RUSTON – Louisiana Tech head football coach Skip Holtz announced the 2013 signing class – his first at LA Tech – in front of a packed house at the Lincoln Parish Library Special Events Center Wednesday afternoon.
Holtz announced 21 players in all are part of the 2013 signing class with an even mixture of high school and junior college players, offense and defense players, hailing from five different states.
"It is great to finally have signing day," Holtz said. "When you look at it, it is about a six-week body of work this staff has put together, and I am just really proud of the job this staff has done with this class. When you look at the talent and some of the needs that we have from a position stand point; when you look at the students in this group and the people in this group; I think this staff has really done a nice job putting this group together."
Louisiana was the most represented state with eight signees overall, split almost evenly between the I-20 corridor in the north and the I-10 corridor in the south.
The Bulldogs are bringing in two former West Monroe High School players in Paul Turner (transferring from LSU) and Xavier Woods.
"Paul Turner is a dynamic, exciting, electric player," said Holtz. When you look at what we were talking about with that I-20 corridor and having Paul Turner transfer in from LSU; I think that is a chance for him to come in and really be a special player and come in as an elite athlete along with Xavier Woods as a freshman coming in. But, I think those two from West Monroe High School are two huge additions. I think that is part of, hopefully, the beginning of building a bridge from here to Monroe with the great programs that are over in that area."
Tech gets some immediate needs with four offensive linemen and four wide receivers in the class replacing six graduating starters. The Bulldogs also inked three linebackers and two defensive backs, filling some immediate needs there.
"Well, we needed offensive linemen," Holtz explained. "I believe there were 10 junior college players in this class, and when you look at the two offensive linemen, I have always said any time you take junior college players you need to try and take high school players with them. "When you look at the two offensive linemen in the junior college players, you are going to look at immediate help from them. There were two wide receiver junior college players that were transfers with Paul Turner and Kevin Gary. We had one defensive lineman."
Spring practice will begin for Louisiana Tech on March 15.
Northwestern signs 20
NATCHITOCHES -- Northwestern State signed more players, 20, on Wednesday than the new Demons football coaching staff ever envisioned when starting the recruiting process less than three weeks ago.
New head coach Jay Thomas, who has six years experience as a championship-winning Southland Conference head coach at Nicholls State, said putting together a tight-knit staff triggered the success that unfolded on National Signing Day Wednesday.
"The 25 years I've spent in college coaching helped prepare me for this. We quickly built a very strong staff, really smart guys, hard workers, hustlers, and came up with a really good plan tying in things we'd done before with the assets on hand at Northwestern and in Natchitoches. I had a leg up knowing a lot of the personnel that is here, because I was here for two seasons in 2010-11 (as defensive line coach).