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Cardinals eye depth at scrimmage

By Tom Halliburton
The News Sports Correspondent
BEAUMONT — Koby Couron knows him. Ray Woodard does too. Craig McGallion is very familiar with him.
TV interviews always avoid him. Fans never seek his autograph, but he’s an incredibly valuable addition to Lamar’s football program. His name is spelled D-E-P-T-H. With enough depth, the Cardinals can hang with more heralded teams. Without depth, Big Red has no chance.
As Lamar prepared for this morning’s first pre-season scrimmage at 9 a.m., Provost Umphrey Stadium’s sun and heat would surely enable defensive coaches a chances to see just how real the Redbirds depth looks.
“What I’m seeing this first week in practice is more depth in our lines,” Woodard said as a rare breeze arrived at Thursday night’s workout.
Is the sixth-year LU boss imagining things? His defensive coordinator (McGallion) and one of his area starters (Nederland’s Couron) believe Big Ray speaks the truth.
“I know for sure at my position (end) we brought in three junior college guys who can play,” Couron said. “We’re deep and I’m kinda surprised by it.
“Defensive back-wise we have some freshman that can play. In college, it’s hard to play a whole game. Everybody is all-district or all-state and you’ve got to have rest.” McGallion begins his second year as LU’s defensive coordinator. There’s little comparison in the two years at this point in his mind.
“We’re definitely farther along than we were last year,” McGallion said. “We’ve had more depth and senior leadership. With that, we have better practices, better meetings, better everything.”
“We’re deep in the defensive line and the secondary. Some are going to come in and be really good for us. We can roll three groups of linemen out there and that’s going to really help.”
REDBIRD CHIRPS: One area freshman has been elevated to second team in three days. Beaumont Ozen defensive back Rodney Randle is a newcomer who originally was targeted to be a redshirt this year, but that’s not likely now… Two more impressive freshmen in the opening week have been Lake Charles wide receiver Martell Hawthorne and Corrigan-Camden running back Keegan Mitchell… Nederland product Corbin Carr is likely going to be one of two siblings in LU’s program next fall. Bulldogs offensive tackle Justin Carr has told LU that he planned to sign with the Cardinals next winter. Woodard indicated that he had spotted Carr at some of Lamar’s workouts this week… Legendary Florida State mentor Bobby Bowden will be the featured speaker on Aug. 23 at Lamar’s kickoff banquet in Ford Park Arena at 6 p.m.