Cardinals announce depth chart
Lamar University head football coach Ray Woodard released the depth chart for the season opener against Bacone College at his weekly press conference Mondayafternoon. Despite the official release, Woodard still didn’t reveal his hand in terms naming a starting quarterback. The quarterback position is listed as an either/or scenario between transfers Joe Minden and Carson Earp, with a third transfer, Blake McKenzie, listed behind the other two.
“We have not named a starter at quarterback,” said head coach Ray Woodard. “We listed both Joe and Carson there intentionally. At this point, I’m not sure who I’m going to start. It doesn’t matter who goes out for the first series because you will see the other one shortly after. We also plan to get McKenzie in the game as well.
“We will alert the team which quarterback will take the field first at the appropriate time, but we don’t plan on making that public,” added Woodard.
The depth chart proves the strength of the Cardinals recent recruiting efforts. Despite the return of 20 starters, LU has six newcomers (either freshmen or transfers) listed as starters. When the depth chart is expanded to include the second team, 15 of the players listed are entering their first season with the Cardinals. Among those 15 newcomers, seven are true freshmen – including Beaumont natives Ethan Cothen (6-4, 287, OL, West Brook HS) and Rodney Randle Jr. (5-10, 200, DB, Ozen HS).
The offensive line returns stalwarts Justin Brock and Bret Treadway on the right side, as well as sophomore Connor Ward at left guard. The offensive front was bolstered with FBS transfers Cody Elenz (Idaho) at left tackle Matt Oubre (UL-Monroe) at center.
No matter which quarterback is on the field, he will be surrounded by plenty of weapons, including preseason first-team All-Southland Conference receiver Reggie Begelton. The Beaumont native will be joined at receiver by Devonn Brown – who will also see some time as a returner – and Michael Handy has moved to receiver full time after splitting time between receiver and running back each of the past two seasons.
Junior college transfer DeAndre Jennings has won the starting nod at tight end. The 6-1, 240-pound junior college transfer came to Beaumont and added stability to a position which appeared to be in a bit of turmoil following the sudden departure of senior Dillion Barrett in the spring. Backing up Jennings will be a familiar name to Cardinals’ fans as Duncan McVey, younger brother to four-year starter Payden McVey, earned the second spot late in camp. The younger McVey will also be wearing the same jersey number as his brother, 88.
There was also a small surprise at running back behind starter Kade Harrington. Corrigan, Texas freshman Keegan Mitchell has been named the backup running back, following a similar path to the depth chart as Harrington, a path which gave Woodard the freedom to move Handy to receiver.
“The biggest change on the depth chart has been Keegan Mitchell,” said Woodard. “He’s had a really good camp and has earned that spot. The plan was to redshirt him, but similar to what Kade did his freshman year, Keegan has come in and played well and made us change those plans.”
With so many starters returning defensively from last year, there were few surprises among the first-team group. All four starters in the secondary, and three of the four linebackers from last year’s eight-win season are back. Sophomore Shawn Jones won the starting nod at the lone linebacker position with no returning starter.
The defensive line will see two new faces on the starting line joining 2014 All-SLC selection Omar Tebo. Manasseh Miles (6-0, 240, Trinity Valley JC) and Larry Carroll (6-2, 315, Kilgore College) earned the starting nods at defensive end following the final scrimmage, but the Cardinals will have several players involved in the rotation on the line.
“There is nothing to make of Corbin Carr and Koby Couron running with what is considered second team,” said Woodard. “We have about eight guys who are worthy to start. There will be a lot of rollover within a series, and between series. We’ve had a lot of new guys come in play well in camp to go along with the returning players.”
The Cardinals will kick off the 2015 season Saturday against the Warriors. The game against Bacone will kick off at 7 p.m. from Provost Umphrey Stadium. Tickets for LU home events can be purchased through the LU Ticket Office at (409) 880-1715, or by logging on to www.LamarCardinals.com.