With Jacquet injured, Napier addresses UL corner depth
A key Ragin’ Cajun on defense has sustained a concussion early in preseason camp, UL coach Billy Napier said Wednesday.
Starting cornerback Michael Jacquet is out for now, but Napier said, “We do think he’ll be back shortly.”
Jacquet was a regular at receiver early in his UL career, but the junior was moved to cornerback during the spring by Napier and his new Cajuns coaching staff.
The Cajuns, however, went into camp planning on using Jacquet primarily at cornerback but also at receiver as well in a 2018 season that opens Sept. 1 against Grambling.
Yet, even with Jacquet out for the time being, and other losses in the defensive secondary as well, Napier does not seem overly concerned about the situation at corner.
MORE:Five injured Cajuns out; key UL personnel recovering
Kendall Johnson, a graduate transfer from Nevada with two seasons’ worth of starting experience, is expected to start at the corner spot opposite of Jacquet.
“Really, K.J. (Johnson) has gotten himself in really good condition,” Jacquet said of the St. Thomas More High product. “He’s quicker, faster. His technique is better.”
The top two corners listed behind Johnson coming out of the spring, SchDarren Archie and Darrell “DJ” Miller, both no longer are with the program.
UL's top corner from last season also has moved on, as senior Simeon Thomas was drafted earlier this year by the NFL's Cleveland Browns.
But Jacquet’s listed backup after spring drills, junior Kamar Greenhouse, is back with a bit of experience from late last season.
And Napier seems especially high on three newcomer corners getting good looks early in preseason camp: Eric Garror, Asjlin Washington and Daijuane Dorsey.
RELATED:Multiple Cajuns limited early in UL's preseason camp
“I think we’ve really improved our situation (at cornerback) with the rookies we’ve added,” Napier said.
Garror is a freshman from McGill-Toolen Catholic High in Mobile, Alabama, who originally committed to FCS Richmond.
“Eric Garror has really come on as of lately,” Napier said. “He’s shown that he comes from a good program.
“He’s got some maturity about him. He’s a competitor. And he’s shown an ability to retain information, and really sustain, and he’s had good focus.”
Washington, a Texan, is a freshman from C.E. King High in Houston.
“A.J. Washington is another young corner that has really proved to be what we thought he was in our evaluation process,” Napier said.
And Dorsey — a product of Meadowbrook High near Richmond, Virginia — is a sophomore transfer from Fullerton College, a California juco.
“Dorsey’s doing just fine as well — another guy that, really, you know, consistency is the key with him,” Napier said. “It flashes at times, but I think overall we need more consistency out of him.”
That amounts to much depth, even if much of it is inexperienced.
“We’re in good position there,” Napier said.
“Greenhouse is playing better, Errol Brown (listed third behind Jacquet and Greenhouse) after the spring is playing better.
“Coach (Zac) Etheridge (UL’s first-year cornerbacks coach) has really worked hard with those guys,” Napier added, “and that work is paying off.”
MORE:After leaving Nevada, STM product joins UL football team
JONES OUT FOR THE YEAR
One of UL’s Acadiana-area high school products is out for the season, Napier said Wednesday.
Ken Jones, a redshirt freshman linebacker from Westminster Christian Academy, will soon undergo knee surgery to repair a torn anterior cruciate ligament, according to Napier.
The walk-on came out of spring drills listed fourth on the depth chart at Mike inside linebacker behind No. 1 Jacques Boudreaux and co-No. 2s Ferrod Gardner and Justin Middleton.
True freshman Jordan Cordova, a scholarship linebacker from Kinder High, will miss practice tonight (ankle). … Reserve walk-on running back Lenard Calloway (stomach bug) also is out. … Napier said quarterbacks Andre Nunez and Levi Lewis won’t be live when the Cajuns scrimmage Saturday for the first time in preseason camp, and that all UL QBs will remain in non-contact jerseys throughout camp.
MORE:UL needs 'more players that can playing winning football'