The potential for improvement is very real. Taylor Bennett has the experience and the cool-under-fire attitude to help make the right throw at the right time. If he's the starting quarterback, he will have all kinds of options.
Philip Livas jumped into the scene last season with 504 yards receiving. "Livas is so quick," said Bennett, "he is one of the most agile people I know." Bennett is excited about the entire receiving corps. "They are just as talented or more talented than the guys I played with at Georgia Tech," added Bennett. "We have so many talented receivers; the freshmen are really stepping up."
Head Coach Derek Dooley was also happy with the freshmen. "At wide receiver, I have been very pleased with the group of freshmen that we signed." Dooley added, "It's one thing to look good in six or seven practices, but can you sustain it?"
Phillip Livas and Philip Beck return from last season, but there is plenty of room for the freshmen to find playing time. Veterans Shane Womack and Josh Wheeler also return. Both players bring size to the lineup, but both are coming off injury-plagued seasons.
Tech signed Richie Casey, Eric Fiege, R.P. Stuart, Houston Tuminello, and Cruz Williams in the 2008 class. All five bring something different to the table. Dooley noted Stuart's size (6'3" and 205) and Tuminello's hands. Fiege, who signed late, was described by Dooley and Bennett as a smaller version of Philip Beck.
Richie Casey participated in the first summer session. The 6'0" athlete from Homer, LA has really looked good. "Richie Casey is very athletic," said Dooley. "He has a lot of big play potential."
Cruz Williams enrolled at Tech after signing with Arkansas in February. He received his release from Bobby Petrino and made his way to Ruston. "Cruz Williams is tall, he's got good speed, he can go up and catch the ball," said Dooley.
Bennett, who played with Calvin Johnson at Georgia Tech, described playing with a big play receiver. "It's a different mindset," he said. "When you have a guy like that, you know you can go to him on third down. You can count on him to get the first down. That's the advantage of having a receiver like that."
Louisiana Tech is very deep at running back and at tight end. If the new receivers can gel with Livas and the other veterans, Coach Dooley should feel pretty good about his playmakers.