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 Draft Scout College Football Player News: Louisiana
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  NOV 14 SUN BELT FOOTBALL SPECIAL TEAMS PLAYER OF THE WEEK: Kenneth Almendares, Louisiana, (RS So., K - Clute, Texas),...Ragin' Cajuns redshirt sophomore kicker Kenneth Almendares accounted for 18 points in Louisiana's 36-17 victory over Georgia Southern to move within a game of bowl eligibility. The Clute, Texas, native was a perfect 5-for-5 on field goal attempts and 3-for-3 on extra points. Almendares connected from 48, 34, 27, 42 and 40 yards out to become the first player to repeat as Sun Belt Special Teams Player of the Week this season. His 18 points in a single game are tied for the most among FBS kickers this season. - Sun Belt Football

rSo/2025 K Kenneth AlmendaresLouisiana
News Source: Sun Belt Football
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  Ben Wooldridge threw all three of his touchdown passes in the first half and Louisiana-Lafayette beat Georgia Southern 36-17 on Thursday night. Wooldridge was 12-of-19 passing in the first half and completed passes to nine separate receivers as Louisiana-Lafayette built a 27-7 lead. Wooldridge finished 17 of 31 for 193 yards. The Ragin' Cajuns had 242 yards rushing with Chris Smith leading the way with 80 yards.

Kenneth Almendares kicked three field goals from 40 yards or more, two in the fourth quarter, and made all five of his field goal attempts for the Ragin' Cajuns (5-5, 3-4 Sun Belt Conference). Kyle Vantrease was 28-of-49 passing for 325 yards for Georgia Southern (5-5, 2-4). He threw a 25-yard touchdown pass to Marcus Sanders Jr. in the third quarter to stretch his program record to 10 straight games in a season with at least one touchdown pass. Runningback OJ Arnold tossed a 32-yard TD pass to Derwin Burgess Jr. in the first quarter for Georgia Southern, which has lost four straight in the series. Burgess had five catches for 75 yards receiving. - Louisiana-Lafayette/AP College Football


rJr/2024 QB Ben WooldridgeLouisiana
News Source: Louisiana-Lafayette/AP College Football
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  OCT 24 SUN BELT OFFENSIVE PLAYER OF THE WEEK: Ben Wooldridge, Louisiana (RS Jr., QB - Pleasanton, Calif.),...Ragin' Cajuns redshirt junior quarterback Ben Wooldridge threw a program-record five touchdown passes in Louisiana's 38-18 win over Arkansas State. In his second career start, the Pleasanton, Calif., product completed 21-of-34 passes for a career-high 316 yards. Wooldridge completed passes to 10 different Ragin' Cajuns receivers, including touchdown strikes to four different pass-catchers. In his first two career starts, Wooldridge has led Louisiana to back-to-back conference victories to turn the tide on an 0-2 start in conference play. - Sun Belt Football

rJr/2024 QB Ben WooldridgeLouisiana
News Source: Sun Belt Football
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  Ben Wooldridge passed for 315 yards and five touchdowns and Louisiana-Lafayette never trailed in the Ragin' Cajuns' 38-18 win over Arkansas State on Saturday night. Dontae Fleming had six receptions for 81 yards and two touchdowns and Jacob Bernard added 97 yards receiving and a TD on five catches for Louisiana (4-3, 2-2 Sun Belt). Kenneth Almendares kicked a 43-yard field goal to open the scoring with about 5 minutes to go in the first quarter and Fleming's first touchdown - a 5-yarder - made it 10-0 going into the second.

Dominic Zvada got Arkansas State (2-6, 1-4) on the board with a 43-yard field goal before AJ Mayer threw a 27-yard TD pass to Seydou Traore with 6:28 to go in the first half but Zavada's PAT attempt was blocked and the Red Wolves trailed 10-9. Bernard answered with a 45-yard scoring reception less than 2 minutes later and Fleming added a 55-yard TD catch that made it 24-9 just before halftime. - AP College Football


rJr/2024 QB Ben WooldridgeLouisiana
News Source: AP College Football
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  OCT 17 SUN BELT FOOTBALL SPECIAL TEAMS PLAYER OF THE WEEK: Kenneth Almendares, Louisiana, (RS So., K - Clute, Texas),...Ragin' Cajuns redshirt sophomore kicker Kenneth Almendares was responsible for 11 of Louisiana's 23 points in the program's 23-13 over Marshall. The Clute, Texas, native was a perfect 3-for-3 on field goals and 2-for-2 on extra points in the victory. Almendares kicked a career-long 52-yard field goal in the third quarter, which proved to be the game-winner. He also connected from 42 and 33 yards. Almendares makes it back-to-back honors for Sun Belt kickers, after return specialists claimed the first five awards of the 2022 campaign. - Sun Belt Football

rSo/2025 K Kenneth AlmendaresLouisiana
News Source: Sun Belt Football
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  Ben Wooldridge threw for 230 yards and two touchdowns in his first start, and Louisiana-Lafayette scored 20 unanswered second-half points in beating Marshall 23-13 on Wednesday night, spoiling the Herd's inaugural Sun Belt home contest. Michael Jefferson broke a pair of tackles over the middle and raced for a 32-yard touchdown to give ULL a 23-7 lead. Marshall answered with a nine-play, 75-yard drive, capped by a 1-yard run by Khalan Laborn, to get within 23-13 but the ULL defense stopped a 2-point conversion attempt to keep a two-possession lead. ULL safety Courtline Flowers sealed it by recovering a fumble with 3:27 left in the fourth quarter. It was the Ragin' Cajuns 16th takeaway of the season. Wooldridge, a redshirt junior, also had 10 carries for 46 yards for ULL (3-3, 1-2), which was coming off an 11-day break. Jefferson had three catches for 71 yards and Kenneth Almendares made three field goals, including a career-long 52-yarder.

ULL safety Bralen Trahan made an easy interception early in the second half for the Ragin' Cajuns 11th pick of the season. Seven plays later, Wooldridge found Dontae Fleming tiptoeing the sideline for a 6-yard touchdown. Henry Colombi threw for 69 yards with an interception for Marshall (3-3, 0-2) before being replaced by Cam Fancher to begin the fourth. Laborn finished with 120 yards rushing and two touchdowns. The second half was delayed due to lightning in the area. - Louisiana/AP College Football


rJr/2024 QB Ben WooldridgeLouisiana
News Source: Louisiana/AP College Football
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  Ben Wooldridge and Chandler Fields combined for five touchdown passes as Louisiana scored all its points in the second half and rolled to a 49-14 victory over Eastern Michigan on Saturday night for its 15th straight win in the series. The Ragin' Cajuns' quarterback duo completed 22 of 34 passes for 310 yards with scoring throws to five separate receivers. John Stephens Jr. led the group with three catches for 103 yards, including a go-ahead 36-yard touchdown catch from Wooldridge late in the third quarter.

Louisiana (2-0) put up 456 yards of offense, while holding Eastern Michigan (1-1) to 247. Taylor Powell completed 25 of 42 passes for 244 yards with three interceptions for Eastern Michigan (1-1). Running back Samson Evans tossed a 3-yard touchdown pass to Aaron Jackson for the game's only score in the first half. Darius Boone Jr.'s 1-yard run tied it at 14 midway through the third quarter. The Ragin' Cajuns outscored the Eagles 28-0 in the fourth quarter. - Louisiana/AP College Football


rJr/2024 QB Ben WooldridgeLouisiana
News Source: Louisiana/AP College Football
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  SEPT 5 SUN BELT SPECIAL TEAMS PLAYER OF THE WEEK: Eric Garror, Louisiana, (Sr., RS - Mobile, Ala.),...Ragin' Cajuns senior return specialist Eric Garror returned a second quarter punt 83 yards for a touchdown to give Louisiana a 17-0 lead over Southeastern Louisiana in an eventual 24-7 win over the in-state foe. The punt return touchdown was the second of his career, matching his career-best return set in 2020 in Louisiana's 31-14 win over Iowa State. On defense, the Mobile, Ala., native added a pair of tackles and his eighth career interception. - Sun Belt football

rSr/2023 CB Eric GarrorLouisiana
News Source: Sun Belt football
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  Chandler Fields threw a pair of touchdown passes to Johnny Lumpkin and Louisiana-Lafayette defeated Southeastern Louisiana 24-7 on Saturday night to extend the nation's leading winning streak to 14th straight games. The Ragin' Cajuns (1-0) led 17-0 when Eric Garror returned a punt 83 yards for a touchdown early in the second quarter but didn't score again until Lumpkin's 3-yard reception capped the scoring with 1:37 to play.

Fields and Lumpkins opened the scoring with a 28-yard connection just six minutes into the game. It gave Michael Desormeaux his first regular-season win with the Ragin' Cajuns, who have not lost since their season opener against Texas last year. Billy Napier took the Florida job after last year's Sun Bowl Conference championship game win and Desormeaux took over for the New Orleans Bowl win over Marshall. Fields finished 13 of 20 for 173 yards. Backup Ben Woolridge added 68 yards, going 7 of 11. Carlos Johnson Jr. scored on a 5-yard run in the third quarter for the Lions (0-1). - AP College Football


rSr/2023 TE Johnny LumpkinLouisiana
News Source: AP College Football
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  2022 PRESEASON WUERFFEL TROPHY (COMMUNITY SERVICE) WATCHLIST: Chris Smith, Louisiana, Jr., RB,...A first-team, All-Sun Belt Conference All-Purpose back and a Third Team running back a year ago, Smith totaled 855 yards on 153 attempts in 13 appearances for the Ragin' Cajuns and finished the historic season with eight rushing touchdowns. Smith, who has worked in the community with the Dream Foundation, produced one of the top single-game rushing performances in Louisiana history at Arkansas State (Oct. 21), rushing for 238 yards on 24 carries and scoring two touchdowns. His 238 yards were the fifth-most by a Ragin' Cajun in a game in program history. The Louisville, Miss., native led the Ragin' Cajuns with 1,390 all-purpose yards after also amassing 481 kick return yards. - Louisiana Football

rJr/2024 RB Chris SmithLouisiana
News Source: Louisiana Football
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  Ben Wooldridge and Chandler Fields' talents and skill sets are nearly identical. Their biggest difference is in their mentality, and it's there where Louisiana football coach Michael Desormeaux, a former UL quarterback himself, will ultimately find his starting quarterback. The competition remains as hot as ever between Fields and Wooldridge following the Ragin' Cajuns' first team scrimmage of preseason practice Saturday afternoon inside the Leon Moncla Indoor Practice Facility. The pair have battled since spring practice, neither giving up as much an inch. "Ben does things exactly by the book, Chandler has a little bit more creativity in him," Desormeaux said following the scrimmage. "At the same time, Chandler takes a few more chances and does some things that Ben doesn't do. For us it's the consistency. If its Chandler, is he taking those chances in positions where we can afford them? Is he being smart with those opportunities? With Ben, he's got to operate consistently because he's doing it; if it's cloudy is he more hesitant? Is he playing with a lot of accuracy?"

Desormeaux knew entering preseason practice that Wooldridge, the junior Fresno State transfer who has been with the program 18 months now, and Fields, the sophomore who was the primary backup quarterback last season, would perform well enough to make it a tough decision for him and offensive coordinator Tim Leger. Where the quarterbacks will separate themselves, Desormeaux said, will be in technique, eye progression and execution of Louisiana's offense. Leger put both signal-callers in plenty of situations during UL's scrimmage to have those sequences on films for the staff to review, and Desormeaux added he was pleased watching Wooldridge and Fields live. - Daily Advertiser


rJr/2024 QB Ben WooldridgeLouisiana
News Source: Daily Advertiser
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  2022 PRESEASON OUTLAND TROPHY WATCHLIST: G A.J. Gillie, Louisiana,...Recognizing the top interior lineman in the country, Gillie is one of 89 players featured on the list and one of five players from the Sun Belt Conference. Additionally, he is one of just 17 guards selected. Gillie started in 12 of Louisiana's 14 games at left guard and was a member of an offensive line that ranked fourth in the Sun Belt and tied for 42nd nationally with 1.86 sacks allowed. He also helped pave the way for Louisiana's rushing attack which ranked 40th in the nation with 187.1 yards per game. The upfront unit was named a Joe Moore Award Semifinalist for their impactful play, the second consecutive season the line was recognized as semifinalists for the award. - Louisiana Football

rSo/2025 OG AJ GillieLouisiana
News Source: Louisiana Football
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  2022 PRESEASON RAY GUY WATCHLIST: Rhys Byrns - Louisiana,... Byrns 6-0, 186) was also named to the 2021 Ray Guy Pre-Season Watch List. As a junior in 2021, the Rye, Australia native ranked first in the Sun Belt and 11th in the nation with 46.3 yards average with 19 attempts of over 50 yards. He placed 22 punts inside the opponent's 20-yard line during the season and posted a season-long of 70 yards in a win at Troy. Byrns averaged 47.3 yards on kick attempts in last year's SBC Championship Game against App State, including a 55-yard boot. He matched a career high with seven punts for 289 yards, placing five boots inside the 20-yard line against Georgia Southern. Before Louisiana Byrns went to Pauda College in Mornigton, Victoria, Australia‚ĶRanked as the sixth best punter and a five-star recruit in the 2018 class on Prokicker.com‚ĶMember of the Prokicker Australia class of 2018. - Louisiana Football

rSr/2023 P Rhys ByrnsLouisiana
News Source: Louisiana Football
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  Louisiana has been voted to repeat as Sun Belt Conference champions in 2022. The league announced its preseason poll, along with its preseason individual distinctions, Monday ahead of Sun Belt Media Days, which begins at the Sheraton Hotel in New Orleans Tuesday morning. UL garnered 12 first-place votes for the West division from the conference's coaches, two more than East division favorites Appalachian State, who picked up 10. The Sun Belt coaches predict the Ragin' Cajuns facing the Mountaineers in the title game with the Cajuns edging out App State as the favorites to win with 95 poll points to 94.

South Alabama earned two first-place votes for the West division crown, while the East side of the league appears to be a little murkier with Coastal Carolina picking up two first-place votes and Georgia State and Georgia Southern each earning one. Marshall leads the way among the newcomers to the Sun Belt, predicted to finished fourth in the East. The other new teams, James Madison, Old Dominion are picked to finish sixth and seventh in the East, respectively, while Southern Miss was voted to finish fifth in the West. Louisiana landed three All-Sun Belt preseason First Team honors. Defensive lineman Zi-Yon Hill-Green, cornerback Eric Garror and punter Rhys Byrns were all voted to the first team. - Daily Advertiser


rSr/2023 DT ZiYon Hill-GreenLouisiana
News Source: Daily Advertiser
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  The Sun Belt Conference announced its 2022 Preseason All-Sun Belt Teams, individual awards and Preseason Poll on Monday. Coastal Carolina redshirt junior quarterback Grayson McCall was named the Preseason Offensive Player of the Year, while his teammate sophomore defensive lineman Josaiah Stewart was dubbed the Preseason Defensive Player of the Year. App State was picked to win the Sun Belt East Division and advance to its fourth Sun Belt Football Championship Game in the event's five-year existence. The Mountaineers claimed 10-of-14 first-place votes, with Coastal Carolina (2), Georgia State (1) and Georgia Southern (1) also receiving nods. Louisiana, which has advanced to all four Sun Belt Football Championship Games, was picked to win its fifth-straight Sun Belt West Division title. The Ragin' Cajuns earned 12-of-14 first-place votes, with South Alabama (2) receiving the other two. Louisiana is the reigning Sun Belt football champion, having defeated App State, 24-16, in the 2021 Sun Belt Football Championship Game. - Sun Belt Football

rSr/2023 CB Eric GarrorLouisiana
News Source: Sun Belt Football
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