Head Coach Rickey Bustle and Defensive Coordinator Kevin Fouquier talked to the UL Quarterback Club about the recent football camps, the different position areas on the team, and the upcoming game against the Southern University Jaguars.

At the beginning of the meeting, it was noted that next Monday, September 7th is Labor Day, so the Quarterback Club will meet on Tuesday, September 8th.

Head Coach Rickey Bustle, Ragin' Cajuns Football, University LouisianaHead Football Coach Rickey Bustle

First, an overview. I know you've been reading the newspapers and seeing everything that's going on, but we've had a heckuva camp. This team is extremely motivated. I am very happy with what I saw in camp.

The receiver corps I think is the best since I've been here. We've always had one or two guys, but this is a talented group. We have eight guys we can throw to, and throughout the Spring and Fall, all the guys made plays. Javone Lawson is probably the only true freshman, but he's very talented. You'll also see tight ends Ladarius Green and Luke Aubrey flanked out.

Offensive line, you pretty well know who those guys are. We've had injuries in three people, Nasser Jamal is out, Kyle Pirtle will be back, Evan Ruiz had back surgery and is out. Sean Osborne and Leonardo Bates redshirted last year. Kyle Plouhar you saw some last year. We may be a bit thin for the first week or two.

Running back will be by committee. Undrea Sails is really good. Draylon Booker has an infection, and wide receiver Vernon Wolf is out with an infection. We hope Draylon will be be back by Saturday. But we don't just have tailbacks, we're using Yobes Walker at fullback.

At quarterback we had a great battle. Through everything that has been evaluated, we made the decision because of consistency. It was a tough, tough decision, which was good because it means both of them were making progress. If it had been that one of them had separated, it would have been because the other one did badly and we didn't want that. It was a great race, and it's not over yet. They'll both be playing. We're excited about those two guys.

Kicking, we don't have a clue. We couldn't kick it out of the building the other day. Tyler Albrecht got hurt after the first day, and he's just starting to come back. Won't know until Saturday.

Snapper, Scott Hayes. Our SID wanted to do stories on unsung heroes, and they asked about special teams, some guy who makes a lot of plays but isn't out there much. Since Scott was a freshman he has had 312 snaps, and hasn't had a bad one. I probably shouldn't say that. Well, he had two horrible snaps a couple of years ago, and Brit Framel saved him.

We got a few new parts in there, but I think our offense is going to be very solid. We may not have one starter at some positions, we have a lot of guys who can make plays.

Defensively... I'm most excited about them. If we can keep injuries down, we have a lot of talent, and we're only starting three seniors. This defense can run. It's slowly been getting faster, but these guys can all run.

There's nothing really different in terms of up front people. We added Tyrell Gaddies, a junior college transfer at defensive end. He can run.

Jordan Topp at defensive tackle couldn't practice in the Spring with a disc, but he's had surgery, and he's been practicing. He's a great addition.

Rickey Bustle, Grant Fleming, Ragin' Cajuns Football, University of LouisianaWe have a lot of experience. Derreck Dean doesn't have all the height we want, but he has heart, and he's one of the toughest linebackers you'll see. We have Antwyne Zanders, Daylon McCoy and Grant Fleming, three of the best linebackers in the league. When you look behind them, we have guys who have all started games.

Secondary-wise, we made a move with Chris Richert, from linebacker to strong safety, he played in the Spring and the Fall, he's a heckuva football player. Lance Kelly is still learning at strong safety, he's one of the most improved on defense. Maurice Rolle plays the same position as Gerron Blount and beat him, but he's been a bit sick and hurt, he'll be great. I thought Rolle wouldn't make it a year ago, but the light went on and he is much improved. Melvin White signed with us a year ago, got his classwork and his grades in order.  He's 6'2" playing corner, sat out at quarterback last year. He's a big corner.

This team is on a mission. I like to read what the kids say in the paper sometimes, I like to hear them talk on the field, I like to see if they're saying the same things we say in practice, see if what we're saying is sinking in. They're saying that last year wasn't good enough.  They understand that.

As for leadership, this is a different team. Last year we had a great group of seniors, led by Michael Désormeaux, who spoke for everyone. But it was a good group.

The first few day of practice this year we were worried about the leaders, but as I watched I liked what I saw from the seniors, juniors, some others, within their groups. This group is not as vocal, but in the positions, they all have good leaders. Maybe Antwyne Zanders stands up and speaks for the group, but otherwise they work in their positions. This group is well led.

And at kick returner we have Louis Lee, Rico Joseph, Orkeys Aurienne.

Who will be doing the kickoffs?

Either Lance Kelley or me. Brett Baer may come back.

Will we run any wildcat stuff on offensive?

That's what we do. We run zones on read, reverse, snap backs. We have a package for Blaine Gautier. He's a talented kid, he can make some plays. He has some learning to do, this is different for him.

What about your 'Pride & Joy' (special teams)?

For punt blocking, these are probably the best athletes on special teams I've had. We have speed on that front side.

Will you throw more?

Yeah, we'll throw more. We have the personnel, we need to throw more to get them off the running game.

Last year, it looked like leadership & bonding was important to compensate for injuries.

We've done more team-building this year than last year. We have team building exercises every night. Every night at 7:45 we have 'Educate Me.' We've showed them clips of great leaders, as well as people with severe disabilities who fall, and get back up. Last year was our first time doing this sort of thing, it was really really good for us.

A few years ago, we never had a guy with 4.3 speed, now it looks like we're getting faster. How do we look this year?

Richie Falgout runs well, we're faster at wide receiver, we're faster in the secondary, and we're fast at tight end. At linebacker, I look forward to watching those guys play.

Defensive Coordinator Kevin Fouquier, Ragin' Cajuns Football, University of LouisianaDefensive Coordinator Kevin Fouquier

It's a pleasure being back home. On the third year of this defense I'm very, very pleased. The first year I got here, the defense couldn't outrun me, especially at linebacker. The defense we use is built around the linebackers. The other places we were at, we had speed at linebacker.

Last year the injury bug hit us. You didn't like it at the time moving guys around, guys who hadn't played linebacker, but the experience is helping us this year. This Spring, the light clicked on for Devon Lewis-Buchanan. He made some mistakes last year, but he can run.

We haven't changed anything, we have continuity in our staff. We have a great addition with Gerald Broussard on board, now he has a year of experience. Tim Rebowe had never coached linebackers before last year, and now I have Hurlie Brown with a year's experience coaching the whole secondary.

It clicked for Devon, Grant Fleming and Richard Brooks are back, we have so much more depth.  Up front, we lost Lanier Coleman at defensive tackle, that's about it.  I'm very pleased with Derreck at defensive tackle, he reminds me of a kid we had at Middle, he's very quick, demands a double team. On defense, it starts at the middle.

We moved Jordan Topp to nose guard. Sharrick Moore had a good Spring.  LaQuincy Williams, we tease him as 'LaQuincy Porche'. John Porche has a chart that shows injuries, LaQuincy's had every injury on it. They've added some injuries to the chart just for LaQuincy. But he's a great player.

At defensive end, Hall Davis, we wanted the light to go on for him. When I got here we was 230, now he's 275. Our supplements have really helped him a lot. He didn't lose much speed at all, but he's bigger.

Chris Lanaux is a bit undersized, but he's a 100 mph, and he gives you heart.

With the rush end, we incorporate a little more pass stuff. Right now it's a toss up between Jesse Broadnax & Trace Wilson.  We don't have a third one.

At defensive end, at hammer, Terrell Richardson has been with Nick Saban all Summer, his brother Trent is a freshman at 'Bama.

The Gaddies kid is athletic, he was a Texas state finalist in the 110 high hurdle in high school. He's still learning a little, but he has some ball get-off.

It hurt us when we lost Rodney Gillis at cornerback, he might come back in October. Cornerbacks Orkeys & Dwight Bentley, we're changing them a bit, more of the throws are going to the boundary, so we'll leave Bentley into the boundary. At d-back Melvin White had a good Fall. We needed him, he was on offense. He's a big guy, we'll move him out in the field on the nickel. We also have Junior Jean & Julian Jones.

At safety, I could not be more pleased with Maurice Rolle. He's got arms, he's a physical kid, he has put on weight. Gerron will always be Gerron, and Maurice adds a lot.

Phillip Nevels gives you a backup at strong safety. He's a smart kid, went to Europe, he had put on some weight there. Now he looks good. Strong safety Chris Richert will be a bit of a surprise. He looks good, but the bullets haven't been live. We have him and Lance and Phillip. Lance was 80% in the Spring, but we didn't give up on him. He's done a great job.

On first downs, we're going to be in an eight-man box. We're going to stop the run, put them in long yardage. We know we can do a lot of things I couldn't do the first year, we didn't have the speed. Now we can do 4 down, to 3 down, to Cat package.

Southern University has an All American quarterback and wide receiver. The wide receiver is Juamorris Stewart, they changed his jersey to #1. Bryant Lee at quarterback is very athletic, he makes some throws. We will have to get some turnovers and picks.

Defensively, Cassey Narcisse from St James, he signed with ULM, is another defensive end. They moved two linebackers to safeties. They have some question marks.

Our kids, you'll see them, they've bought in to what we're doing. We went to TNT last year, Tackles 'N' Turnovers, we gave the kids something to hang their hats on. This Spring, in 15 of 17 practices, we reached our goal of five takeaways every day. If you get five sacks that equals a takeaway. So in 17 practices, we only failed twice.

Our kids are stripping the ball. I'm hoping it will be like the Saints vs Oakland.

The kids have a hardhat they carry, the two guys who have it are Antwyne & Bentley. From the last scrimmage Dwight got two or three turnovers, Antwyne had the most tackles. They take pride in the hardhat. We had one day we didn't have a good practice, and it upset them.

I got frissons right now, we can run. There is not a team on the schedule that we can't run with. Our recruits are reviewed by everyone up the line, and Bustle hasn't turned us down on the kids we proposed.

Defense has been easy coaching. The kids know what we want, we just can't screw 'em up. We cut down on our packages, and let 'em play. We had a lot of smoke and mirrors my first year. We don't have to do that to too many people any more.

Is anyone on the offensive side giving the defense fits this camp?

Ladarius Green creates mismatches, he can run. He can outrun most linebackers, but not Grant or Devon. The Masson kid throws well, he and Brad can both run. You don't have a Desormeaux, but they can run.

What's the status on Nate Douglas?

Probably medical this year. Such a great leader, too. Maybe next year.

Is there an approach you use about substitutions, by position, keeping people fresh, how do you decide?

Up front, we'll rotate about every four. We think our twos are about as good as our ones.

Linebacker might be by series. Last year at this time, if Grant is healthy, he gets 75 snaps a game. Now Grant can play 40, Devon 30, there's not much difference now.

Our secondary you don't want to screw with. We may change packages by down and position.

With Southern's receivers, who do you focus on?

Lee is not as much of a scrambler, he usually throws to Stewart. He's going to look to him a lot. They have running back by committee, too.