After another successful football season, the UL Lafayette Ragin’ Cajuns could only hope that was enough to sign some of the best recruits on national signing day. The Cajuns were able to sign a total of 24 players that plan on playing for the four-time New Orleans Bowl winners next season.
The Cajuns were able to grab a plethora of players from different positions on signing day this year, ranging from quarterback, running back, to offensive lineman. Coach Mark Hudspeth was able to have a really good recruiting year, and from his press conference you can tell he is excited about having the freshman coming in and making an immediate impact on an already successful football program.
Hudspeth felt comfortable with the group of players he signed, but he said that he feels like they can still get better at the defensive line position. Hudspeth said he believes that the offensive line class is strong, even saying it may be one of the best offensive lineman classes he has had.
Hudspeth is not a coach who is too keen on the amount of stars that his recruits had, but more the actual work they will put in not only on the field but also in academics.
“You know how many 5 star players were in the Super Bowl? Zero,” Hudspeth said.
Hudspeth said he has high expectations for Robert Hunt, who is not a highly-regarded recruit as far as stars go, but Hudspeth said he believes Hunt can come in and make an impact with the program. Hunt is a 6-5 offensive lineman from Texas, who the UL coaching staff was impressed with after watching him on film and also at the Cajuns’ camp.
A key recruiting tool for UL Lafayette is their camp, according to Hudspeth. He said that mostly every recruit that eventually signed with them this year went to the Cajun’s camp, and that gave them an opportunity to get a closer look at a lot of players.
“That’s how we do our recruiting more than anything, getting to know them at their schools,” Hudspeth said. “But getting our guys to camp so we can work with them one on one. These guys were at our camps where we could evaluate them, get true times, true measurements and we have a chance to see what they can do and how they competed. That’s the thing. It allowed us for the last four classes to really do a great job of reducing the misses because these are thorough evaluations.’’
Although Hudspeth said the stars ultimately don’t matter, he said he was still proud that the Cajuns were able to pick up a significant amount of three-star prospects, including Dion Ray who attended Helen Cox. Hudspeth said Ray could potentially play early, and is exceptionally fast. He is athletic enough to where he could be an asset to the team in multiple places.
Hudspeth also spoke highly about another recruited quarterback, Chris Weaver, who he said he believes will lead the program. Weaver stands 6 feet tall and is from Alabama. Hudspeth said he believes with his ability to run and throw, he is a great mix in their stable of quarterbacks.
Because of the Cajuns’ success, Hudspeth did speak on now having to compete with Power-5 conferences with almost every recruit.
“When we didn’t get what we wanted we didn’t settle,” he said.
The Ragin’ Cajuns were able to pick up a lot of potentially great talent for next year’s football team, from highly touted three-star wide receivers to the big boys on the offensive line. Hudspeth continues to move the football program in a positive direction.