Billy Napier will need to fill a few more vacancies on his staff.
The University of Louisiana head football coach, who is coming off an historic 11-3 season, has already had to replace defensive coordinator Ron Roberts earlier this month. Roberts left to hold the same position at Baylor for new head coach, and former LSU defensive coordinator Dave Aranda.
The Ragin’ Cajuns staff then lost outside linebackers coach/special teams coordinator Matthew Powledge to Baylor as well. Powledge left the Ragin’ Cajuns to become the special teams coordinator and safeties coach for the Bears.
“We are extremely proud and happy for Coach Matt Powledge,” Napier said in a statement. “He played an integral part in establishing our identity on special teams, and the overall culture of our team. His role in helping build our organization over these last two years will not be forgotten, and we wish him the best of luck as he takes on this new challenge.”
In addition to Powledge’s departure, Napier must also replace on-campus recruiting director Katie Turner who is leaving for a recruiting position at the University of Georgia.
“We are so excited for Katie,” Napier said. “She is a rising star in the profession who worked tirelessly and took pride in her role in our recruiting operation. She helped a lay a great foundation for the future, and we are very thankful for her contributions. She impacted the #Culture in our building every day! We wish her the very best going forward.”
Both Powledge and Turner were two of the first hires Napier made after being hired to replace Mark Hudspeth a little more than two years ago.
2020 Recruiting Class
UL finished off its 2020 recruiting class with adding three more players this past week — bringing its total for the class to 19 players.
The trio that faxed in their commitments on Wednesday were wide receiver Reginald “Tonk” Johnson, and a pair of defensive linemen in Jordan Lawson and Mason Narcisse.
The 6-foot, 175-pound Johnson is a three-star prospect out of Southern Lab who caught 65 passes for ,1306 yards and 20 touchdowns in 2019.
The 6-foot-3, 270-pound Lawson recorded 134 tackles, 16 tackles-for-a-loss and six sacks his senior season at Brandon High School in Misssissippi.
The 6-foot-3, 310-pound Narcisse recorded 58 tackles, 10.5 tackles-for-a-loss and 6.5 sacks as a junior for St. Charles Catholic.
The three final additions gave UL the highest-rated recruiting class in the Sun Belt Conference for the second consecutive season, and is ranked 78th nationally by 247Sports.
UL also has added a transfer in three-star kicker Brandon Ruiz from Arizona State. Ruiz is a graduate transfer, which means he can play immediately, and was an All-American in high school. In his three seasons at ASU, Ruiz made 37-of-49 before missing all of 2019 to an injury.
A total of 337 college football players received invitations to the NFL Scouting Combine in Indianapolis. Two of those 337 pro prospects will represent the Ragin’ Cajuns. Running back-kick returner and former Cecilia High star Raymond Calais and offensive tackle Robert Hunt will be taking part in the annual pre-draft evaluation process.
In is four seasons at UL, Calais. rushed for 1,845 yards on 236 carries with 15 rushing touchdowns, hauled in 17 receptions for 145 yards and one touchdown and returned 99 kickoffs for 2,493 yards and two touchdowns.
The 6-foot-5, 322-pound Hunt, who started at right tackle, battled a groin injury during the 2019 season.
Despite earning first-team All-American honors from the The Associated Press, Kevin Dotson did not receive an invite to the NFL Scouting Combine.