While we could preview the team as a whole, it’s much more fun to preview a team position by position. The way last year’s started was less than ideal because of a late addition to the roster pushing it back a little bit. There’s no delays with this one so let’s get right into the nitty gritty and talk about the Cajuns status at quarterback.
The Anthony Jennings experiment wound with mixed results. While the Cajuns were able to get to the New Orleans Bowl after going 4-8 the previous season, the actual performance on the field left a lot of fans wondering why he wasn’t able to be consistent against the Sun Belt Conference’s opponents. He is the most notable player amongst the quarterbacks that is no longer part of the team.
Jalen Nixon may have been listed as running back during his final season, but for the first three he was a quarterback and his eligibility, much like Jennings ran out. In the case of Gunner Hudspeth though, he will not be part of the roster after suffering an ACL injury for the third time and has decided to no longer play football. Losing these three leaves a lot of room for competition headed into fall camp.
The Cajuns have two of their QBs from last season coming with Jordan Davis and Dion Ray coming back. In the case of Jordan Davis, he is the starting quarterback heading into fall camp and is the strong favorite to take that into the season opener against Southeastern Louisiana.
Head coach Mark Hudspeth has touted that the difference between Davis this year and last year has been is maturity. The junior was a little too confident in the spring because he felt that the starting job was his, but a number of things wound up delaying that coronation. His performance in the spring game, while limited showed a lot of promise.
Ray, a sophomore was used mainly as running quarterback should expect to be used in the same fashion in short yardage situations. During spring practice, Hudspeth said that he will not be the starter, but he will be having a role in the offense, which will have a new look with offensive coordinator Will Hall at the helm.
The Other Guys:
Looking at the rest of the players at quarterback, things look interesting in terms of how you work out the depth chart. If there’s one player that could unseat Jordan Davis as the starting QB, it has to be Andre Nunez.
Nunez, a transfer from Iowa Western Community College shows a lot of promise based off of what I’ve seen from him during spring practice. Last season at Iowa Western, he threw for 1,723 yards and 17 TDs and completed 61.1% of his passes. The potential he has to be a competitor for the starting gig is there, but he will need to do something big to prove he deserves it.
Typically, true freshmen aren’t really talked about when it comes to starting QB potential the second they step on campus, but when it comes Levi Lewis you have to consider him one of those choices to potentially make an impact. The 2016 Warrick Dunn Award Winner out of Scotlandville was a solid QB in Class 5A.
For the first time since 2014, there seems to be a true favorite heading into fall camp. Jordan Davis is in the proverbial catbird seat and has shown a lot of improvement both on and off the field which is to be expected from a junior that has learned under a lot of good players. The competition will still be fierce, but expect to see Davis being used more often than not and Dion Ray showing up on these fourth-and-short situations.