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Holtz, Bulldogs reel in 16 3-star recruits

February 23, 2018

 

ANDREW BELL
Sports Editor | agb022@latech.edu

 

Following a season full of ups and downs, head coach Skip Holtz and the Louisiana Tech football team are looking forward to a bright future after a promising 2018 Signing Day.

 

The second NCAA Football Signing Day concluded for Tech with eight new signees. This rounded out a class that included 16 3-star recruits and six 2-star recruits, according to 247sports.com. That makes for the most 3-star prospects Tech has ever signed in a year under head coach Skip Holtz.

 

“This is the best class we’ve signed since we’ve been here,” Holtz said. “I think I’ve said it every year that I’ve been here, but I truly believe that if you just look at the number of players that add Power 5 opportunities, there’s over 22 Power 5 offers from this group that they turned away from to be here at Louisiana Tech. And I think that is a huge testament to the university, the academics, the staff, the players and what we’re building here at Louisiana Tech.”

 

Although Holtz might say it every year, there is proof to support his claim that this is, in fact, the best recruiting class he and the coaching staff have had since he arrived at Tech in 2013. Not only did Tech sign more highly rated recruits than ever, but this class ranked as the 76th best class nationally, according to 247sports.com. That is their highest such ranking since 2009.

 

One of Tech’s primary objectives coming into this recruiting class was to provide depth on the offensive line. They did so with five big guys signing with the red and blue: four high school seniors and one junior college transfer. The highest rated offensive lineman, and Tech’s highest rated player, Willie Allen is a 6-6, 330-pound former LSU Tiger who was the 73rd ranked prospect in the country and ranked ninth in the state.

 

“When I look at this offensive line there were five offensive linemen and the biggest emphasis was tackles,” Holtz said. “We wanted size. We are trying to replace not only Darrell Brown from a year ago but Josh Outlaw, a lot of players from the last couple years who played tackle. So that’s why when I look at Biron Rossell, Christian Henderson and big Willie Allen, and some of the younger guys like Walter Hankerson they’re all 6-5, long armed and more tackle-suited bodies, so I’m really excited about the size of the offensive line.”

 

Tech was a relatively young team this past season and that doesn’t look like it will change this upcoming season, after losing 12 seniors with significant playing time to graduation and getting production at key positions by young players like sophomore J’mar Smith at quarterback and freshman Amik Robertson at cornerback. Holtz is hoping the inexperience brings more hope than growing pains.

 

“With 18 freshmen coming in with this signing class, we’re going to have some youth,” Holtz said. “But I think we’ve got a good mix. When I look at our classes, one of the ways that you evaluate the health of your program is balance, so you don’t have 38 seniors and six freshmen. That’s robbing Peter to pay Paul. I think with 18 freshmen, along with the young guys we’ve redshirted, we’ve got a really good mix of young guys and upperclassmen.”

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