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|Stubbs impressed by Kragthorpe|
Nicholls State head football coach Charlie Stubbs said Steve Kragthorpe will do an outstanding job as offensive coordinator at LSU.
And Stubbs should know.
The second-year Colonel coach served as offensive coordinator under Kragthorpe at Tulsa from 2003-06 and one year at Louisville in 2007.
"I think he will do very well," Stubbs said. "The biggest thing about him is that he is very thorough and has a lot of experience with all kinds of offenses. When I was with him, I ran the offense and he was doing everything a head coach has to do. It will be interesting to see what style he adapts at LSU. He has tremendous talent and that will predicate what he does. When I was at UNLV (1996-97), we threw the football around. Then I went to Alabama (offensive coordinator from 1998-2000) and I had Shaun Alexander and Chris Samuels. I learned a whole lot about the running game. He will have to access his talent and utilize it for the offense."
Stubbs led Nicholls to a 4-7 record in his first season last year, as the Colonels went 3-4 in Southland Conference play.
Nicholls ended the season with wins over Northwestern State and Southeastern Louisiana.
Stubbs was hired last January, so he wasn't able to spend a great deal of time recruiting before signing his first class last February.
"My first year I only had about two-and-a-half weeks to put things together," Stubbs said. "This year we were able to go through the whole recruiting process. We were able to evaluate the young men as football players and students, as well as meet with them and their families. We feel good about the ones we signed. We were able to stick with our philosophy we said we would follow which was to begin our recruiting efforts within the state, which we did without compromising anything."
Stubbs signed 20 student-athletes, with16 being from Louisiana and 12 who earned All-State honors. Two of the newcomers hail from Texas while the final two are from Oklahoma and Georgia, respectively.
Ten of the players signed will start their careers on the offensive side of the ball. The Colonels staff went into the recruiting season with their focus concentrated on strengthening two areas on offense - linemen and playmakers.
"The emphasis on offense for this recruiting class was to solidify upfront and to get more playmakers so we can be more explosive on offense," said Stubbs. "You will notice that we signed five offensive linemen, and we're really excited about that because the game is played up front. It is important to note that when you control the line of scrimmage – you usually control the score of the game."
Further bolstering the Colonel offense with playmaking ability are two wide receivers, 5-9/160 Josh Hanberry (John Curtis) and 5-11/170 Darryl Watson, Jr. (Holy Cross), two running backs, 5-9/190 Joshua Johnson (Thibodaux) and 5-9/180 Darnell Rachal (Riverside Academy), and athlete 6-0/200 Terry Lucas, Jr. (St. Augustine).
On defense, Nicholls brought in 10 signees with a top priority at the linebacker position.
"With the change to a 3-4 package on defense, we wanted to bring in athletes that would fit our system," said Stubbs. "We signed five aggressive linebackers to strengthen that area. It will give us more depth and competition for playing time. The three-man front package will allow us to play faster and quicker while being able to adjust to various offensive schemes and formations."
The linebacker core consists of 5-9/195 Brenton Bowman (Holy Cross), 6-2/215 Nick LeBlanc (Vandebilt Catcholic), 6-2/205 Marcus Parker (Port Allen), 6-0/200 Ben Taylor (Hahnville), and a mid-year transfer from Ole Miss, 6-0/220 Brandon Sanders (Peachtree).
Rounding out the class are defensive linemen 6-4/255 Cole Frazier (Brother Martin) and 6-2/285 Jordan Thompson (Hahnville), safeties 6-0/180 Davin Bovie (Riverdale) and 5-10/170 Byron Cobb (West Feliciana), and cornerback 5-10/180 Darvin Butler (Plaquemine).
Stubbs, who has had three books published titled "Wide Open Football," "Developing an Explosive Offense," and "101 Special Plays and Playmakers," now moves on to the second stage of recruiting.
"We're going to look at some possible transfers and guys who may have been looked over for one reason or another," Stubbs said. "I save some extra scholarships. With 72 guys on the team, you have some guys not on full scholarship who have done a tremendous job over the years and you want to reward them with scholarship money."
Stubbs said coaching at a small school like Nicholls means working hard to find players who are not 4-star or 5-star athletes who can be developed into outstanding football players.
"We want to bring in players, coach them and build them up and after a few years have people say, 'Hey coach, how do you get him away from LSU.'"
Stubbs will begin spring football drills in the middle of March.
"I returned my entire coaching staff, so we feel that gives us a leg up on a lot of people," Stubbs said. "When you have that kind of consistency, it's very beneficial. We're looking forward to getting back on the field."
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