Photo courtesy of Louisiana athletics
Head coach Billy Napier is building something called “the cULture” at Louisiana.
The Ragin’ Cajuns signed what, judged by most recruiting websites, was the best Sun Belt class for 2021. We thought we would share a couple of observations about the freshmen of this signing class.
First, the Cajuns signed 24 players. Seven were college transfers. 10 were high school seniors from the state of Louisiana. The Cajuns added five high school prospects from the state of Texas and one each from Georgia and Mississippi. Five of these newcomers held scholarship offers from Power 5 schools.
STEALING FROM THE POWER 5
Arizona lost three players to the Cajuns. K.C. Ossai was committed to the Wildcats. Once Arizona fired head coach Kevin Sumlin, the new staff lost interest in Ossai.
Teammates Montrell Johnson, running back and Ja’Marian Peterson, linebacker, also held offers from Arizona. Offensive lineman George Jackson, from Georgia, was a one-time Florida State commit.
The Cajuns had to hold off Iowa for local favorite and running back Kendrell WillIams. Louisiana added five tranfers from Power 5 teams: Tyrone Lewis (Kansas State), John Stephens (TCU), Lance LeGendre (Maryland), Jacob Kibodi (Texas A&M) and Clinton Anokwuru (Kansas). In the end, they all chose “the cULture.”
After having the luxury of running backs Trey Ragas, Elijah Mitchell, Raymond Calais and Chris Smith, it looks like Louisiana just reloaded with Johnson, Williams and Dre’lyn Washington. Will they be as good? They definitely have the talent.
Williams was recruited as an athlete and may end up being the best of them all. Linebackers Peterson, Cameron Whitfield and Lafayette native Cam George provide instant quality depth at that position and may even push for playing time. Napier has not hesitated to use true freshmen in the past.
Anyone in this class can come in and play right away. It’s not hard to look forward to seeing all the new athletes in the vermilion and white this fall.
Louisiana fans will get a preview of some of the new players on April 22. The annual Vermilion and White Spring Game will be televised on ESPN+. Which newcomer will have the biggest impact this fall? We will have to wait to find out.
THE SIGNING CLASS
•Clinton Anokwuru, DE, 6-3, 224 lbs.
•Key’savalyn Barnes, CB, 5-11, 188 lbs.
Logansport, Logansport, LA
•Jathan Caldwell, TE, 6-2, 214 lbs.
Dickinson, Dickinson, TX
•Cejae Ceasar, S, 6-1, 187 lbs.
Iowa, Iowa, LA
•Jalen Clark, S, 6-1, 190 lbs.
Alabama Christian, New Orleans, LA
•T.J. Fiailoa, OL, 6-4, 302 lbs.
•Cameron George, OLB, 6-1, 236 lbs.
Acadiana, Lafayette, LA
•Kendre’ Gant, ILB, 6-3, 200 lbs.
Independence Community College
•Hunter Herring, QB, 6-4, 201 lbs.
Quachita Christian, West Monroe, LA
•George Jackson, OL, 6-4, 315 lbs.
Stephenson, Stone Mountain, GA
•Montrell Johnson, RB, 5-11, 200 lbs.
De LaSalle, New Orleans, LA
•Jacob Kibodi, RB, 6-2, 220 lbs.
•Lance LeGendre, QB, 6-1, 215 lbs.
•Mackey Maillho, OL, 6-7, 350 lbs.
Mandeville, Covington, LA
•Zy McDonald, QB, 5-10, 183 lbs.
Ridgeland, Ridgeland, MS
•K.C. Ossai, ILB, 6-1, 223 lbs.
Oak Ridge, Conroe, TX
•Ja’Marian Peterson, OLB, 6-1, 235 lbs.
De LaSalle, New Orleans, LA
•John Stephens, WR, 6-4, 205 lbs.
•Dre’lyn Washington, RB, 5-9, 210 lbs.
Hemphill, Hemphill, TX
•Cameron Whitfield, OLB, 6-2, 245 lbs.
Dawson, Houston, TX
•Kendrell Williams, RB, 5-10, 191 lbs.
Carencro, Carencro, LA
•Robert Williams, WR, 6-1, 170 lbs.
Trinity Christian, Humble, TX
•Terrence Williams, ATH, 6-0, 215 lbs.
Many, Many, LA
*Notes FBS school