LAFAYETTE — If quarterback Terrance Broadway needs more information as he approaches the line of scrimmage, all he usually needs to do is search for a message from the visual antenna of center Andre Huval.
Then, in a matter of seconds, things could happen differently from the way the play was explained in the huddle.
“Every time Huval turns around and gives me that look, I know I need to keep my eyes open,” Broadway said.
Huval probably will never throw a pass during his UL-Lafayette career, but Broadway said the success of each offensive play usually depends on Huval’s pre-snap acumen for detecting nuances in opposing defenses.
“My career is in (Huval’s) hands. That’s all I can say. Huval, he’s just real valuable to me,” said Broadway, a junior from Capitol High.
Like a commander working quickly with his comrades in the trenches, Huval, a senior out of St. Thomas More, has a special ability to direct an offense from a crouching position in the middle of the offensive line, offensive coordinator Jay Johnson said.
“Behind Broadway, the most pivotal player on our team is Andre Huval,” he said. “He knows our offense in a way that’s unbelievable for an offensive lineman. He knows exactly what to do.”
While the main ingredient for Huval and Broadway is communication, Huval said that for him, it’s all about preparation. His main asset is ascertaining what ULL offensive line coach Mitch Rodrigue expects each week.
“It’s been coach Rod’s system to have everything pass through the center, because the center can see both sides of the ball,” Huval said. “We spend a lot of time together in meetings. When he sees something on film, (Rodrigue) will kind of explain what the problem is and make sure you will make the call.”
Broadway said Huval often sees things that are not always noticeable to a quarterback.
“With Huval being on the ground, he figures things out faster than I do sometimes,” Broadway said. “He always turns around and gives me a look like, ‘Do you see it?’ ”
Huval said the key to operating efficiently on the line of scrimmage has been the relationship he has developed with Broadway.
“Terrance and I kind of work hand in hand,” he said. “It’s really not like I’m the only one making calls down the line of scrimmage. Everyone is communicating along the line. My main job is to make sure the left side of the line and the right side of the line are on the same page.”
Broadway said Huval’s contribution is more important than that.
“Huval has the play call. Then, when he sees something and I see something that’s not right according to what the defense is showing, I relay that back to him,” he said. “We practice that each week, depending upon which team we play. We know what (play) to check to, depending upon what we see from the defense.”
Huval said numerous practice sessions of audible play-calling and signaling, from the line to the quarterback, make the gameday experience smoother.
“Watching film together and practicing the same thing over and over, it just becomes natural,” he said. “Terrance and I really don’t have to communicate that much. I guess it’s like cramming all week to get ready for the test.”