Pressure Rising

To win games, you must stop the other team. A good place to start is to get to the quarterback.

Louisiana Tech will have a complete new look at defensive end in 2008, in an attempt to get more pressure on the opposing team's quarterback.

2008 signees Eric Harper and Kwame Jordan were brought in to do just that. Both players stand 6'4" and both are from Marrero, LA. Jordan transferred from Fort Scott Community College in Kansas and Harper last played for John Ehret High School.

Both Harper and Jordan played well in the spring scrimmage and will be counted on to boost the play of the defensive line. Jordan used his size and quickness to register 17.5 sacks in 2007.

Two other newcomers will be counted on to make a difference this fall as well. Jared Barron and Matt Broha both signed on as members of Coach Derek Dooley's first recruiting class in 2007 and redshirted last season. Broha had committed to Kentucky during his senior year but switched to Tech after Coach Dooley came on board.

One returning lineman, who played a lot as a freshman, is Randy Grigsby from Ruston High School. Grigsby and Jordan both have the size to help take on the run, which will be key in the first game against Mississippi State.

Two other players could figure into the Dawg's plans up front. Jared Parten sat out last season with injuries and Rolando Melancon sat out last season after originally signing with Tennessee. Melancon and Parten both weigh in at around 275 pounds and could play inside at tackle or on the end.

Parten is still getting into shape this offseason and Melancon is in line to be ready when the first game arrives in two months.

New Defensive Line Coach Jimmy Brumbaugh is one man who knows a little about putting fear into the opposition. Brumbaugh made 291 tackles in his career at Auburn, including 22 tackles for loss and 15 sacks. He Brumbaugh registered 80 tackles as a freshman, which put him on the All-Freshman SEC first team. As a junior, Brumbaugh made first team ALL-SEC.

Tech is looking ahead for big, fast defensive ends for the 2009 recruiting class. Shakeil Lucas from Marrero, LA and Germad Reed from Lufkin, TX are a couple of big ends that are holding Tech offers. Lucas and Reed are the kind of ends that can really change a game. They have the size at 240 pounds to grow into dominating forces and the quickness to wreak havoc on offensive lineman.

Mississippi State comes to town for the season opener. The Mississippi Bulldogs feature two large running backs in Anthony Dixon and Christian Ducre. Tech will be up to the challenge of stopping the run, but they must also keep the quarterback off balance.

This new breed of Dawg defensive ends will be essential for the Tech defense to pass both tests.


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