Reports: Cajuns lose assistant Etheridge, hiring Morgan
For the first time since the 2018 season ended, and just a couple of weeks before the NCAA’s National Signing Day, UL coach Billy Napier has lost one of his assistants.
And it appears he's already replaced, with a former Ragin' Cajun.
The change amounts to a trade of sorts.
Cajuns cornerbacks coach Zac Etheridge “is expected to join” ex-West Virginia coach Dana Holgorsen’s new staff at Houston, The Athletic’s Bruce Feldman — citing an unnamed source — first reported via Twitter on Monday.
In 2018 the top-notch recruiter coached Cajun corners including returnees Michael Jacquet III and true freshman Eric Garror.
He will be replaced by LaMar Morgan, who played safety at UL from 2003-07, national college football writer Brett McMurphy of @WatchStadium reported via Twitter on Monday night.
Morgan coached safeties at Houston under fired head coach Major Applewhite last season, defensive backs at UL Monroe from 2016-17, and defensive backs at FCS-member Western Carolina from 2014-15.
The Texas native was a four-year starter who appeared in 40 career games at UL.
Holgorsen did not retain Morgan at Houston.
"We do not have any statement on staffing changes at this time," a Cajuns spokesman responded when asked for comment from Napier on Etheridge's departure and UL's search for a successor. "Coach Napier will provide comprehensive comments on the subject at a later point."
But the Cajuns have removed the name of Etheridge, a captain on Auburn’s 2010 national-title team, from their website’s football coaching list. Morgan's has not been added yet, however.
According to 247Sports.com, Etheridge was the Sun Belt Conference’s No. 1-ranked Class of 2019 recruiting assistant coach and a member of a staff also ranked first in the league after the NCAA’s early signing period passed last month.
The website credited him with recruiting four Cajun signees from December: Bobby Holmes and Amir McDaniel, cornerbacks from Dallas and Pensacola, Florida, respectively; Kaplan High defensive lineman Quintlan Cobb, UL’s top-ranked addition according to 247; and Erath High offensive lineman Jax Harrington.
Napier, offensive coordinator at Arizona State before replacing Mark Hudspeth at UL, made Etheridge part of his inaugural Cajuns staff after hiring him away from FCS-member Western Carolina last January.
Napier's 2018-season staff otherwise remains intact.
It's previously been reported that Cajuns defensive coordinator Ron Roberts was among at least four interviewees for the head coaching job at Troy that opened when Neal Brown replaced Holgorsen at West Virginia, but the Trojans subsequently hired former Southern Mississippi, Arizona State and Auburn offensive coordinator Chip Lindsey.
Current Cajun recruit Andrew Gleason, meanwhile, announced via Twitter on Monday that he has received a preferred walk-on offer from Texas Christian University.
UL offered the West Monroe defensive lineman earlier this month. Gleason also was offered by UL Monroe and picked up a preferred walk-on offer from Texas Tech after receiving what he called a “dream offer” from the Cajuns.
Last week, UL picked up commitments from Mt. San Antonio (California) quarterback Jaiave Magalei and Arizona State graduate-transfer blocking back Nick Ralston.
A second juco-transfer QB, Golden West (California) College’s Beau Kalbacher, also told The Daily Advertiser on Saturday that he is committed to UL and already is on campus.
National Signing Day comes Feb. 6 this year.