Here’s who’s making an impression

{{tncms-inline account=”TylerAmPress” html=”<blockquote class="twitter-tweet"><p lang="en" dir="ltr">"Welcome to college football, baby!" <a href="https://twitter.com/hashtag/McNeese?src=hash&ref_src=twsrc%5Etfw">#McNeese</a> <a href="https://t.co/g8IYQB3WAa">pic.twitter.com/g8IYQB3WAa</a></p>— Tyler Nunez (@TylerAmPress) <a href="https://twitter.com/TylerAmPress/status/1025386994103472128?ref_src=twsrc%5Etfw">August 3, 2018</a></blockquote>” id=”1025386994103472128″ type=”twitter”}}

It’s been one week since the McNeese State football team reported for fall camp, and already names have become mainstays in conversations about the biggest plays in practice.

From circus catches by receivers to good rushes by defenders up front and impressive pass break-ups and interceptions have littered the first week of practice and drills from every part of the depth chart.

Today we’re going to talk about a few guys who have either moved their way up the depth chart or cemented their spot to run with the first team because of their performances through the first week of fall camp.

CB Darion Dunn: The preseason all-Southland Conference sophomore cornerback has stepped up in a big way since the first day of practice, becoming one of the most consistent one-on-one backs.

He’s the first person who has been able to shut down up-and-coming wide receiver Trevor Begue as he broke up a pass then picked up an interception as they went up against each other Wednesday morning.

Dunn raised his stock by competing on the track and field team as a hurdler during the spring, and he’s lived up to the hype in practice. He’s a physical cornerback with good instincts and better speed. He should be a fun player to watch develop the next three seasons.

WR Trevor Begue: The sophomore didn’t get much playing time as a freshman, spending most of his eight appearances on special teams.

Heck, up until spring practice a few months back he had never taken a snap with starting quarterback James Tabary.

But Begue has become a favorite target for every quarterback on the depth chart because of his route-running ability, his unflinching confidence against some of McNeese’s best defenders and his seemingly infallible hands.

If Begue’s dropped a pass that hit his hands yet this fall camp, nobody seems to have seen it.

He’s become a nuisance for cornerbacks to deal with in one-on-one drills. After rolling his eyes at the sound of his name, defensive back Colby Burton compared the young receiver to veteran Cody Orgeron.

Begue hit his first snag of camp Wednesday morning as head coach Lance Guidry told Dunn to play him more aggressively off the snap, but his attitude after losing the bout was what one would expect from a player climbing the depth chart.

“You can’t win them all. I just have to get better,” he said after the drill.

RB David Hamm: Its not exactly a surprise that the Cowboys’ leading rusher from 2017 is favored to start his senior season, but with a depth chart loaded with talented halfbacks like Ryan Ross, Justin Pratt and now Benjamin Jones, one couldn’t help but question, who would emerge as the favorite to get those first snaps?

Hamm proved last year he’s a strong, capable back with the ability to outrun defenders at the edge and run them over up the middle. His numbers may ultimately fall from what they were last year due to the sheer volume of options McNeese has at the position, but expect him to remain the core of the unit because of his versatility.

DL Camron Peterson: He may not have started camp in a DWA (Defense With Attitude) jersey, but he got one on the second day of practice and has yet to relinquish it.

Listed at 6-foot-5 and 262 pounds, Peterson is a physical presence with athleticism that makes him a nightmare for any offensive lineman to deal with.

Perhaps his biggest upside is the fact that he’s a redshirt freshman with a high ceiling for improvement.

Expect him to get bigger, faster and stronger. As long as he remains healthy, he could become a mainstay on one of the most consistently successful defenses at the Football Championship Subdivision level.


Tyler Nunez covers McNeese State athletics. Email him at tnunez@americanpress.com

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