LU’s Woodard to announce starters on Monday

Published 6:36 pm Friday, August 16, 2013

Ray Woodard does not wish to keep anyone in suspense this year. Lamar’s football coach says he plans to name a starting lineup on Monday.

That announcement served as the biggest surprise divulged Friday afternoon at LU’s annual football media day in the Dauphin athletic complex.

The information also should send a message to the Cardinals players regarding the importance of:

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1. Their daily practice performance over the last two weeks.

2. Their outing at tonight’s intrasquad scrimmage at 7:30 in Provost Umphrey Stadium.

Woodard wants to see some hits and hear those pads make noise when he divides up his groups for this significant dress rehearsal. While most of Lamar’s starting spots already are solidified, tonight’s work offers the most critical chance in the pre-season for the Cardinals coaches to be impressed.

When tonight’s work ends and the coaching staff evaluates the video during the weekend, it should serve as the final proof for Woodard to name starters across the board on both sides of the ball.

“We’re going to name the starting quarterback and the lineup on Monday,” Woodard told the largest assembled turnout ever for a pre-season LU football media day. More than 20 area television, radio and newspaper personalities attended the event.

“Some of those starting positions may need to change between next week and our first game (Aug. 31) but we will announce our starters on Monday.”

One by-product of Ray’s early lineup news is Woodard eliminates the question in anyone’s mind about the identity of his starting quarterback. The thoughts from offensive coordinator and veteran quarterbacks coach Larry Kueck, as well as Woodard’s comments, would suggest that 6-2 junior Caleb Berry should open the year as Lamar’s signal caller.

Berry is battling last year’s season-opening starter and senior Ryan Mossakowski, as well as the University of Houston import and redshirt freshman Rex Dausin for the starting quarterback spot. There are other worthy freshmen candidates, too, but those three are the primary hopefuls who receive most of the repetitions.

Woodard indicated Berry has earned the job all along with his off-season. The Needville product also was considered to have had the best overall performance in last Saturday morning’s intrasquad work.

“Caleb is having a good camp and has had a tremendous off-season,” Kueck said. “The biggest thing he’s done for himself is the preparation involved. He’s way better in that area than at this time a year ago.”

Mossakowski showed his effectiveness as a reliever last year at Nacogdoches, too. The two-sport LU athlete (football and baseball) came off the bench to complete 11 passes and three second-half touchdowns in a loss at Stephen F. Austin.

“Ryan has a real good grasp of what we’re doing,” said Kueck in his second year of his second stint as Lamar’s offensive coordinator.

That total overall grasp of Lamar’s offense may be the biggest thing working against Dausin, who announced his decision to transfer to LU in June.

“Rex is very, very talented,” Kueck said. “Right now he’s in the process of still grasping our offense a little better. He’s got a chance to be very good because he’s so studious.”

Although Beaumont Central true freshman Robert Mitchell has less experience and exposure to Division 1 football than any of those three, Kueck feels he “has more ball velocity” than any of LU’s quarterback candidates.