Welcome everyone to the latest edition of the Cajuns position preview! This week, we put the microscope on a position that lost a lot of talent from 2016.
While there’s a lot of talent that is no longer wearing the vermillion and white, there are some players that will try to fill those shoes. On with the preview!
The position of linebacker saw a trio of players leave the team at the end of the season. Otha Peters has to be the biggest loss at the position because of what he has done for the team in his two years. The Covington native amassed 94 total tackles, 11 for loss, two sacks, and two fumble recoveries in 2016. His ability to get things done from that position was huge for the Cajuns and their ability to stop the run.
Tremaine Lightfoot was another player on the defensive side of the ball that showed the strength of this team was stopping the run. Lightfoot racked up 101 total tackles, two total sacks, and three forced fumbles. Trey Granier had a lesser role on the team as opposed to the other two seniors, but his role on the team was still important with 24 total tackles including one for a 12-yard loss. Losing three players with the kind of experience they have is going to be interesting heading into the regular season.
The lone senior for the Cajuns that is returning is T.J. Posey. He was used as a reserve for some of last season. Posey did account for 14 tackles last season as a reserve and that experience will help out a team that is in need of some at the position.
Outside of Posey, the only players with experience in 2016 are Alonzo Brown and Terrence Jones who combined for 11 tackles in 2016. That means that the ju-co transfers and some players with limited experience on the field will need to step up.
The Other Guys:
Tanner Holmes has been one of those guys that has stepped up throughout fall camp and Mark Hudspeth has talked up the 6’1 225 pound linebacker. He seemed poised to get some playing time as a freshman but wound up getting injured during fall camp last season. Holmes is making up for lost time and proving that he deserves a fair shake amongst some of the transfers that are in house.
Jacques Boudreaux has been another player that has pleased Hudspeth throughout camp and has earned a more consistent role on the defensive side of the ball in 2017 according to the depth chart that was released by the university last week. Julius Perkins will also get some significant snaps at the position behind Holmes.
While the depth at linebacker isn’t exactly the same as 2016, there’s still a lot of talent that can make the front seven one of the best in the Sun Belt Conference for the second straight season.