The Georgia Southern Eagles had last Saturday’s home game with Florida Atlantic postponed due to positive COVID-19 cases on the Owl football team. This week the Eagles hit the road for their Sun Belt opener against the #19 ranked Rajun Cajuns of Louisiana.
Last year the Eagles fell at home 37-24 and it was a strange situation for Eagle offensive line coach Ron Hudson who was staring across the field at his son David who was a freshman offensive lineman for the Rajun Cajuns.
“Last year was the first time we have been across the field from each other, and they got the better of us that day,” said Hudson. “I was disappointed that we came out of that game with a loss, but it was fantastic to see him. It was great to see him in uniform, and it was great to hug his neck after the game.”
“I looked around while we were hugging and I saw a bunch of people taking pictures,” said Hudson. “There were a bunch of people there that cared a lot about the both of us. I didn’t realize how much it meant to so many people to see the two of us together at that moment, it was very special.”
The two talk frequently, but Hudson is careful not to let his coaching side spill over into their conversations.
“We probably talk a couple times a week,” said Hudson. “I am proud of how hard he worked to get where he is today, but I don’t do any coaching with him when we are on the phone. He has his own coaches for that. We talk about life, how school is going and that kind of thing.”
“I will reach out to him the night before the game, and just tell him how much I love him,” said Hudson. “We won’t talk at all about football, and I won’t talk to him before the game on Saturday. After the game regardless of the score I will hug his neck and tell him how much I love him again.”
Prior to coming to Georgia Southern Hudson spent five years with Louisiana as the assistant head coach/offensive line coach from 2005-10.
“This has been a very special place for me,” said Hudson. “My kids grew up there, so I’m excited to be going back for a number of reasons. I still know a lot of folks back there, so it’s going to be a lot of fun to go back.”
The Eagles players understand the special ties Coach Hudson has with Rajun Cajuns, but are confident where his allegiance is.
“We all know his son is an offensive lineman there, and he coached there,” said Eagle offensive lineman Brian Miller. “I know he is proud of his son, but I know he is doing everything he cam to help us beat them on Saturday.”
It’s been a tough pre-season for David Hudson, as August 1st Louisiana offensive line coach D.J Looney passed away after a heart attack he suffered during a team workout at Cajun Field.
Hudson tweeted after his passing that the O-line community lost a great one today, and that all of his players felt his love including his son David.
Hudson also talked to the Georgia Southern offensive line about the impact Looney had on him. The Eagles later signed a memorial poster with Looney’s picture on it, and sent it to the coaching staff at Louisiana.