CajunRedZone.com caught up with Coach Bustle in New Orleans at the 2007 Sun Belt Football Media fall meeting. Coach covrerd some hot topics from APR, to the completion of the indoor practice facility.
Coach you are going into your sixth season at UL,when you took over six years ago you probably though it was going to be a pretty though road. Have you progressed as much as you expected?
BUSTLE: After I got here and kinda got settled in I knew it would take us a while. We probably were a little ahead of schedule last year winning a conference championship and so forth. It is all part of building a program in the right direction. Sometimes you don't jump as high as fans would like you to jump or as quickly, because everybody have been waiting to get over the rung to the top. I sure think that with the strides we have made on the field, and the strides we made in the classroom, I sure think we are heading in the right direction.
CRZ: Coach you mention the classroom issues, the APR is a big issue with the NCAA now?
BUSTLE: There is no question that the APR is a serious deal here. Last spring we had the highest GPA ever at UL, it is the second time we set a mark at UL, and I am really proud of that.We have some guys at summer school that need to do some work just like everybody does. It is completely different than our first three or four years here. It just goes back to recruiting, and making sure you get the student athlete.
CRZ: Coach when you took over the program you were not nearly the 85 scholarship limit, are you at the 85 now?
BUSTLE: We are actually at eighty-three right now, I know we are getting close. I know in our first year after we let our seniors go, we were at forty-eight or something like that. I said Holy Cow, but we have slowly climbed back up, and we are at eighty-three right now. Hopefully we will be at 85 next year.
CRZ: Coach, speaking of numbers coaches always lament the lack of enough quality offensive lineman. Considering who you played last year, and Chance coming back this year, do you feel like you have a solid offensive line with quality at back up this coming season?
BUSTLE: I think our offensive line situation is the best it has been, we really only lost one starter from last year. We've got some guys up front that played a lot, and we are now getting some quality back up players, and again we red-shirted some kids last year that will be some good backups this year. So our offensive line is a big strength for us this year.
CRZ: Coach Bustle, you have some big shoes to fill at the quarterback position? Nobody has had a lot of playing time. Do you feel like you have the guys in place to do the job?
BUSTLE: Yea, I think Michael Desormeaux has played enough, been in enough big games. Mike is just a great competitor, a great leader. He has the edge right now, and we have John Hundley who I think, he has been sitting quietly waiting for his opportunity, John had a heck of a spring. I think with those two guys we have some competition. I feel our quarterback situation is pretty solid.
CRZ: Right now I don't think anyone can talk about UL football without mentioning Mr. Fenroy? Do you expect he will be healthy and in good form this year?
BUSTLE: I think Tyrell is one of the finest backs I have ever been around. Wether I was at Virginia Tech, South Carolina or anywheres. I think he is a heck of a back, as long as he wants to stay hungry, and he seems to be that way. That he wants to work hard every day, the sky's the limit. He is a tough guy, knock on wood and stays away from too many injuries I fully expect him to have a great year, but he has a target on his back.
CRZ: Coach, speaking of injuries, if he does get injured who do you see stepping up? Is is going to be tailback by committee or what?
BUSTLE: We have a great back in Deon Wallace could do a good job, and will play a good bit this year, and Abdule Levier both, both are tailback type guys. Abdule tailback some last hear and has played tailback throughout his career. They are different style backs, I think the running back situation will be good.
CRZ: Coach, do you think the Wallace can play a similar role as the great Reggie Bush? Can you play his as a slot back, receiver type guy?
BUSTLE: I think you can, I can see Tyrell being used that way this year. There is no question, Deon catches the ball well, and he likes to run it, no matter you gotta get those guys out of the backfield.
CRZ: Coach, you seem to be set on offense, but UL did not have a lot of team members in the preseason all conference team. What do you envision this year?
BUSTLE: I think this is going to be a no name defense this year, nobody stood out last year. I think Rodney Hardeway is one of the best defensive ends in the league, and he has played a lot the last couple of years. We got a couple of new guys who will play defensive ends this year. Corey Raymond who played a lot last year, he did not start a lot of games. Korey Raymond is a guy who played a lot last year, and he didn't start but about half the games. He is going to start every game this year. We are looking at a couple of defensive tackles, and our linebacking corps. We are solid across there starting with Burkhalter, Richer, and Zanders guys that have played. Our secondary secondary was the thing I was most concerned with at the end of last year. I think we singed a couple Branden, and Scooter Rogers, that are going to help us here, we re-shirted a couple of guys and we red-shirted a couple of defensive kids last year that I think are going to help us. It may be a no name bunch, but I think it is going to be a group that is going to be really good.
CRZ: Coach, I would be remiss if I did not bring up the turf for the indoor practice facility. I understand you were a little upset last week because it was not down. Are you happier now about the situation this week?
BUSTLE: I am happier now, it's ahh, it's ahh something we really want to get into, something we really need, the turf group that is in there now should have it done by August 1st.
CRZ: When does the team start practice?
BUSTLE: August the third, we are hopeful everything will be ready then.
CRZ: Thanks for the interview coach, good luck.
BUSTLE: You got it.