Barnes headlines an outstanding group of defensive backs that inked with Louisiana Tech. Fellow Mississippi standout Travez Taylor, from North Pike High School, also signed with Louisiana Tech. Lloyd Grogan from Central Catholic in Morgan City, LA and Kentrell Brice from Ruston, LA give Head Coach Sonny Dykes four outstanding defensive backs to work with.
Terrell Lathan from West Monroe became the second West Monroe lineman/LA Tech commit in three years to switch his allegience at the last minute. Lathan signed with TCU on Wednesday. In 2010, Dillon Day signed with Mississippi State after committing to Louisiana Tech just days earlier.
Just like Halloween, sometimes you get treated, sometimes you get tricked. Overall, Louisiana Tech put together a nice class. The Bulldogs only had room to sign around 20 players. They had a small number of seniors on the 2011 team, but the 2012 team will feature right at 30 seniors. Coach Dykes said at the recruiting luncheon that he and his staff may still sign one or two more players during the signing period if they find the right player. Junior college offensive line and cornerback are the primary targets with junior college defensive end another possibility.
With Lathan moving on, Tech was left with one signee at defensive end. Stephen Gibson from Archbishop Shaw is a big time prospect for Coach Dykes and could push for playing time as a freshman. Vernon Butler, another North Pike star, will most likely end up playing defensive tackle. The Bulldogs targeted several defensive ends in this class including Junior Gnonkonde, Will Freeman, Lathan, Gibson, Butler, A.J. Jefferson, and Tylor Harris. The quality of these recruits, not just at defensive end, are truly outstanding. Louisiana Tech is fighting against SEC, Big 12, and CUSA schools for these recruits and came out on top on several.
Louisiana Tech had a strong class of defensive players. The Bulldogs did add some key playmakers on offense. Kenneth Dixon was the number one running back on the Tech recruiting board. Jaydrick Declouet was the number one receiver. Ryan Higgins was one of Coach Dyke's first commitments and stayed with Tech despite a late push from both Houston and Kansas.
There is no doubt that Louisiana Tech will go for a big class in 2013, siliar to the 26 players signed in 2011. Offensive line will be a big emphasis, as will wide receiver and linebacker. Coach Dykes will probably give his hard working staff a little breather, them it will be back to work on the countless number of junior prospects that are already out there.
Signing Day may just come once a year, but as we all know; recruiting is a train that never stops rolling.