Louisiana Tech has a very favorable schedule in 2012. This month, the Athletic Department should announce plans to move forward with facilities improvements. With signing day a month away, recruiting is in full swing. Coach Dykes has a big group of visitors coming in this weekend, including some big names from Mississippi and South Louisiana.
Defense is a big theme of the weekend. Three star athletes that are visiting include Defensive End A.J. Jefferson, CB Trevon Stewart, as well as Stewart's teammate at Patterson, WR Jaydrick Declouet. Big Defensive End/Tackle Vernon Butler, who teams with Jefferson on the defensive line at North Pike HS near McComb, MS, will also be in town.
Defensive Coordinator Tommy Spangler's crew played lights out in 2011 and will get even better with the level of recruits that they are bringing in. Defensive Line Coach and Recruiting Coordinator Stan Eggen brought in some big time defensive tackles last year and has his sights on some highly touted ends this time around. Jefferson, Butler, Tylor Harris, and commitment Stephen Gibson are the kind of players that could make life hard for opposing offensive coordinators.
Coach Dykes is always looker for game changers on offense and Jaydrick Declouet certainly fits the bill. Rodney Davis, from East Mississippi, is another big play threat at receiver. Davis will visit Troy this week and Louisiana Tech next week.
The positive attention on the program from the 8 win season and the bowl appearance are certainly paying off. Coach Dykes and staff are attracting a high level of recruits and could really set the program on a great path with an outstanding class.
With recruiting picking up, the facilities improving and Louisiana Tech's ever evolving conference outlook improving, good things are in store for Bulldog fans. Coach Dykes has put the program in a better situation by staying. He made sure he got better pay for some of his assistants and staff and he made sure the facility improvements moved forward. If he does move on to another job in a couple of years, Louisiana Tech will owe a great debt of gratitude to Coach Dykes for not leaving the program high and dry and looking for a third coach in two and a half years.
On the field, Tech brings back a majority of starters on both sides and is the clear favorite to win the conference again. Non-conference wise, The Bulldogs get Rice and ULV at home and they travel to Houston to take on a Case Keenum-less Cougar squad. Utah State in Ruston and a road game to San Jose State will be the biggest tests in conference play.
Things are looking up around Ruston for sure and 2012 looks to be a very good year.