Big Up

Louisiana Tech Head Coach Sonny Dykes finished his first season at Louisiana Tech with a record of 5-7. Coach Dykes is wasting no time trying to upgrade his talent at a few key positions. With Junior College Signing Day coming up on December 15th, Louisiana Tech has to have a big weekend in recruiting.

Coach Dykes and his staff are hosting a large group of junior college visitors this weekend. The Bulldogs need taller wide receivers to go with the current group of pass catchers that will return. Tech also needs size and depth along the offensive line after losing Rob McGill, Cudahy Harmon, and Jared Miles to graduation.

Tech already has a few commitments from the junior college ranks including Defensive Tackle Jon'al White, Defensive End Daniel Hayden, and Wide Receiver Myles White. All three players fill voids at specific areas of need for Coach Dykes. White will make a huge impact up front for the Bulldog defense while Hayden is a pass rush specialist. White caught over 50 passes this season and will bring his good hands and quick feet to Joe Aillet Stadium next season.

Most Division One programs will not take a large group of junior college players in a single class, unless they are trying to make a big upgrade in talent that will have an immediate impact. Coach Dykes is wasting no time trying to compete for conference championships and bowl berths. He wants to win now. Don't be surprised if he signs at least ten junior college players in the 2011 class. Louisiana Tech has several positions of need and Coach Dykes will take the best players available.

With just four players returning with significant experience on the offensive line, Coach Dykes wants to bring in a few big, tough guys to add strength to the position. Kris Cavitt and Jordan Mills have both started games in their careers at offensive tackle while Kevin Saia and Stephen Warner both return as starters. Guards Vince Cano, Matt Shepperd, and Houston Lantrip will all contend for a starting spot as well.

Among the potential visitors this weekend are Larry Banks and Oscar Johnson, both massive linemen from Copiah-Lincoln Community College. Banks is 6'4" 325 with offers from Arkansas State, North Texas, Utah State, and Troy. Johnson is 6'6" 350 with offers from Baylor and Troy. Two other teammates in Mississippi have Tech offers. Aaron Williams and Jeremy Graffree are both 300 pound offensive lineman from Mississippi Gulf Coast C.C. that could visit this week. Another potential visitor is Jewel Christian, a 290 pound tackle from Southwest Mississippi. Christian has offers from Troy, North Texas, and Arkansas State along with Louisiana Tech.

The teammate trend is also in effect for two big men from Foothill College in California. Christopher Tozer and John Meyers are both 6'5" offensive linemen that returned to Foothill after receiving scholarship offers to come out after their freshmen year. The decision to stay may pay off for the teammates and it could also pay off for Coach Dykes.

Staying out west, Louisiana Tech is also looking for big targets in the passing game. Scott Cathcart, from Allan Hancock College in California, is a 6'5" 226 pound receiver. Cathcart caught over 50 passes for over 900 yards as a sophomore. Tech has also offered Justin Dunford from Fullerton College. Dunford, a 6'4" 225 pound receiver, caught for over 400 yards as a freshman and added 240 yards and 4 touchdowns as a sophomore.

Mike Edwards, from Mt. San Antonio College in California, isn't as big as Cathcart and Dunford, but he is very prolific. Edwards, 6'0" 185, caught 63 passes for 1200 yards and 12 touchdowns this season.

Big targets will certainly be nice for Coach Dykes and the Bulldog offense, but it will be extra sweet to have someone to throw them the ball. With Ross Jenkins graduating, Louisiana Tech will have a new starter at quarterback in 2011. Tarik Hakmi, from Foothill College, and fellow junior to be Colby Cameron will be joined by freshman Taylor Burch in spring practice. Coach Dykes is looking for an experienced quarterback to compete in the spring with the three returning players.

Zach Stoudt, a 6'5" 225 pound quarterback, is visiting this weekend. Tech is up against Ole Miss and Kansas for the talented quarterback's services. Stoudt, from Iowa Western Community College, spent two years at Louisiville, before deciding to leave following the departure of former Louisivlle Coach Steve Kragthorpe. Stoudt threw for 1812 yards and 18 touchdowns this season against only 6 interceptions. Stoudt completed 142 of 247 passes which is good for a 57.5% completion percentage.

One big positive for this staff is they know what they want and they go after those players. Coach Dykes and his staff have identified who they need and they are moving fast to get these players in the system. With a solid foundation of high school commitments already in place, Tech can really fill some big needs on December 15th. The coaches will be able to spend the final 6 weeks of recruiting rounding out the class with some of the top high school players in the region. It should be a really good mix off experience and potential once the class is all signed.

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