FootballScoop is proud to announce that Jabbar Juluke is the 2019 FootballScoop Running Backs Coach of the Year presented by AstroTurf as selected by prior winners.
Most teams count on having one feature running back and consider themselves fortunate to have two. In 2019, Louisiana-Lafayette had four.
Junior Elijah Mitchell paced the Ragin' Cajuns' ground game, rocking 198 carries for 1,147 yards and 16 touchdowns, tied for 11th most in the nation.
Mitchell was followed by senior Raymond Calais and junior Trey Ragas. Calais posted 886 yards and six scores on 117 carries, while Ragas mounted 116 totes for 820 yards and 11 touchdowns.
Rounding out the quartet, freshman Chris Smith didn't get as many carries as the three upperclassmen, but he made his carries count: 32 rushes for 334 yards and four scores.
Add it all up and you get three 800-yard rushers, all over seven yards per carry. Louisiana-Lafayette was the only team in college football to accomplish such a feat.
Between Mitchell, Calais and Ragas, ULL enjoyed nine 100-yard rushing efforts this season and 29 individual instances in which a Cajuns running back topped at least 50 yards.
Unsurprisingly, Louisiana-Lafayette boasted one of the most fearsome ground games in college football in 2019. The Cajuns' 257.4 rushing average ranked sixth nationally, their 6.28 per-carry average placed third, and their 42 rushing touchdowns also placed third. Only Navy bested ULL's 117 rushes of 10-plus yards, and the Midshipmen ran the ball the ball nearly 200 times more often than the Cajuns. ULL was also great on third down (47.6 percent, 11th nationally) and in the red zone (69 percent touchdown rate, 28th).
As a team, ULL racked up 494.1 yards per game (eighth), 7.01 per play (sixth) and 37.9 points per game (10th). The Cajuns finished 11-3, setting the school record for single-season wins, winning a second straight Sun Belt West championship and defeating Miami (Ohio) in the LendingTree Bowl.
Mitchell was named a Second Team All-Sun Belt performer, while Calais and Ragas were both named Third Team All-Sun Belt honorees.
A Southern graduate, Juluke helped the Jaguars win a Black National Championship as a player in 1993. He began his coaching career in the Louisiana high school ranks, eventually becoming the head coach at Edna Karr in New Orleans, where he went 80-39 and won a state championship in 2012. From there, he became the running backs coach at Louisiana Tech and has since coached running backs at LSU, Texas Tech and, now, Louisiana-Lafayette. He's in his second year as the Cajuns' assistant head coach and running backs coach.
The FootballScoop Coaches of the Year awards presented by AstroTurf are the only set of awards that recognize the most outstanding position coaches in college football. The finalists (Tony Alford [Ohio State], Tony Elliott [Clemson], Cornell Jackson [Central Michigan], Andy Kotelnicki [Buffalo], John Settle [Wisconsin], Brian White [Boston College] and Juluke) were selected based off of nominations by coaches, athletic directors, and athletic department personnel. The prior winners selected this year's winner.
Juluke will receive his award and be recognized at an event at the AFCA Convention in January.
Previous winners of the Running Backs Coach of the Year award are Burton Burns (Alabama, 2008), Willie Taggart (Stanford, 2009), Jim Mastro (Nevada, 2010), Frank Wilson (LSU, 2011), Calvin Magee (Arizona, 2012), Jeff Lebby (Baylor, 2013), Bryan McClendon (Georgia, 2014), Lance Taylor (Stanford, 2015), Jeff Horton (San Diego State, 2016), Tony Elliott (Clemson, 2017) and Tim Albin (Ohio, 2018).
6th Nationally - Rushing
3rd Nationally - Rushing TDs
3rd Nationally - Yards Per Carry
Three 800+ Yard Rushers
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