Mark Hudspeth Press Conference Before Akron [VIDEO]
With Akron coming to town, Ragin' Cajun Football Head Coach Mark Hudspeth met with media to talk matchups and give a health update.
The off week gave the team time to move into the new Athletic Performance Facility, but more importantly, it allowed them to get healthy. Hudspeth said the Jalen Nixon, Al Riles, TJ Worthy and Chris Prater returned to practice and are expected to participate against Akron. In other good health news, Effrem Reed is on track to return for Louisiana Tech, and Darzil Washington is "a little ahead of the curve" with his recovery.
Hudspeth said moving into the new athletic facility was a "big shot in the arm" for the players, and he rewarded his seniors first by allowing them the first rights to grace the place.
"They got to see the icing on the cake," Hud said about the seniors seeing the fruits of their labor the last few years.
Speaking of sweet news, Brooks Haack should be smiling after Hudspeth announced he will be the starting quarterback against Akron, despite Nixon's return to good health.
"Brooks has earned the start with two good weeks of practice," Hudspeth said.
Nixon's name will still be called, but Hud said his usage will depend on the flow of the game. At face value, it looks like Haack earned coach's trust.
Not all the players got pats on the back though. Coach Hudspeth continued to push star wideout Jamal Robinson in the presser. If Robinson can shake off the mental adjustments from sitting out last season, he could become a serious weapon again for the Cajuns on a consistent basis.
When Hudspeth was asked if Robinson was back to form, he responded with, "Not yet, but he's making progress...he's just getting used to getting hit, tackled, having people in his face."
After speaking at length about his team, Hudspeth shifted focus to preview Akron, a team he has some familiarity with. The Zips' offensive is going to run the ball, and their offensive coordinator, A.J. Milwee, used to play quarterback for Hud when he coached at Northern Alabama.
"We won a lot of games late because he was kind of our field general," Hudspeth said.
The Cajuns will have to prepare for multiple quarterbacks, while continuing to bolster their own flow on offense. With hopefully another packed crowd at home, they will have a solid chance to get some momentum rolling early in the season against a peer conference member in the Group of Five.