McNeese’s move to hold fall camp practices in the mornings paid off at Wednesday’s first day as the rains fell not long after the Cowboys cleared the A.I. Ratcliff Practice Fields to end the two-and-a-half hour session that was full of speed, energy and enthusiasm.
“It was a good first day,” said Guidry who is in his second season as head coach while also taking over the defensive coordinator duties. “Guys were flying around the ball today. There was a lot of speed out there and that’s good to see.”
“It felt good being back on the field,” said senior safety Andre Fuller. “There was a lot of action. Guys were flying to the ball and that was good to see.”
A total of 64 returning lettermen are part of the 105 in camp while a handful of transfers and freshman didn’t take long to make their mark.
“J’Cobi Skinner (Sulphur) and Andre Sam out of Iowa, did really good, and Cory McCoy (Leesville) was playing the Buck Safety for us, so it was good to see some freshmen step up and make a play that we’ve been seeing on video,” said Guidry. “Kind of like Parker (Orgeron) did last year.”
Orgeron was selected as the “Player of the Day Dancer” to end practice after pulling in several passes with one, about a 25-yard acrobat snag in team drills, being one of the top plays of the day. Redshirt freshman wide receiver Cyron Sutton also had a big catch in the same drill that went for close to 35 yards as he reached high over the defensive back and fell to the ground with the ball.
“We have a lot of good young talent out here,” said senior wide receiver Kent Shelby. “There’s a lot of competition and that’s good. It makes us all better.”
Defensive line transfer Christian Robinson (UAB) took snaps with the second team unit while LSU graduate transfer offensive lineman Andy Dodd was the center for the No. 2 offense.
The best physical matchup of the day was between Shelby and first team cornerback Jermaine Antoine who competed hard against each other during pass skell drills.
The Cowboys will return to the field on Thursday morning at 9 in short and helmets then will slip on the shoulder pads for the first time on Friday morning as they continue to work closer towards the Aug. 31 season opener at Nicholls.
DAY 1 OBSERVATIONS
• Energy on day 1 equaled that of an in-season practice.
• Sophomore DB Matt LaFerrara had some nice pass break-ups in pass skells and team drills.
• New strength coach Ben Sowders has added some pre-practice stretching exercises that are complemented with some energetic chants and claps that seems to help keep the energy alive.
• There’s no second wasted on the practice field. Players bounce around from drill to drill with a pep in their step.