Roster Analysis: Summer 2011

Louisiana Tech Head Coach Sonny Dykes wanted to bring in several junior college players for more than one reason. First, he wanted more experience and maturity on the team. He also wanted to create more competition at every position.

Louisiana Tech signed several players that can play right away. Oscar Johnson, Larry Banks, and Jeremy Graffree add instant depth at offensive line. Quinton Patton, Myles White, and Scott Cathcart give Coach Dykes more options at receiver. Antonio Mitchum and Chip Hester add to an already loaded linebacker unit.


Top returning player: Colby Cameron. Head Coach Sonny Dykes says Cameron is the guy going into fall camp. Who to watch for: Nick Isham. Can the true freshman come in and play right away? It's doubtful, but if Cameron is less than solid against USM and doesn't show any improvement in the first half against Central Arkansas, Isham could get his chance against the Bears.

True freshman that could play early: Isham. Big position battle: It might be a battle of who can stay healthy. Former California Junior College quarterbacks Tariq Hakmi and Zach Griffith both have the tools to be the backup to Cameron heading into the fall. Will one of them show enough seperation from the other and also hold of Isham?

Colby Cameron

Running Back

Top returning player: Lennon Creer. Creer is entering his senior season after going for over 1,000 yards a year ago. The light came on for the Tatum, TX product after a few games in 2010 and he was a force the rest of the way. Who to watch for: Tyrone Duplessis. The O.P. Walker native was hurt a year ago. Ray Holley and Lyle Fitte did a nice job last season, but if Duplessis can stay healthy, he could challenge for that backup spot.

True freshman that could play early: Tevin King. If King gets qualified, he brings speed to the field that Offensive Coordinator Tony Franklin wants in his offense. Big Position Battle: Again, it's for the backup spot. Duplessis will battle Holley and Fitte to get any carries that don't go to Creer.

Lennon Creer

Wide Receiver

Top returning players: Richie Casey and Taulib Ikharo. While fans talked about transfers from the SEC last year, Casey and Ikharo produced. Who to watch for: Myles White. The former Michigan State Spartan showed serious speed in the spring and he likes to compete.

True freshman that could play early: Levander Liggins. If Liggins ends up on offense, the Leesville native can light up the scoreboard in a hurry. Big position battle: every spot. Cathcart, White, and Patton were brought in for a reason. They will battle with returning players like Casey, Ikharo, Jaccari Jackson, and Andrew Guillot for playing time.

Myles White

Offensive Tackle

Top returning player: Jordan Mills. Mills is a huge, tough guy that likes to be aggressive. Look for the junior to step up and anchor the line this season. Watch out for: Larry Banks. The junior college signee doesn't get the press that fellow J.C. lineman Oscar Johnson and Jeremy Graffree receive, but the 6'4" Banks could push senior Kris Cavitt for a starting spot.

True freshman that could play early: Ezekiel Alsander. You don't want to rush your freshman tackles into action, but Tech does not have depth at the position and Alsander is a future star for the Bulldogs. Big position battle: Banks vs. Cavitt.

Offensive Guard/Center

Top returning player: Center Stephen Warner. Warner is a leader on the team and he will be a key for the offense's success this season as Coach Dykes looks for a quarterback to take over this team. Who to watch for: Vince Cano. Cano is extremely athletic. He will have to battle Graffree and Big Oscar to keep the starting right guard spot.

True Freshman that could play early: Tech signed Joshua Robinson in this class, but with all of the junior college help coming in, it is unlikely Robinson will play this season. Big position battle: Cano vs Johnson. The bullish Cano or the massive junior college transfer Oscar Johnson both have positives going for them.

Defensive End

Top Returning Player: Matt Broha. The All WAC performer comes back to lead the defense his senior season. Player to watch for: I.K. Enemkpali. IK burst onto the scene as a freshman last season and was hard for offensive linemen to deal with. He should have an even bigger sophomore campaign.

True freshman that could play early: Vontarius Dora. Dora looks the part for sure and he has the size to help out if called on. Also keep an eye on Andre Taylor. The redshirt freshman might end up not seeing a ton of time behind Broha, but he will be better from his freshman experience by working with and watching the veteran teammate.

Big position battle: Christian Lacy vs Kendrick James. With Daniel Hayden not making it to campus, Lacey becomes the favorite to backup Enemkpali. James will also be in the mix.

Defensive Tackle

Top returning player: Shakeil Lucas. Lucas moved inside last year and was a huge positive for a group that did not have a lot of depth in 2010. Watch out for Justin Ellis and Jon'al White. Ellis has the kind of physical skills that can really make an impact up front for Louisiana Tech. White gives the Bulldogs another really strong 300 pounder that can stop the run and also get after the quarterback.

True freshman that could play early: Malcolm Pichon. Pichon is huge and if he can get into decent shape, he can help on third and short very early in his career. Big position battle: Lucas vs. Ellis. Both sophomores could end up starting, but Jon'al White could emerge as a starter and cloud things up. Tech could go big with Ellis playing next to White or they could go with quickness and pair Lucas with White.


Top returning player: Jay Dudley. Dudley heads up a veteran group for Defensive Coordinator Tommy Spangler. Who to watch for: Solomon Randle. Randle doesn't get a lot of hype, but he typically finds his way on the field and he always produces. True freshman that could play early: Beau Fitte. Fitte is really strong, but his speed off the edge could bring a new dimension to the position for the Bulldogs.

Big Position Battle: Like the receivers, every spot is up for grabs. Chip Hester, Rufus Porter, and Antonio Mitchum will challenge at every position.


Top returning player: Chad Boyd is a big hitter for Coach Spangler's secondary. Who to watch for: Javantay Crowe. Crowe is another big hitter for Tech's defense, but someone has to help in coverage. Can the sophomore be a complete player for the Bulldogs?

True Freshman who could play: Probably not any true freshmen, but redshirt freshmen Mike Shrang and Kendall Hayes had solid springs. Hayes has big time speed while Schrang is another big, physical safety.

Big position battle: Javantay Crowe vs. Jamel Johnson. Crowe missed the spring, giving Johnson a chance to show what he can do. Johnson might be a little better in coverage and Tech has to get better against the pass. Crowe will have to show he isn't one dimensional.


Top returning player: Ryan Williams. The former Auburn Tiger really made a difference for Tech's maligned secondary last season. Who to watch for: Dave Clark. Clark gives Tech some size to go up against some of the bigger receivers that Tech will face this year.

True freshman that could play early: Tech is loaded with veterans like Terry Carter, Blasher Saintvil, DeMarcion Evans, and Justin Goodman so it is unlikely a true freshman will play this year. Signee Bryson Abraham will be counted on to make an early impact in 2012.

Position Battle: Both spots. Carter and Williams have more experience, but Saintvil, Evans, Goodman, and Clark all made strides this spring.

Special Teams

Top returning Player: Matt  Nelson

Nelson has been Mr. Steady for Tech and continues the long line of great Bulldog kickers. Who to watch for: Someone to step in at kick returner. Whether it's the veteran Lyle Fitte or a true freshman like Levander Liggins or Tevin King, Tech needs a big play threat fielding punts and kicks. True Freshman that could play early: Liggins or King.

Key position battle. Again, it has to be in the return game where the Bulldogs need to fill some big shoes. Tech is very solid at punter and kicker, so no huge battles for starting spots right now.

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