Welcome everyone to the final edition of the 2017 position previews for the Louisiana Ragin Cajuns! It’s been real fun when it comes to previewing this team heading into the season opener this Saturday against the Southeastern Lions.
We wrap up these previews with a look at the secondary. This is a position that looks to improve off of last year. On with the previews!
The Cajuns lost quite a few players at the position, the most notable being Savion Brown. The Shreveport native appeared in nine games, recording one pick and 13 total tackled on the season. Christian Goodlett is another player that the Cajuns will need to replace as he started in 10 of 13 games in 2016 and finished in the top 10 on the team with 49 tackles.
Closing out the players that departed last season are Dominick Jones and Reggie Miles. Both Jones and Miles were largely used on special teams and as reserve defensive backs in 2016, but still gave the secondary quite a bit of depth at the position.
The leader in the proverbial clubhouse for the Cajuns secondary has to be Tracy Walker. The senior has been one of the best defensive players for the team the last several seasons and showed that last season with 3 interceptions, one fumble recovery, and 61 total tackles last year. His ability to get things done will be huge for this squad in their first full year with Mike Lucas as the defensive coordinator.
The amount of experience that the Cajuns have in the secondary is incredible with six seniors including Walker and Travis Crawford is another player that put up some solid numbers in 2016 with 71 total tackles, one fumble recovery, and a pick. Even Denarius Howard and Troy McCollum will be getting a ton of playing time.
There is one senior that won’t be playing for the Cajuns for at least the first two games and that’s Simeon Thomas. His time in the vermillion and white has been marred with academic issues and is going to be missing the first couple of games in 2017. However, once he gets past these issues, expect him to make a major impact for the Cajuns for the remaining 10 regular season games.
The Other Guys:
You look at the rest of the Cajuns at the position of defensive back, you have to think that Damar’ren Mitchell will continue to see some more playing time after a major freshman season. Meanwhile, Acadiana High’s Bralen Trahan has impressed throughout fall camp, but with the amount of experience in front of him, he will likely be used on special teams for the most part this season.
Outside of that, the rest of the defensive backs will likely be either on the scout team or on special teams duties until injuries necessitate a younger player moving into the lineup.
Before Mike Lucas took over as the defensive coordinator, the secondary’s performance was less than ideal and the Boise State game showed the deficiencies the Cajuns had. With a full year under Lucas’ system, expect this secondary to improve much like the front seven did for the Cajuns in 2016 and that would make this one of the best defenses in the Sun Belt.