2007 UL Lafayette Preview - Offense

Posted Apr 18, 2007

Preview 2007 UL Lafayette Ragin' Cajuns Offense

UL Lafayette Ragin' Cajuns

Preview 2007
- ULL Offense

- 2007 UL Lafayette Preview | 2007 ULL Defense Preview
2007 ULL Depth Chart | 2006 CFN UL Lafayette Preview 

What you need to know:
The nation's seventh best rushing team two years ago, and 11th best last year, ULL will run more than ever with the return of two-time 1,000-yard back Tyrell Fenroy, speedy Deon Wallace, and running quarterback Michael Desormeaux. The receivers aren't used much, but they're experienced enough to make plays when they get the chance. The offensive line isn't deep, but the starting five will end up fine. The team will hope for around 2,500 rushing yards, and around 60% completion percentage throwing it.

Returning Leaders
Passing Michael Desormeaux
2-9, 15 yds
Rushing: Tyrell Fenroy
223 carries, 1,197 yds, 10 TD
Receiving: Derrick Smith
41 catches, 551 yds, 1 TD

Star of the offense: Junior RB Tyrell Fenroy
Player that has to step up and become a star: Sophomore OT Brad Bryant
Unsung star on the rise: Sophomore C Chris Fisher
Best pro prospect: Senior OT Jesse Newman
Top three all-star candidates: 1) Fenroy, 2) QB Michael Desormeaux, 3) Newman
Strength of the offense: Running game, receiver experience
Weakness of the offense:
Receiver production, backup quarterback


Projected Starter: Junior Michael Desormeux did a little of everything last season as a backup quarterback, part-time defensive back making four tackles and recovering three fumbles, and being a big hitter on special teams. Now he'll take over the full-time quarterback job with Jerry Babb gone, but he has to be far better throwing the ball after completing just two of nine passes last year for 15 yards. He's a runner, and an effective one, tearing off 587 yards and three touchdowns as a freshman and tearing off 180 yards and a score averaging 7.5 yards per carry last year. He has the receiving corps to be a more effective passer and should do just enough to keep the offense moving. He'll run for 500 yards as long as he doesn't get dinged up.

Projected Top Reserves: Sophomore John Hundley can run the ball, but he's more of a pro-style passer with a live arm and good size. At 6-3 and 218 pounds, he's a big backup who could see time if Desormeaux struggles too much in pure passing situations. Now he needs a little bit of time, which he'll get throughout the season.

Junior Connor Morel was good this spring, but the former walk-on from Northwestern State is purely a backup and third stringer.

Watch Out For ... how effective Desormeaux is throwing the ball. He doesn't have to throw for 2,000 yards, but he has to complete close to 60% of his throws and take advantage of all the receivers in single coverage.
Strength: Running. All the quarterback can run the ball and all are mobile. They might not be able to throw and run at the same time all that well, but they can all crank out yards in chunks when they get the shot.
Backups. Hundley and Morel have no experience whatsoever. With the way Desormeaux takes shots, the reserves have to be at the ready.
Outlook: Desormeaux will be a better runner than Babb and should be a just-good enough passer to not be a total liability. His worth is as a runner, and he needs to be dangerous while not turning the ball over when he has to make key throws..

Running Backs

Projected Starters: Junior Tyrell Fenroy has been one of the Sun Belt's best players over the last two seasons with back-to-back 1,000-yard seasons with 23 total touchdowns. While he's not that big at only 5-10 and 180 pounds, he's a workhorse who gets better as the season goes on. After not hitting the 20-carry mark for a four-game stretch, Fenroy closed out the year running 34, 26 and 27 times while becoming even more effective. He hits the hole quickly and is able to dart outside in a hurry. Now he needs to be used even more in the passing game to get him the ball on the move.

5-11, 200-pound fullback Abdule Levier won't get many carries after running nine times for 63 yards, but he'll serve as a key blocker for Fenroy.

Projected Top Reserves: Fenroy is lightning-quick, but sophomore Deon Wallace is extremely fast. Only 5-9 and 186 pounds with tremendous wheels able to potentially crank out huge numbers when he gets to the outside. He finished third on the team with 252 yards on 47 carries with two scores, and now he'll be used even more. He'll start getting 7-10 carries a game as opposed to the 3-6 he got last year.

Sophomore Matt Dupre will be the third option with the same makeup as Fenroy or Wallace, but without the same wheels.

At fullback, 6-1, 260-pound junior Chancellor Robinson provides a bigger sledgehammer of a blocker in place of Levier.

Watch Out For ... Wallace to get the ball in a variety of ways. He has too much speed and too much potential not to get the ball far more in open space. Fenroy could use all the help he can get.
Strength: Quickness. Fenroy, Wallace and Dupre can all dart in and out of holes and can all crank out five yards a crack. Put them all together and there's the potential for a strong rotation.
There isn't a whole bunch of power. Can Levier and Robinson be consistent short yardage backs on more than a one-time basis? It the running game needs a thunderback for several situations, it doesn't have one.
Outlook: Fenroy will crank out 1,000 yards again as long as he stays healthy, while Wallace might be a 300-yard back with a few big games. Combining with QB Michael Desormeaux, netting over 2,000 yards as a team shouldn't be a problem.
Rating: 6


Projected Starters: The ULL receivers don't get a lot of work, but the one target who gets used is junior Derrrick Smith, who led the team with 41 catches for 551 yards and a touchdown. How important was he? The team's second leading receiver caught just 16 passes. He's a decent deep threat, but he's not a scorer and doesn't get used much on home-run balls. More than anything else, he's consistent turning into a reliable playmaker over the second half of the year.

Junior Jason Chery will get the starting gig on the other side after serving as a decent number two option, but a little used one finishing second on the team with 16 grabs for 222 yards and two touchdowns (both coming against Eastern Michigan). The former running back has the quickness to do far more.

Senior tight end Kevin Belton, who started eight times last season, returns after making three catches fro 13 yards. He's not much of a receiver, but he's a strong blocker who's great for the ground game.

Projected Top Reserves: The backup receivers are reserves in name only. Sophomore Phillip Nevels and redshirt freshman Marlin Miller will each be starters No. 1A. Nevels is a smart player with tremendous speed being used as a punt returner as well as a possible number one receiver. Miller is a small, quick target who'll push Chery hard for the starting job.

Also in the hunt for a starting spot is 6-4, 240-pound junior Erik Jones, who served as a spot starter last season. He only caught a pass for ten yards, but he has the hands and route running ability to do far more.

Watch Out For ... Nevels and Miller to get as much starting consideration as Smith and Chery. Listed as co-starters on the depth chart, the coaching staff will look for more explosion and pop to the passing game, and the two youngsters could be it.
Strength: Youth. The Ragin' Cajuns have their receiving corps set for the next two years with two juniors, a sophomore, and a redshirt freshman in place. This isn't an inexperienced group that's not going to make too many mistakes.
Is there a receiver who scares anyone? Smith is a nice, reliable number one target, but he's not going to keep defensive coordinators up at nights. Someone has to emerge as a dangerous playmaker who can stretch the field and score on any Sun Belt secondary.
Outlook: For what the Ragin' Cajuns want to do offensively, this corps should be able to do the job. There should be just enough production to provide a little bit of balance if needed, but for the most part, this experienced group will catch the occasional third down pass and take advantage of defenses cheating up to stop the run.
Rating: 4

Offensive Linemen

Projected Starters: Three starters return to a decent line that was a killer for the running attack. the best of the bunch is 6-4, 201-pound senior left tackle Jessie Newman, who earned All-Sun Belt honors last season. A rock of the line for the last three seasons, he's the team's top pass protector after getting into better shape. Now he'll be the anchor the offense works around.

Next to Newman will be 6-2, 285-pound sophomore Brad Bustle, who saw time in every game last season and got a start against Houston. The former defensive lineman moved to the offensive line just a year ago, but he's proven to be physical enough to handle the job. His mobility at left guard is a plus.

Sophomore Chris Fisher returns to his spot in the middle after starting ten games last season including the final seven. Still a young player learning on the fly, he'll be a good quarterback for the front five over the next three seasons.

The starting right guard spot will be up for grabs with 6-4, 278-pound senior Zach Leger likely to get the starter after seeing time in every game last season and getting the call in the season-finale against UL Monroe. He's been one of the team's most experienced reserves, and now it'll be his time to show what he can do in a full-time role.

6-5, 275-pound sophomore Brad Bryant will get the nod at right tackle after moving over from center. A key reserve early, he missed the final seven games with an injury. 

Projected Top Reserves: Leger might have the inside track at the right guard job, but senior Junior Ramos has the experience after starting 11 times last season. At 6-3 and 311 pounds, he's a far bigger option for the ground game, but he doesn't have Leger's mobility.

6-6, 290-pound sophomore Kyle Pirtle is an athletic backup at left tackle behind Newman. He'll be groomed to take over the job next season.

6-3, 298-pound senior Will Chance is the team's most versatile reserve able to play either guard or tackle spot, but he's strictly a reserve.

Watch Out For ... the right guard spot to be a revolving door for the start all season long. Leger, Ramos, and 300-pound redshirt freshman Johnathan Decoster will all get plenty of time to take control of the job.
Strength: Athleticism. This is one of the Sun Belt's most athletic lines, but it doesn't sacrifice size. Considering what the offense asks the linemen to do, they all have to move.
Veteran reserves. ULL does a good job of getting linemen ready to roll, but there isn't enough veteran depth to feel comfortable with quite yet. If injuries strike early on, there will be problems.
Outlook: The line will be plenty good enough to keep the ground game rolling while doing a good job keeping the quarterbacks clean. This isn't a group that'll dominate South Carolina or Tennessee, but it'll be effective against everyone else.
Rating: 5


Related Stories
2007 UL Lafayette Preview
 -by CollegeFootballNews.com  Apr 17, 2007
2007 UL Lafayette Preview - Defense
 -by CollegeFootballNews.com  Apr 17, 2007
2007 UL Lafayette Preview - Depth Chart
 -by CollegeFootballNews.com  Apr 17, 2007

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