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UL Offensive players to look out for in 2012

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Offense:

Andre Huval - No offense can succeed without great offensive line play. Andre is an unheralded player, who last year, I believe played with a lot of nicks, bumps, & bruises without any relief the whole season & never complained a lick. He was a BIG reason the Cajuns got off to such a great start & was responsible for the seamless transition from Masson to Gautier & back. However, as the season wore on & the grind got longer without any early bye weeks & no depth on the line, you could see Huval's snaps become lower & lower to the ground. This happened more so late in games & was an indicator of late season fatigue.

I believe with another year under his belt, more depth, better scheduling, & being able to put people away earlier in some contests, Huval will have an opportunity to play fresher longer & will be a silent force to be reckoned with in this conference. As the Cajun offense breaks numerous SBC records this season, I also fully expect the spotlight to SLOWLY shine on one the most important aspects of why they will be such a thrilling prolific offense. This will eventually lead to recognition individually for certain O linemen & well deserved all conference or at least 2nd team all conference honors for Huval.

Leonard Bates - This guy is a BIG MAN. As such he has the ability to dominate & impose his will upon anybody he plays against & make them like it. The question is how mean will this guy play? If he decides to play mean on a consistent & regular basis, the sky is the limit for this mountain of a man. I expect him to be a human highlight film, but should he really push himself he can become an honorable mention All American & should be the top rated OL coming out of the SBC this season.

Michaeal Quave - This is a young man I am very high on. I don't think he was projected as a starter on the O line going into the Spring, but this guy is going to hard pressed to stay on the bench. He can play any position on the line & I think is one of the best pulling trapping laterally moving quickest offensive linemen I have seen in a while. He puts me in the mind of Allen Faneca or Karl Nicks & I think if this young man keeps his desire & discipline, he will be a highly sought after NFL selection in the future.

Ian Thompson - There has been quite a bit of lamenting the passing of Ladarius Green from the UL squad which is understandable. LG had freakish athletic ability for a guy his size. But the TE position is about more than running routes. For every Jimmy Graham, you have to have a David Thomas. This is UL's David Thomas. He is a versatile big man who is an exceptional run blocker with very nice hands. The added depth at this position is provided by two other guys (Maxwell & Pettis) who will all be able to contribute positively to the team.

Blaine Gautier - This guy was not given any chance by the public to achieve what he accomplished last season. So anything he provides this season is lagniappe for this squad. The thing I have always liked about the young man from the first day I saw him practice is his ability to step up his game according to the game time situation. He may or may not play great during the regular flow of the game, but put him a two minute offense with a four point deficit & he becomes the magic man. There is no doubt after seeing this young man play for a season & in the Spring, he is one of the most exciting players one will have the privilege of seeing perform at any level. He has a rocket arm, runs the ball like Speedy Gonzales, & the nerves of a riverboat gambler in clutch situations. I'm not sure if he'll be able to completely repeat his gaudy numbers he achieved last season after coming off the bench, but if he finds that comfort zone that he seems so effortlessly to operate in at the end of the half & end of big games, he will be the conference player of the year & lead this squad to one of the top five offenses in the country.

Alonzo Harris - Keep an eye on this young man. This guy is one of the fastest big men in the nation. He is still learning the tail back position in college. As a raw talent, he is as BIG of a prospect as any back in the nation. He has already opened the eyes of the other SBC coaches by achieving SBC freshman of the year. But there is more there. A LOT more. As a former full back he already knows how to block his position well & has very soft hands for a guy with his size & proven he is a great receiver coming out of the backfield. I am looking forward to his continued progression in learning how to use his blocking, keeping his pad level low & making those instinctive cuts & cut backs off of back side blocking that all the truly great backs seem to be able to do. It will be very interesting to see when he gets open field to run in, what he will be able to do. Can he switch from first to third gear & back to get tacklers off balance? Can he lower his shoulder at the right time & punish defensive backs & make them think about how much they want to tackle him the next go round? These will all be questions that I think with his desire & the training of this coaching staff will be answered in a positive way.

Javon Lawson - This guy is a freak. That is meant in the most complimentary way I can say it. This guy has a motor that starts at 90 MPH & only gets faster from there. I look for this man to be the fourth quarter monster of college football. He is a leader & loves the game of football. He reminds me of Josh Reed & while he may not be the biggest, fastest guy on the field, he takes advantage of every drop of his abilities & is the most consistent player on this team.

Harry Peoples - Another freak. This guy is an athletic enigma who won't be denied the football. He reminds me of Steve Smith. I'm not sure of his speed, but it's like this. He's fast enough. He has the best hands & is the toughest guy over the middle any fan could ever hope to see.

Jamaal Robinson - Of all of UL's receivers this guy is naturally the most gifted. He's 6'4" with speed to burn & great hands. He was a special teamer who got a little playing time last season & it would be great to have had that season back, but he was one of those players who was just too good not to get on the field. While there is Lawson, Surgent, & Peoples, to get the ball to, you can bet that as this guy continues to develop & his coach's & QB's confidence grows in him, he will become a dominant outside & deep presence in the mold of Irvin, Calvin Johnson, & Andre Johnson.

Montrel Carter - This guy will be a breakout player & a future star in the SBC. He may not be big, but he plays as big as anybody on the field. As a situational back & special teamer, he has an innate ability to break down tacklers in the open field. He has great hands & is more dangerous in the middle of the field than on the sideline. his ability to cut on a dime & take the other team's slowest defender & use him as a defacto blocker to get in the way of the fastest defender & then break into the open, makes this guy a HOMERUN threat every time he gets his hands on the ball. He has great football speed & will be a blast to watch this season.

Terrance Broadway - The questions were pretty well answered for me this Spring. This is a guy who definitely has the talent to live up to a four star billing he got while being recruited for college. What he lacked was consistent leadership & coaching. UL may have the best QB situation in the whole country when all is said & done. Let's face it. With Blaine's reckless abandonment at the QB position & his desire to gain every inch of real estate on the football field, he will probably subject himself to some shots that other QBs in the SBC just don't have the guts to take. This means that Gautier will likely get nicked up at some point in games & Broadway better be ready to step in & take control on a moment's notice. I had questions watching Broadway last season whether he could be the guy for this team. After seeing him this Spring, this guy has all the tools to not only take over for Gautier, but do it without there being any level of drop off. This guy is big & has a great arm with a quick delivery & the touch to make the short passes in the flats, over the middle, & has the ever-present clock in his head that gives all good QBs that sense of urgency to make the smart quick decision & go with it.

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