Carter looking to lead Colonels

Published 12:00 am Tuesday, August 15, 2000

MICHAEL KIRAL / L’Observateur / August 15, 2000

THIBODAUX – Nicholls State went through a tough 1999 season, winning but one of its 11 games. But as fullback Chad Carter stood standing in John L.Guidry Stadium Saturday evening for the Colonels’ annual media/photo day, the Lutcher alum wanted only to look ahead to the upcoming season.

“As a running back group, we are planning on doing really well,” Carter said.

“Hopefully, we can score the first touchdown of the season. That’s what Iwant us to do. I’ve got a goal of at least 75 yards a game. And I want to winat least conference this year. Hopefully, a national championship but I knowthat’s a long shot right now. But I want to at least win conference this year.It’s going to take hard work from everybody. And teamwork. That’s why weare trying to pull everybody together right now.”Carter will be in the running for the starting spot at fullback. He will also betrying to provide senior leaders hip for a Colonels squad whose roster features 58 underclassmen, including 37 freshmen.

Carter for one can tell the young Colonels about adversity. His first year hewas a prop 48 casualty. He did not see any playing time his freshman yearand missed his sophomore year with a knee injury. Carter had to go throughtotal reconstructive surgery after tearing both his anterior and medial collateral ligaments. It took him six to nine months to complete therehabilitation from that injury.

“I was more excited about being in there and finally getting a chance to see what I could do on offense,” Carter said on whether he was concerned the first time he got on the field after the injury. I was worried about the kneethe first time I went out there but I did good.”Carter finally got on the field last year, playing all 11 games, mostly on special teams. He did carry the ball 22 times for 68 yards, including 53 yardson 18 carries at Sam Houston State.

“I had a great game,” Carter said of that game. “That was my breakoutgame. But without my offensive line, I couldn’t have done nothing so that’swho I give all my credit to.”Another local player returning from last season is junior Kenric Johnson.

Johnson caught five passes for 93 yards and is expected to see playing time this season behind seniors Curtis Johnson and Sullivan Beard.

“I’m trying to be more of a leader this year,” Johnson said. “Try to help theyounger guys under me. Everybody is working harder, looking forward to theseason.” The Colonels will be counting on its signing class to provide depth at some key positions. One of the most heralded was offensive lineman JosephTrosclair from Riverside. Trosclair reported to the team Aug. 6 and has beenbusy learning the team’s playbook.

“I thought it would be a little rough and it has,” Trosclair said of his expectations for practice. “It’s been hot, too, but it’s alright though.”Trosclair has been working with the second and third teams at left tackle.

“I think I will do pretty good,” Trosclair said. “Hopefully if I don’t play, I willredshirt and come back next year.”The Colonels will have two local athletes walking on this year in Destrehan’s Danny Krieger and Riverside’s Keith LeBlanc.

“It’s fun,” Krieger said of being a walk-on. “It’s kind of hard because it’s thefirst time I’ve done two-a-days. In high school, we just had one practice aday.”Krieger was called by the Nicholls State coaches during the summer and asked if he would like to walk on. He was giving instructions on when andwhere to report. He has been getting reps in practice, especially in the timebefore the upperclassmen reported later in the week. He will probably get towork with the scout team this season.

“It’s Ok,” Krieger said of getting fewer reps with the returning players back.

“You get to learn from them by watching them.”Krieger said if a player gets the opportunity, they should grab the opportunity to walk on if they don’t receive a scholarship.

“Do it,” Krieger said. “It’s a great opportunity. For the rest of your life,these guys will be your friends. If you don’t have a scholarship, you shouldn’tbe discouraged. A lot of guys who walk on end up starting over guys who areon scholarship.” Leblanc has transferred to Nicholls State after playing baseball at Faulkner Junior College last year.

“It’s been pretty good,” LeBlanc said. “I like it better because it’s closer tohome.”LeBlanc said it takes a lot of dedication to become a walk on. He saidRiverside head coach Mickey Roussel and the Rebels coaching staff played a major part in him being able to walk onto the Colonels.

“Try to get you high school coaches to call the school where you want to walk on,” LeBlanc advises players who might want to try it. “Try your best.You might make it and you have nothing to lose.”

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