Welcome to the first of a several part series where I break down the Ragin Cajuns position by position. I will also discuss the LSU Tigers in a separate article. And what better place to start than the most important position: the quarterback?
Who Left After Last Season?
The only quarterback who left after the end of last season was Brooks Haack. After last season, which saw Coach Mark Hudspeth unsure of which quarterback he should start: Haack or Jalen Nixon. After a less than stellar start in the season opener against Kentucky, Nixon helped make it a competitive game in the second half. The battle at the position continued to rage on for most of the season with neither player getting a competitive edge. Haack then declared that he wouldn’t return and would transfer over to Northwestern State.
On the flip side of the QB battle from 2015, Nixon is returning to the team, but will have a very different role this season as a running back. But a foot injury during spring practice may have ended that experiment before it even got started. But since he’s not a QB as of right now, we’ll save him for the running backs previews. But the Cajuns are welcoming back one quarterback that has had playing time in 2015 in Jordan Davis. Sure the amount of playing time was limited to about one and a half games, but he had a lot of potential. The spring game, not so much and that probably would hurt his chances of starting in 2016, but not destroying it. At least until something recently happened (we’ll get to that). Gunner Hudspeth was part of the team last year and didn’t see any playing time as a freshman but he did show some promise in the spring game. Dion Ray is another player that had no playing time last season, but unlike Gunner, he didn’t show anything during the spring game.
The Other Guys
Up until recently there was one player that the Cajuns fans were talking about and that was Chris Weaver. He is probably the player that most people were looking at to be the second string quarterback as a redshirt freshman. He showed some signs of being an okay QB that will need more time to develop. And now, let’s address the giant elephant in the room of Anthony Jennings. I already wrote about him here so I’ll keep my thoughts on him short and sweet. Jennings has the potential playing in the Cajuns system and doing big things against Sun Belt defenses.
Who Is the Odds On Favorite to Be the Starter?
Before the news that came through the rumor mill in the last 24 hours, I probably would say Davis. He is the sole player listed at QB that has experience playing college football. But after the news, I’ve got to put Anthony Jennings at the top of the depth charts. It just has to be. He has more experience and against better teams. If Jennings is not starting against Boise State, there is a major issue. When, if ever, will the Cajuns get a quarterback that played in the SEC again? I highly doubt it and you’d be crazy not to start the more experienced QB.
The Cajuns had a major issue in the 2015 season and that was an extreme lack of confidence in which QB you were going to start. With the recent news concerning Jennings, the QB conundrum appears to be solved. But between now and the season opener, there’s a lot of fall camp to see who is the better guy.