The 69 figure includes transfers Lennon Creer and Ahmad Paige. It also includes grayshirts Andre Taylor and DJ St. Julien. Josh Cuthbert, a walkon deep snapper, is expected to earn a scholarship at the end of this season.
Coach Dooley looks at his current junior class when putting together each recruiting class. If you are constantly looking to plug holes created by graduating seniors; you will never catch up. Louisiana Tech only loses 12 scholarship seniors this year. While the departure of players like D'Anthony Smith, Antonio Baker, and Daniel Porter will be felt; the numbers loss from this senior class will not cause much of a depth problem. By signing 18 or more players, Coach Dooley will have a chance to get up to that 85 man scholarship limit. Signing that many players might mean that one or two will grayshirt. Jared Barron left the team last week and defections are always a possibility. Barron's reason for leaving was that he didn't love football anymore.
Assuming a signing class of 20 players, we will look at what positions might be filled. We will look at the current junior class. The junior class consists of safety Tank Calais, receiver Phillip Livas, Quarterbacks Ross Jenkins and Steven Ensminger, corners Josh Victorian and Olajuwan Paige, linebackers Dominique Faust and Kiamni Washington, running back Myke Compton, fullback Roosevelt Falls, defensive linemen Jonathan Zeno and John White, offensive guards Jared Miles and Jacob Miller, offensive tackles Rob McGill and Cudahy Harmon, center Lon Roberts, defensive end Randy Grigsby, tight end Clayton Chambers, and defensive tackles Mason Hitt and Ramone Randle. There are a lot of lineman from both sides in the junior class. Jacob Miller could possibly redshirt, but that still leaves the four junior offensive linemen who all happen to be starters.
Louisiana Tech signed a few linemen in the 2009 class. Matt Shepperd, Vince Cano, and Jordan Mills are all newcomers to the team. Ben Jackson from Texarkana, TX is already committed for the 2010 class. Charles Barkins, Ryan Zeller, Trevor Murphy, and Ashton Duhe are all offensive linemen that Tech has offered. Look for at least three signees at this position.
Defensive line has five junior players on the roster. Defensive End Carter Street is already committed and Tech is after several more. Tackles LaCraig Brown, Byran Jones, and Harold Legania are big targets on the inside. Trevor Murphy can also play defense. Again, look for at least three, probably four, signees from the defensive line.
Tech has no seniors at quarterback or receiver, but they do have starters Ross Jenkins and Phillip Livas in the junior class. You can not have enough talent at those positions. Quarterbacks Taylor Burch and Antonio Graves are committed for the 2010 class. Graves committed as an athlete and he can play either safety or receiver. Glenn Coleman is a big target at wide reciver for the coaching staff. Cassius Washington would bring a lot of speed to the table and is also a top target. Nolen Smith and Thomas Bridgewater are both tall receivers that would be great fits for this class. Look for Burch to be the man at quartertback and probably two signees at the receiver position. Where Graves ends up playing remains to be seen.
The Bulldogs have been looking for a big running back and found one in transfer Lennon Creer. They still may decide to take a big back. Toney Davenport, Centarius Donald, and Derick Milton from Pineville are three very productive players from North Louisiana. Super fast Charcandrick West is committed as a running back. Tech will sign at least one back this year and West is the man for the job. If they decide to take a second runner, it would likely be a player in the mold of Donald or Davenport.
Defensive Back will be a big position to look at in February. With Victorian and Paige both being seniors, and the corner position already short on numbers, Tech should sign two cornerbacks after signing three in 2009. At Safety, Tech looses Shawn Simmons, Antonio Baker, and Deon Young to graduation and Tank Calais is a junior. The coaching staff will likely sign at least two safeties and Michael Schrang is already committed from Kingwood, TX. In all, Tech could sign at least two corners and two safeties, and probably five total defensive backs. Look for Antonio Graves to end up at safety when its all said and done. Carvin Johnson from Rummell is a defensive back to keep an eye on. Elisha Olibode, a heavily recruited cornerback from Cedar Hill, Texas, has Tech in his top seven.
Tech has seniors Dennis Morris and Dustin Mitchell and juniors Clayton Chambers and Roosevelt Falls in their tight end/fullback stable. That leaves Chandler Spence, Eric Harper, and Andre Taylor left to fill the void. Harper has the athleticism to replace Mitchell in the fullback/H-back role. Dakota Mosely, Tanner Smith, and Noah Cheshier all have offers on the table. Expect Tech to sign one tight end with a second possible if the right player comes along.
Louisiana Tech has a lot of good, young linebackers led by juniors Kiamni Washington and Dominique Faust. With underclassmen Dusty Rust, Adrien Cole, Jay Dudley, Rufus Porter, Solomon Randle, and Kendrick James all on board; the linebacker position is in good hands. Still, with Faust and Washington in the junior class, Tech will probably sign two guys to come in behind them. Seth Ancar is a very good looking linebacker prospect with a Tech offer.
If Cuthbert fills the deep snapper spot, The Bulldogs are probably set on special teams players with scholarships. It's always possible that another kicker or punter could be added to a scholarship from the current roster, but don't expect any in this class.
In total, we could see one quarterback, two receivers, two running backs, one tight end, three offensive linemen, four defensive linemen, two linebackers, and five defensive backs. You could just as easily see four defensive backs and an extra lineman on either side. That's just one man's guess and anyone else's guess is just as good, it's still early in the process. Louisiana Tech's recruiting has really improved recently and Coach Dooley is in position to be very selective with this class. With six commitments already, they are well on their way to another successful February.