Spring football has begun all across the state of Louisiana. We have began our around the state tour interviewing coaches and players alike.
Last week we visited Louisiana College and had a chance to catch up with defensive coordinator Justin Charles. He told me how excited he is for this upcoming season. His defense was atop of the conference last season. He has nine starters returning with several young guys in the wings waiting for their chance to shine.
SLU finished their season with six of the last seven games won. Only one win away from making the playoffs for the third time in four seasons. They have a lot of potential this upcoming season with a lot of senior leadership.
Grambling is coming off a HBCU National Championship and SWAC Championship. Their QB Devante Kincade has impressed scouts this past season and could see a repeat season and his draft stock improve with each win. WR Chad Williams could be the first Tiger drafted since 2006 in this years draft. And Freshman lineman Carl Wilmer continues to improve and get national attention.
Southern was the number two team last season in the SWAC, only behind Grambling. They are loosing a couple of their impact players this off season and with them on probation they have had to be more creative in bringing in fresh young talent.
LSU has a lot of excitement going into the 2017. New OC Matt Canada is the only OC to beat the National Champions Clemson Tigers and LSU DC is the only defense to hold Bama to only 10 points. Canada’s exciting personality and offensive brainpower could be what LSU has needed. My prediction is that LSU could have two Heisman finalists.
Nicholls State improved by leaps and bounds this past season. QB Chase Fourcade has a promising career in the Southland conference.
La Tech has been on one of the hottest hot streaks in recent years. They have won three strait bowl games and won two divisional championships in the past three seasons. This will also be the second strait year with multiple guys to be drafted. WR Carlos Henderson could go in the second-third round as well as Safety Xavier Woods. WR Trent Taylor is now third All-Time in receiving yards for a career and could be a late round steal in the draft.
Tulane has brought in a ton of excitement with the new head coach Willie Fritz. His defense was very impressive in 2016 and looks to be even better this year.
ULM has finally found their coach that could bring them out of the losers bracket and help lead them to a Sun Belt Championship in 2017. Matt Viator is an intimidating coach and runs his practices with a high tempo so his guys knows they can accomplish anything. 2017 could be very exciting for the War Hawks.
McNeese, UL, and Northwestern State are all rebuilding this years. I wouldn’t count any of them out since McNeese and UL are only a couple of seasons removed from the conference championship. Northwestern State was one of the best worst teams last season.
We will be bringing you more interviews this week from the front lines. Next months magazine will have our predraft info as well as all 300 draft prospects. We will put the magazine online next week once we complete the interview with WR Trent Taylor for preorders.