amazed by how explosive this team will be, especially offensively. Although the offense showed incredible potential, the defense managed to be effective too.

sistent off-season work in regards to route running and speed. Along with Encalade dominating in the receiving core, the running game proved to be efficient as well. Corey Daupine, a Texas Tech transfer, showed just how hardnosed he can be as running back. He finished the game with 90 yards on six carries, as well as adding 53 yard highlight reel run to cap off his performance. The quarterback positon, which is focal point of any team, also remained consistent as well. Senior, Jonathan Banks persevered through the offenses struggles and managed to accumulate 161 passing yards, as well as adding a touchdown to his stat line. Tulane’s defense remained just as impressive as the offense, and they should be given the highest of praises. The defensive line produced a total of five sacks, as they bombarded Tulane’s offensive line with pressure during the duration of the contest. During the opening drive, Zach Harris recorded the first sack of the game, however the defensive onslaught did not stop there. Each time the offense was in the redzone, the defense remained poised and ultimately did their job exceedingly well. On fourth and one, the defensive line halted the offenses progression as Darius Bradwell was stuffed as he attempted to convert the play for positive

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By: Traveon Anderson

leader of the offense must be named, as the quarterback position is of the utmost importance. Along with this, Lampley proves to be the best option, but he still has some technical issues to work through in the offseason. His negatives do not outweigh his positives, because he still able to orchestrate scoring drives in various ways. The defense also looks to improve as well. In the past they have struggled to be efficient in stopping passes, but showed that they are full of potential Offensively, the position of quarterback is the most unsettled at when harassing opposing quarterbacks and wide receivers. Another this point, especially with the departure of starting quarterback positive that can be taken away from the game is health. Most, if not Austin Howard. Howard, who was a prolific passer and runner, all, of the team remained healthy during the spring festivities which made it seem almost impossible to replace him. Coach Odum allow for a good evaluation of the talent available on the team. The believes that sophomore quarterback, John Lampley, is the front Southern University Jaguars look to improve in the upcoming 2018runner for the job as he showed potential during the spring 2019 season, and once positions are concrete they are sure to surgame. Lampley began the game showing some nervousness, and prise teams in the SWAC. this was reflected in his passing ability. This nervousness forced him to throw one interception during the game. However, as the game progressed he became calmer and managed to string together some impressive drives for the Jaguars. He wowed onlookers with his accuracy when throwing the deep ball, as well as being extremely efficient in short pass situations. In total, Lampley finished the game with 3 touchdown passes, and one interception. His stellar play may have proved him to be a viable option as a starting quarterback. The Southern Jaguars concluded their annual spring game, and speed was the main focal point. The Jag’s are looking to improve upon a season where they finished 7-4 in the SWAC Conference, and finished with a loss to Grambling in the Bayou Classic. Southern also looks to fill gaps left by players such as Danny Jonson and Aaron Tiller as well.

Defensively the Jaguars, struggled last season. When faced with elite passers and rushing attacks the defense as whole was almost non-existent. Although, Danny Johnson proved to be an elite talent last season, his departure leaves a major gap within a defense that is rebuilding. During the spring game, the defense began on high note, and showed glimpses of promise by intercepting one pass thrown by Lampley. However, as the game progressed the offense somewhat bullied the defense, and was able to score at will. The defense still managed to show an impressive grasp of fundamental techniques as they were able to close in on passes with extreme speed, as well as limit the amount of passes caught in the air. Demerio Houston looks to be the bright spot on the defense, as well as a viable replacement for Danny Johnson. The spring game proved that the Jaguars are rebuilding even with gargantuan expectations placed upon them. Offensively, a

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By: Traveon Anderson

In Ruston, LA, football is a centerpiece of the small city. The sport infects the young minds of children and stays with them though grade school and hopefully until they hear their name being called in the NFL Draft. This city is also home to Louisiana Tech, also known as La Tech. As spring is coming to a conclusion, La Tech held its annual spring game, and showed promise for the upcoming season. The Bulldogs looked to improve upon their 4th place finish standing in Conference-USA, and the spring game provided Bulldog fans with much needed hope. Overall, the spring game was relatively low scoring and it finished with the White team pulling out a ten point victory over the Blue team for a final score of 16-6. Offensively, the Bulldogs remained consistent as both teams combined for 652 yards of total offense.

The quarterback situation can be deemed interesting, as both White and Blue team quarterbacks shined in the spring game. Redshirt freshman, Elijah Walker went 4 for 5 in the passing game, as well as adding a touchdown to his resume. However, his stellar performance was cut short due to a shoulder injury suffered in the game. Walker showed extreme prowess when asked to stretch the field on “money plays”. Once he entered the game, Walker strung together impressive drives, and managed to accrue nine points for the team, on two drives. The takeaways from his performance can deemed minimal, but if you analyze the game, he proved to be the best quarterback in the rotation. Walker was faced with passing against a defense that is loaded with talent, as well as making plays against All-American, Amik Robertson. Along with Walker, starting quarterback J’Mar Smith proved to be a stout play caller, and finished the game with 113 passing yards with 34 total passes. Running back is also a position that seems to be gaining much needed clarity as well. Although a long and tedious battle with cancer halted Jaqwis Dancy’s performance last season, he proved to any doubters that he was a viable candidate to be named the starting running back. As the spring game progressed, Dancy rushed for a team high 78 yards on 12 carries, with 3 or more of these runs accumulating as least 10 yards.

Defensively, the linebacker core is proving to be one of the most dominant in the country. Coach Holtz explained that this group of linebackers is one of the most fundamentally sound groups he has had in almost a decade. The Bulldogs even managed to add the National JUCO Player of the Year, Connor Taylor as well. The leading tacklers came in the form of Dae’von Washington and Collin Scott. Washington finished the game with a total of 9 tackles, including a sack for the Blue team. Scott also made his name known for the White team, and produced 8 total tackles as well. Connor Taylor also lived up to the hype in first action with the Bulldogs. He managed to coral 5 total tackles, and proved to be a player than can lead the linebacker core. Once the defense fully grasps the playbook, they have the potential to strike fear into the hearts of opponents.

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By: Josh Sibley

McNeese football announced its spring schedule on Friday, February 23rd, stating that it will begin on Wednesday, February 28, on wrap up on Saturday, March 24.

be the standout on offense and has made some good runs against a speedy and physical defense.

At Quarterback there was just competition, no controversy. Cody The Cowboys held 15 practices in that four-week span, all tak- Orgeron didn’t have a bad day, and neither did James Tabary . ing place at the A.I. Ratcliff Practice Fields. There was no spring Orgeron started in front of Tabary a few days, but ultimately game for the McNeese football team this year due to new field Tabary kept his job. construction in Cowboy Stadium. Tight End Austin Nelson is sitting out the spring, but Lawayne Ross and Dontay Hargrove have both been serviceable in his absence. After two full weeks of competition and practice, head coach Lance Guidry, believes that the Cowboys have a chance to im- At safety Gabe Foster, who is very talented and fast, made the prove upon last year’s record of 9-2 despite being younger and biggest impact on defense. more inexperienced, they can be better and more talented. “We feel like from a skill point, a speed point, we’re better than “It’s not as much an offense vs. defense competition as it is last year,” said Guidry. “But we don’t have the experience position vs. position. We’re trying to get guys to compete Dominique (Hill) and Andre (Fuller) has so there’s some give and against each other within their own groups and trying to get take there.” the best players at the top. We’re just working at getting better each day at different things.” said Guidry who is now entering The linebacker position had good competition among returning senior Christian Jacobs, who was medically redshirted last season, his third season as head coach. and returning starter BJ Blunt. The offensive line which has been depleted heading into spring practices was dropped even more by two due to shoulder sur- Defensive ends Chris Livings and Micah Udeh both return as starters from last season. Livings was limited in action this spring. Cody geries for Collin Fountain and Jimmy Converse. This left the Roscoe and Christian Robinson have both competed well. Cowboys with only 7-8 linemen on offense. Which also, eliminated the spring game, and any high rep, high snap post prac- Defensive tackle, redshirt freshman, Cameron Peterson is extice scrimmages. pected to carry a load this season for the Cowboys. He has grown “There’s just no way we can do a spring game or any 100-play scrimmages with just the linemen we have,” said Guidry. “But we’ve been doing some live tackling on our full pad days.” Position battles:

and put on weight since last season standing 6’5 and weighing in around 270 pounds. He is expected to start the season, and could be a four year starter for McNeese. The Cowboys also return Jonta Jones and Harris Tafah. Some coaching title changes during the offseason:

The offensive line has looked really thin going into spring, but should be better come fall camp. Wide receivers Trevor Begue, and Nate Biscoe had good spring practices. Cyron Sutton, Kylon Highshaw, and Tre Roberts all made some nice catches. The receivers mix-matched with their groupings from day to day. Running backs J’cobi Skinner, Mac Brisco and Ben Jones all participated in full contact practices, while Justin Pratt and David Hamm were limited in contact. Brisco has looked to

• Kerry Joseph switching from WR to QB coach • Landon Hoefer switching from QB to WR coach

• Wayne Cordova switching from Buck safeties to DB coach • The addition of former McNeese QB, Tyler Bolfing, as the new TE coach

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By: Traveon Anderson

The game of football is a sport that some men shy away from. Critics have called the game dangerous and unnecessary, especially for young athletes. In the heart of Louisiana the sport remains king, and the talent level within the state extends from grade school, all the way up into high level college football. In the city of Monroe, Louisiana lies a small college with big time players. The University of Louisiana at Monroe is home to one of the best teams in the state which is led by a strong, young quarterback known as, Caleb Evans. This hidden gem within the state of Louisiana showed insuperable amounts of promise during his sophomore campaign. Evans showed just how proficient he can be as field general by combing for over 30 touchdowns, and leading his team to a 5th place finish in a strong Sun Belt Conference. Caleb’s high level of play and expertise at the quarterback position is jaw dropping. I had the honor and pleasure of interviewing this outstanding individual, and he did not disappoint. When did you become introduced to the sport of football? This is a question that I ask most, if not all people. Learning where a person began to become enamored with the game of football can dictate a lot about a person’s character. Although this question may be hard for most to answer, Caleb was prompt in his response. He explained to me that at the age of 6, he began to play flag football.

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This form of football is basic, but it gives young players an elementary understanding of the game. It can almost be deemed football in its purest from. Once Caleb aged, he struggled with his love for the game. As a third grader, Caleb somewhat disliked organized football, and he doubted his abilities as an athlete. This led him to want to quit the game. However his father was quick to dissuade him. His father explained to him, that if he quit the game of football then, he would not be allowed to play the sport later. This statement from his father scared Caleb a little because he did not want to quit the game all together. Caleb continued to play the sport and pushed through any adversity that he faced in regards to the game. It is safe to say that without his father stepping in and not allowing his son to quit, Caleb may not be the same man and player that he is today. Can you describe your playing career? Caleb’s answer to this question may be surprising to some seeing as though he is one of the best quarterbacks in the NCAA. As a young player in middle school, Caleb was not fond of the quarterback position, and his athleticism led him to play safety. This is where he began to shine, and it was not until high school where he made his position change to quarterback. His first experience as a starting quarterback came when he played for Bishop Dunne High School located in Dallas, Texas. After transferring from a neighboring high school, Caleb was now a senior and had one year to prove himself as a legitimate quarterback. He explained to me that, at Bishop Dunne he blossomed at the position. In one year as a starter, Caleb passed for over 3200 yards and tallied 47 passing touchdowns. Along with his surgical passing ability, Caleb was also able to rush for 17 more touchdowns, which totaled for a combined 64 touchdowns in one season. This record was immaculate for one season of play. Caleb then began to explain to me that this is when offers began to come, as he was somewhat overlooked by other teams.

of the Warhawks. When asked this question, Caleb directed me back to his upbringing. He explained that he was raised to be responsible for his actions. As a quarterback, almost every highlight and fault is directed towards this position. His humble upbringing did not deter him from the position or being held accountable for his actions. Caleb also explains that he strives to perform well under pressure, and that he likes the fact that the weight of the team is on his shoulders. He enjoys having the ball in his hands at all times, and he feels as though he can have control over his team’s outcome, whether that be good or bad. What are your strengths and weakness as a player? Asking anyone to critique themselves is daunting task, but this is a question that really allows a person to see the mentality of another individual. Although it is a difficult question to answer, Caleb immediately explained that there is always room for improvement no matter how talented an individual is. Caleb is a defense’s worse nightmare, and he gave answers that are not typically given when thought is put into this question. He began to explain that one of his greatest strengths is his high football IQ. Understanding the game, as well as what it takes to be successful, is something that he prides himself in. He also explained that his confidence and poise, no matter the situation is something that never stutters with him at quarterback. By conversing with Caleb it is apparent that he started out a humble player, and that being humble is one of his biggest strengths as a player. Caleb was also quick to attribute his strengths and poise to his older brothers, which helped to teach

Why the position of quarterback?

It seems a given that Caleb should be a quarterback as he proved himself as one of the best high school quarterbacks in the nation, as well as one of the best quarterbacks in the NCAA as a sophomore. He produces stat lines that are unimaginable to most, but I still wanted to understand why he wanted to be the leader

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him the game at an early age. He also explained that one of his biggest weakness, comes from a technical standpoint. Caleb is a young quarterback, and explained that his main area of focus is working on his check downs when plays are in motion. What is your favorite moment as a player, as well as your favorite play to run? Caleb’s answer to this question was no surprise to me. He explained that he has lots of a great moments as a football player, but his favorite moment no matter the situation is when he scores. The feeling that comes over him as an athlete when he is able to make plays and score, is unmatched. It almost comes as a feeling of euphoria to Caleb when he is able to pass or run for points. Along with scoring creating an immense amount of excitement for Caleb, he also explained that the shallow route is his favorite play call. Caleb enjoys plays with high efficiency and a high rate of production. He explained to me that his play is almost impossible to stop, and that with a receiving core as talented as his, he as numerous options to choose from when picking apart defenses. Along with answering these questions, Caleb also explained that his favorite style of offense is the RPO system, also known as the run, pass, option. This is the current offense ran at ULM, and this is where Caleb feels most comfortable. This system includes simple reads, which allows Caleb to simplify the game, and make big plays when necess-

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ary. This play style also represents Caleb’s love for pressure, and by running this style of offense, Caleb is tasked with gargantuan amounts of responsibility. Why choose to play for ULM?

During the duration of our interview, I could tell that he was a well-rounded young man, and that he strived for greatness no matter the situation that he was placed in. He immediately explained that everything in anyone’s life happens for a reason, and that playing for ULM was not something that he planned or predicted. After transferring high schools his senior season, Caleb was tasked with increasing his level of recruitment in one year. He had only one year to prove himself to college coaches and he did not shy away from this task. Caleb is a firm believer in playing in systems that allow him to perform to the best of his ability as well as where he can get looks from scouts and fans. He is extremely patient, and not starting at a college right after high school was an afterthought to him. Caleb is a student of the game, and embodies the idea that everything happens for a reason. If he never decided to enroll at ULM, he may not be the talented quarterback that we know and love today.

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What are your personal goals and team goals for this upcoming season?

he felt a need to teach him the game so that he can be one step ahead of his peers once he got to the next level. In regards to NFL players, Caleb’s answer was surprising. I expected Caleb to When asked this question Caleb lit up with excitement. His personal goals also reflect his team goals. Personally, Caleb describe a dual-threat quarterback similar to himself, but his explained that he does not want to be just the best quarter- favorite player in the NFL is Aaron Rodgers. He explained that he likes how Rodgers became the player he is today. Rodgers studback in the Sun Belt conference. He wants to be the best ied under Brett Farve and when his time came, he performed on college quarterback in the nation, and he wholeheartedly one of the biggest stages imaginable. Along with his road to starbelieves he can achieve this goal if he puts in the work. In dom, Caleb is really fascinated by Rodgers quick release when the offseason, he explained that he wants to increase his passing and his beautiful technique as a quarterback. Along with athleticism, as well as his already immense football IQ. In this question, I wanted to know which team was Caleb’s favorite, regards to team goals, Evans believes that this will the and I assumed it was the Packers, but he quickly explained that team’s best season yet. Throughout spring practice, Caleb explained that the defense is improving tremendously, and he enjoys the Baltimore Ravens. Caleb explained that as a young that their grasp of the playbook is almost perfect. As humble child, his father would constantly brag about how prolific their as Caleb is, he went on to explain that it is becoming harder defense was, and from that day on he was always fascinated to score on the first-team defense because of how well they with the team. Their colors intrigued him as well, and although his father is Dallas Cowboys fan, he still places the Ravens numare disguising their packages. The offense is also another ber one in the NFL. focal point where improvement can be seen. Caleb explained that the offense is hungry this season, and that they Why do you love football? want to put up unthinkable numbers. I end every interview with this question because it allows players Which receiver do you have the most chemistry with? to consider their reasons for playing such a demanding sport. It also allows me to see how football has affected an individual’s This question is biased in nature, and when asked it causes one to pick favorites. Caleb quickly dismissed this question, life as well. When asked, Caleb responded in a manner that can and provided an answer that I expected from a remarkable be expected from a phenomenal individual. He explained that his love for football stems from the energy that the sport brings. individual. He explained to me that, there is not a specific Football is sport filled with emotion and passion, and this imbues receiver that he has the most chemistry with. Caleb explayers with an unalterable love for the game. Caleb represents plained that the receiving core this season is full of depth. Each receiver on the roster brings positive attributes to the this statement to fullest. Along with the energy that the sport brings, Caleb mostly enjoys the memories that accompany the team whether it be RJ Turner, who is a big bodied receiver and redzone threat, or Marcus Green who is almost impossi- sport, as well as the bonds he creates with his teammates. He ble to stop when he steps on the field. Caleb is a firm believ- then went on to explain that football helped to build his outer in the concept of “the next man up”, and he believes that standing character as well as his ability to be a sound leader. Caleb also explained that football teaches you to bounce back each receiver on the depth chart can make explosive plays from any situation. He explained that at any moment a situation when needed. may not go your way, and that fans can go from loving you, to Who are your role models on and off the field? hating you in an instant. This has taught Caleb to persevere When asked this question Caleb immediately explained that through hardships, and also remain confident through times of his father, Efrem Evans, was his biggest role model. This an- peril. swer made sense, because throughout our interview, Caleb’s father remained a focal point during our discussions. He explained to me that his father instilled him the idea of having outstanding character, as well as holding yourself to a high standard. Caleb also learned how to be leader through watching his father as well. Without his father, Caleb may not have become the man he is today. Along with his father, Caleb was quick to mention his brother, Jerod Evans. Jerod was instrumental in teaching Caleb the game of football, and how the game should be played. Caleb explained that Jerod saw potential in him at an early age, and that as big brother,

Caleb Evans has proved he is one, if not the best quarterback in the entire NCAA. He showed enormous amounts of poise and confidence when leading the Warhawks during his tenure there. Off the field, Caleb is an extraordinary individual who does not let his impressive talent exceed his ability to be a well-rounded young man. Make sure to take note of Caleb and ULM in the upcoming season because with their talent pool, they are sure to make some noise in the NCAA.

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Diamond in the Rough: Calvin Watson, Walker High School By: Tyler Smith

Calvin Watson is a defensive back for Walker High School in Walker, LA. Calvin has great coverage skills and can come up and make hard hitting tackles in space, making him a great run support corner. He uses his speed and ball hawking vision to force turnovers. He had 7 interceptions during his junior season.

Height: 5’8 Weight: 170lbs Bench: 225 Squat: 365 40 Time: 4.5

GPA: 3.0 When did you start playing football? My 6th grade year at North Corbin Junior High School. I wanted to play with my friends. I was always athletic and

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when I started to play football I just continued to get better and better. Been playing football ever since that year and now heading into my senior year I have so much to look forward to. What do you love about football? I just love the game of football itself. Like how physical it is and all the work you put into it to be a great player. Football has always been my favorite sport. I love the atmosphere the crowd brings to the game, especially when you make a big play. What style of player are you?

I’m more of a coverage player, I can come up and make the tackle. I consider myself as a ball hawk type player. I force a lot of turnovers. I cover their number one receiver every game. Our district is tough with teams like Zachary and Scotlandville, they usually bring it. The competition is tough but I look forward to it. Facing teams like that will give me opportunities to prove myself. Play any other sports? Yes, I play basketball for our high school as well.

I see you make plays at both corner and safety? What is your better position? Really, I’m good at both positions. If there is a good receiver, I will play corner and cover him while someone would move to my spot at safety. It all depends on the team’s personnel that we are playing against. Wherever you need me to play at I will. I could play safety or cornerback and still feel comfortable. How do you feel your Junior year went? It went great, besides the fact that we could not get past the 1st round. Played against Landry Walker in the playoffs. Had a lot of good plays but I feel I could have got more tackles and more interceptions. A key moment during my Junior year for me was when we shut out Denham Springs 20-0. I got a pick 6 to seal the deal and help win the game for my team.

Have you attended any camps? No sir. But this summer I plan to go to a couple camps. A Southern coach came to my high school and invited me to their showcase. I can’t wait to get out there and showcase my skills. What would college coaches be most impressed about you? My coverage skills and hustle, I never give up on plays. I watch a lot of film. My mindset is what they would be most impressed about. I really want it and you can tell I do when you watch me play. What would you want to major in while in college? I haven’t figured that out yet. Still thinking about all my options.

One thing you want to improve on this off-season? I would say, my speed, coverage skills, tackling, continue to get stronger to make harder licks. What are you looking forward to the most for your Senior year? Winning a state championship with my team is the only thing on mind for next season.

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Diamond In The Rough: John Gordon McKernan, LSU U-High By: Coach Andy Bryson

LSU’s Laboratory School (better known as U-High) is loaded with their 2019 class. QB John McKernan is one of their stars on that undefeated state championship team. UHigh will enter the season ranked 10th in the nation according to MaxPreps. I had the pleasure of speaking to John and I learned that there is more to this young man than meets the eye. He works harder than his peers and is motivated by success that comes from his hard work. Back in February, we evaluated John for the recruiting magazine that is coming out this summer. In the evaluation we noted that he was having trouble getting his hip around during the season. Since the season has ended, John has been working with QB coaches from around the country to improve his hip rotation and footwork. In doing so, his release has improved 10 fold. His passes are coming out faster and are more accurate. John is 6’2″ and weighs 195. He has a 3.85 GPA and will be taking the ACT in June. John has a laser time of 4.79 on his forty yard dash and a 4.71 hand time.

How long have you been playing football? Since 8th grade. I always wanted to play football, but my mom was worried I would get hurt (like most moms). Finally my dad said that if I was going to play, that the time had come. So I began playing in 8th grade.

I think I have a high football IQ. I watch and study a lot of film. I am also a very accurate passer. I am also deceptively athletic. I make plays out of nothing at times. Finally, my team would consider me a leader and someone to lean on when we are down. What are some of your successes?

There is a lot I love about football, so I guess the thing I love the most is that it is a competitive sport. Football is the ultimate team sport.

This past season, I lead my team to an undefeated season and state championship. We beat three teams that won a state championship in their divisions, and the team we beat in the state championship beat a fourth state champion. In my career as a starting QB, I have only lost one game.

What is something you have learned while playing football?

You have worked on your technique so far in the off-season, what have you focused on?

I have learned that I am more resilient than I ever thought I was. I started my Sophomore year and broke my hand in the second game of the year and was out for seven weeks. I came back to start in the first game of the playoffs. We blew out Loyola by 4 or 5 touchdowns. Loyola was ranked 2nd in the state and we were undefeated until then.

I have been focusing on my hip turn. My leg was kicking up last season which impacted my long ball, so I have spent this offseason working on keeping my leg down and focusing on my hip turn while activating my core.

What are your strengths?

Between the ages of 6 and 12, I was ranked 9th in the country and 21st in the world. I started playing golf when I was really young. At six years old, I placed first in the state of Louisiana and

What do you love about football?

I heard you used to play Golf. Can you tell us a little about it?

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was named Player Of The Year. I held that title until I was 12 when I decided to start playing football instead. Do you play any other sports? I used to play basketball from when I was really young until the end of my freshman year. My dad and grandpa played basketball at LSU, so I began to play when I was young. My other grandpa played football at LSU. What kind of football player are you? I am a play maker. I make plays both inside and outside of the pocket. I would not consider myself a true pocket passer, but I’m not a scrambler either. I just make plays. I also consider myself a field general because I take what the defense gives me and I try to always make the right decision. I also try to lead by example.

I read last year that you turned down the Player Of The Week for someone else. Would you like to tell us what happened? It was either the 6th or 7th week of the season and Johnny Johnson, a defensive lineman from St. Amant, his dad had just died the day before. He had a really great game that week, so I felt like he had deserved the award more than I did. When I was told I had won the award, I spoke to my parents and told them that he deserved the award more than I did since he had lost so much yet he played so great. What would you like to major in while in college? I will most likely continue in the family footsteps and major in Law.

Are you planning on attending any camps this summer? If so which ones? I plan to attend several camps this summer. The Mercer Camp, Sam Houston camp, a camp at Southern, LSU’s camp, a camp at Florida, and attend some camps in the Ivy League

. Is there anything you would like to say to the coaches? Yes sir, I am a winner! I complete passes and I make plays happen. Whichever school I go to, I will not let them down!

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Diamond In The Rough: QB Ben West By: Coach Andy Bryson Nestled in the heart of Louisiana lies the little town of Pineville. There you will find the home of the states only DIII football team, Louisiana College, and you will find the home of Louisiana’s most legendary coaches, Dennis Dunn. Dennis Dunn is the head coach for the Pineville High School Rebels. Coach Dunn has coached several young men who have gone off to play in the NFL. One such young man was John David Booty, who went to USC then was drafted by the Minnesota Vikings. Today, Coach Dunn continues his impressive streak of teaching boys of how to become men on the gridiron. This years quarterback is no different. Ben West took over last season as the starting quarterback when senior quarterback Cameron Bates was injured. Ben is going into his senior year next season. He is 6ft 190lbs. Ben is a 3.8 gpa student that scored a 25 on his ACT. Ben also has a 4.8 forty. It was a pleasure to sit down and interview Ben. When did you get into playing football? I have been playing football as long as I can remember. Since whenever it’s legal that’s when I started playing. Why Do you love playing football? I like it because it’s not a solo sport, you can’t do anything without the team. And you become brothers on the field. It’s the best feeling under the lights on Friday night when you get to see all your hard work pay off. There is nothing like it anywhere else, that feeling of accomplishment and teamwork. What are some life lessons you have learned from playing football?

I go into the next practice or the next game.

What are your strengths on the field?

One of them is that hard work pays off. Another is to peruse your I’d say that I have very good vision as a quarterback both throwing dreams no matter what opposition you face. One more is when you and running. A lot of people depend on juking or chucking on the field to make the play happen, but I can see what’s going on and lose all your excuses you will find all of your results. make it happen that way without doing that. I’d also say that I’m What are some of your achievements while playing football? very accurate with the football, and that when I tuck the ball I can Sophomore year I made all team Central Louisiana. I have gained a definitely gain some ground. lot of social skills from it. I have learned how to talk to people and Has coach Dunn helped you to grow as a player? get them to work with me rather than trying to force them to do Oh, 100% absolutely. Not only skill wise but also mentally he has what I want. I also consider it an achievement that I have made a helped me with the game. He has also taught me so many life leslot of life long friends since I started playing football. sons. What is the one thing you would tell your younger self to do What are your weaknesses? better?

I would tell myself to not get so caught up in the moment and enjoy I’m not the perfect height. playing it and realize what I’m doing it. You know playing with joy as

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What are you working on to improve on this offseason?

Definitely my speed. I’m going to work on my speed a whole lot. Sprints, squats, and resistance training and just repetition to get faster. What is your favorite play? Why? I love slants. Just simple slants, you know. I like it because it’s really easy to read the grass where the defenders are lined up and you can see where the ball is going to go and it is an easy 5 yards. Have you been to any camps? Which ones?

I have been to a camp at La Tech and also football university. I have also been to a camp at LA college. I’ve been on some tours too. I’m going to some camps this summer; a lot of coaches have asked me to this summer. Are you a pocket passer? I can do both, I can work well in the pocket and I can also if I have to flee I can also throw on the run. How are your classes going? My classes went very well. I’m enrolled in a lot of college classes, but none of them are a problem at all. What do you want to major in while in college? Aeronautical Engineering or architecture. I like building designs, it’s pretty cool. Do you have any offers?

the playoff game and then we won the super bowl. And the thing I learned from that, is that you’ve never actually failed until you quit. So just keep punching and keep perusing and things are going to work out for you.

I have one offer from Laurence University in Wisconsin. What are your goals for this next season/year? We actually have team goals to win against all Central Louisiana teams and to have a winning season and to have our team operate under one heartbeat. Personal goals, In the weight room I wanted to double my freshman year maxes. On the field I’d like to pass for at least 1500. Tell us about the best game you ever had. The Southwood game was pretty good. We opened against them last year and I had a ninety-eight-yard touchdown, so that was pretty cool. It was my first time playing receiver and there were a lot of yards after the catch which I consider to be a pretty good first time out reception.

Tell us about your biggest comeback you ever had. What did you learn about yourself? One time in Red River *youth football league* we had lost every game that season but since there were only 3 teams in the league for that age group we went to the playoffs. And we won

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Diamond In The Rough: Tayte Langley, Iota High School By: Josh Sibley

Tayte Langley is a 6’3, 235 pound outside linebacker/ defensive end who recently transferred from Eunice to Iota High School. He has excellent read and react skills, as well as amazing lateral quickness. Coach Andy and I witnessed first hand Tayte plug the “B” gap, which forced the ball carrier to change direction. Tayte was able to use his lateral quickness to make a tackle on the ball carrier in the flats. He reminded me of former LSU Linebacker Kendell Beckwith. Bench: 275 Squat: 450 Clean: 270 GPA: 2.9 ACT: 19

40 Time: 4.75 When did you start playing football? When I was about four or five years old, I’ve started playing tackle, in pee-wee football. I never played flag or anything. What do you love about football? I love the technicality of it, and how much you have to improve on yourself. How it teaches discipline, and teamwork with others. I also love making a big stop on 4th and 1. What are somethings that football has taught you? Early on in my life I was uncontrollable, and I think football has taught me how to control myself. In football you play with aggression, and you play 100 percent, and you learn to control that aggression.

What would you like to major in in college? Something dealing with hands on work, like agriculture or construction. I like working with my hands a lot so maybe something dealing with that like construction management.

What kind of player are you? More of a hybrid player. Someone who can rush from the edge but also cover the flats. I like how Khalil Mack did it earlier in his career, but he’s being used as more of a defensive end now.

What do you think is your biggest success is on the field? For me, I think I learned how to be more humble, be a better leader for younger guys, and be a better example. I think that is a success right there. Growing up, did you play any other sports? I played basketball and baseball, I just stopped playing baseball so I could have more time with football, and I played basketball last season. What are some of your strengths? I like to play with my hand on the ground, I think I come off the ball with good explosiveness. I can use my hands to get off blocks, and I can use my reactiveness to get to the ball carrier.

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Diamond In The Rough: Garret Russo, Teurlings Catholic High School By: Josh Sibley

Garret Russo is a 5’11,

215lbs linebacker from Teurlings What do you look forward to the most for your Senior year? Any Catholic High School. Last season Teurlings finished with a 7-5 goals? record. Garret has good strength and a high motor, he always To be the leader on my team, work hard and try to make the playoffs. seems to be around the ball. Do you have any role models? Or football players that inspire you that Bench: 235 you can compare your style of play to? Clean: 205 Luke Kuechly because of his intensity and ability to know where the GPA: 3.7 football is at all times. When and why did you start playing football? I started playing football in Middle school, I watched it grow- What do you love about football? ing up as a kid, wanted to be like the players on TV. I love that it’s a team sport, the fun of the game, What College would you like to play for? get to make friends and just all the action that comes with it. ULL, LA Tech, ULM What helps you stay successful at playing footHow do you feel your Junior season went? ball? I liked it but could improve a lot more. I’m very coachable, watch a lot of film, staying What is one thing this offseason you want to prepared mentally before the games. improve on? Any hobbies besides football? I think my, footwork, dropping back in coverage, Track and Field, I can throw the javelin and discuss. reading the plays.

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Diamond In The Rough: Freddie Mango, Delta Charter High School By: Traveon Anderson Deep in Ferriday, LA lies a newly formed school known as Delta Charter Academy. Although unknown to most, Delta Charter is quickly becoming a powerhouse in Louisiana High School Football. There are numerous hidden gems within their football team, and the most notable is running back, Freddie Mango. One glimpse at Freddie Mango’s film will leave onlookers in awe. He exudes athleticism, and can be effective in any aspect of the game. It is safe to say that Mango is a talented athlete, and he puts fear into opposing defenses when he is on the field. This young man’s athletic ability intrigued me and I wanted to dig deeper into who he was on and off the field. Mango has impressive size for a high school athlete. He stands at a 6’0 tall, and weighs in at sturdy 194lbs. At this size, most would assume he is slow, but even with his build, Mango runs an impressive 4.54 in the 40 yard dash. He has sprinter’s speed, combined with ideal size, which makes him a terror on the offensive side of the ball. Along with size, Freddie has impressive strength and strives for physicality. When Freddie Mango touches the ball, all defenders should be put on notice.

Photo by The Natchez Democrat Can you describe your style of play, and what are some players you pattern yourself after?

All-Metro

1st Team All-District x 3

2nd Team Wide Receiver (as a sophomore)

When watching Freddie play he looks like a combination of countless running backs who dominate the NFL today. He explained to me that he patterns himself after Leonard Fournette and Alvin Kamara, and his playstyle reflects this. Freddie was able to dictate why he enjoyed watching and learning from each of these players, and he explained that Fournette is extremely powerful, and that Kamara shows astonishing elusiveness. He is able to combine these two styles of play and become an offensive juggernaut. Freddie also said that one of his favorite college players was Baker Mayfield, despite him being a quarterback. He explained that Mayfield’s attitude and confidence is appealing to him as a high school player.

1st Team Defensive End (as a sophomore)

What are your strengths and weakness as a player?

Accolades

When asked this question, Freddie somewhat hesitated. Confidence is key when playing any sport, so asking an athlete to critique himself When did you first get introduced into the game of football? may be very difficult. After some thought, Freddie gave answers that Freddie immediately explained to me that he was introduced to I expected of a superb athlete such as himself. He explained that his the game at the age of 6. As a young child, Freddie noticed high greatest strength comes in the form of toss plays or sweep plays. school athletes participating in the sport as he rode with his This immediately made sense because of his breathtaking speed, but mother. This is what initially created the interest within Freddie he was quick to debunk the stereotype I had placed upon him. Fredfor the sport of football, and after that day he told his mom he die explained that he enjoys those style of plays because it allows wanted to be a football player. His introduction to the game him to use his exceptional field vison to determine how holes are differed from most. Most parents push their children into sports developing and whether he needs to cut back if holes are being at an early age, because life lesson are synonymous with sports. clogged by defensive players. Alternatively, he explained that his Freddie explained that he took the initiative when it came to be- main weakness comes in the form of screen plays. When trying to ginning his football career. see the field, screen plays slow him down, and his field vision gets Why do you play football, and are you involved in other sports? blurred. Although he is able to make plays out of this offensive style, he deemed it as his greatest weakness. While many athletes have just football on their minds, some playWhat are your upcoming goals for this season, as well as your faers do find the energy to have diverse passions for sports. Fredvorite moment as a player? die is just one such athlete. He explained, that he has deep, rooted passion and love for the game of football. This passion was Freddie has already set goals that I know he will achieve in this upinstilled him by numerous relatives because the sport has affect- coming season. Individually, he wants to tally 25 total touchdowns, ed his entire family. Along with football, Freddie also participates along with 1900 rushing yards. This may seem monumental in statin soccer, basketball, and baseball. He was quick to tell me that ure, but Freddie has enormous amounts of confidence in his offenhe not only has a passion for football, but he also is enamored sive line and his athletic ability. He explained that this year is going to with sport of baseball as well. Although football is his first love, be his biggest yet, and with talented, new players being introduced Freddie would also love to make a professional career out of to the team, he believes his goals are achievable. Freddie underbaseball, if the opportunity presented itself. stands that his singular goals cannot be achieved by himself and

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that his teammates are of the utmost importance. He then went on to explain his favorite moment as player, which came in the spoiling of St. Fredericks homecoming game. During this game, Freddie rushed for over 300 yards on 21 carries, and combined for 4 total touchdowns. What are your college aspirations?

immaculate athlete and person through the game of football. Freddie Mango is not only an astounding athlete, he is also phenomenal young man. He has major potential, and if continues on his current path, the sky is the limit. Make sure to take note of him and Delta Charter in this upcoming season because they surely will not disappoint.

Freddie Mangos twitter: @mangoERA15 This question showed me how dedicated Freddie was to the game, as well as how humble he truly is. He explained to me that, whichever college he decides to attend, he wants to fight for a position, and earn the right to receive reps on the field. He understands that nothing is given to him and that everything has to be earned through hard work and dedication. Freddie is also open to playing running back, which is his preferred position, as well as defensive back at the next level. Academics are also an important part of being a student athlete, and Freddie explained to me that he has the goal of being an engineer, and has yet to pick his focus. Why do you love football?

I prefer to end every interview with this question. For some, it may be difficult to answer, but when asked, Freddie continued to impress me. He explained that football teaches life lessons, and that things do not always go your way whether it be on the field or in life. Once this happens, we strive to perform better than we did the in the previous day or game. This answer is something I did not expect from Freddie, but it showed just how much passion he has for the game of football. He also explained that football is release for him, and helps to improve his character as well. Football also flows into Freddie’s family life, which increases his love for the game. Freddie explained that he is also able to teach his little brother to be an

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Diamond In The Rough: Cameron Wright By: Josh Sibley

do something your way, I’ll do it your way.

Cameron “Cam” Wright is a 5’9, 175lbs running back in the 2019 class from West Monroe High School, in West Monroe, LA. This season he rushed for over 1300 yards on 170 carries, averaging 7.8 yards per carry, and 21 touchdowns, with zero fumbles. He also had five receptions for 74 yards and added another score. He is an elusive back, with big play ability, that helped propel his team to a record of 14-1 last season.

What are some of your biggest accomplishments so far? I was All-Northeast and All-District, I wanted All-State, but I got Honorable Mention for that one, so that’s a start. I’m looking to get that one this year.

GPA: 3.8 ACT: 18

When did you start playing football?

What are you currently working on this off season?

I started playing football when I was in first grade, I wanted to play my kindergarten year, but I missed registration to sign up. So I started in first grade for a team called, I think it’s called “Woulsa” now, and I played for Riser, and from there I went to Good Hope, and now I’m at West Monroe.

This off season, I’m working on putting on a little weight while maintain my speed and get faster. I’ve also been working out, and getting stronger on my bench, and getting that better too.

What is your main reason for playing football?

What was one area that you think you exceled at this year?

Just my love for the game, I have a passion for it, I love scoring My blocking, I did a great job at protecting the quarterback this season. touchdowns and that feeling, hearing the crowds go crazy, Who are some of your biggest influences? and most importantly playing with my teammates and in front Slade Bolden, he was one of the guys, he’s at Alabama right now. Jacob of my fans. Ingram, he was also another one, he played offensive line and he’s going to Central Arkansas, he was always encouraging me. Logan Green How do you feel your season went this year? also encouraged me to just keep my head up. So is Coach Arledge, he’s my coach, he just coaches me up and tells me to keep pushing, and I think it went great, we didn’t accomplish our goals of windon’t put my head down. ning a state championship, but, we came together and still played hard. I’m proud of we accomplished, I’m hoping we do Do you think attitude is a factor in winning? the same thing this year, with a different outcome at the end. Yes sir, most definitely! If you don’t have the right attitude, as a team, Speaking of goals, what were your goals for this year?

you’re not going to play together, and when you don’t play together, you’re not going to accomplish things, and there is going to be fighting and arguing, so you have to have a great attitude.

One of my personal goals, was to get 1000 yards rushing, and I What do you think one of your strengths is in your game play? accomplished that. I had 1330 yards and 21 touchdowns and I was planning on getting around 15, so I accomplished all my Our coaches, every week they come up with a game plan based on our personal goals. opponents. It works every week, and they just do a great job of drawing it up. What about team goals? What your favorite offense to run? We won district, I wanted to do that, but championship, that’s The spread, because it spaces the defense out and it gives me more options, because they’re all spread out and I can pick a hole to hit, at the only one that we didn’t accomplish as a team. full speed. What style of play best describes you?

What would be a successful season for you?

Me, I’m a physical guy, a little shifty, I don’t have a problem blocking, I think I can block anybody. Just a great runner, I learn from my mistakes, I won’t mess up twice. You tell me to

As a team winning a state championship, my goals personally, having 1700 yards rushing and 25 touchdowns.

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Louisiana Gridiron Football  

Our annual spring roundup across the state. We also interviewed some of the most under-rated players from around Louisiana. Our Diamonds In...

Louisiana Gridiron Football  

Our annual spring roundup across the state. We also interviewed some of the most under-rated players from around Louisiana. Our Diamonds In...