Louisiana Tech Athletic Communications
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Louisiana Tech head coach Sonny Cumbie announced the addition of 17 new Bulldogs to the 2023 signing class during the early signing period today.
LA Tech added nine new signees on the offensive side of the ball, including five offensive linemen, a quarterback, a wide receiver, a tight end and a running back.
Defensively Tech added eight prospects, including four defensive backs, two linebackers and two defensive linemen.
Relationships played a significant role in the Bulldogs’ coaching staff putting together an impressive class during their first full year in Ruston.
“One of the things we really set out to do was to know each of our players more than just what they did on film. Players have a certain skill level and we felt like they are very talented but they are also competitive kids that know how to win,” said Cumbie.
Of the 17 signees, 10 were in-state products, while the remaining seven were from Texas.
“We were really able to hit Louisiana, east Texas and some towns around the Dallas and Fort Worth area,” Cumbie said. “We are really excited about this group. It is fun to get them all officially signed. We have been able to be around these players and their families a lot and there is a lot of inspiring stories in this signing class. We look forward to getting them here in June and immersing them in our culture at Louisiana Tech.”
Tech got started early this morning with the addition of offensive lineman Roy Brackins III from Woodlawn High School out of Baton Rouge, followed by a local product in safety Cam Hill from Union Parish High School in Farmerville, La.
Brackins III, a 6-3 305-pound offensive lineman, averaged over three pancakes a game while putting up impressive numbers in the weight room, recording a bench press of 350 pounds while squatting 510 pounds.
Hill was a standout at Union Parish High School, where he led the Farmers to a 12-2 mark and a state title appearance as a senior. The Farmerville product recorded 169 tackles, four interceptions, two forced fumbles and eight pass breakups in his prep career. Hill also was a part of state runner-up teams in 2020 and 2021.
The Bulldogs added a pair of three-star recruits from New Orleans in safety Michael Richard and offensive lineman Troy Smith.
Richard prepped at state power Edna Karr High School and chose LA Tech over Arkansas, Mississippi State and UTSA, among others. As a senior, he was an all-state and all-district selection. Richard tallied 100 tackles, 12 pass breakups, eight interceptions, three sacks and two blocked punts in his high school career. He was a member of the Cougars’ state championship team in 2019.
Smith starred at St. Augustine High School, where he collected all-district honors as a senior and junior. The New Orleans product has an impressive frame standing at 6-4 and weighing 285 pounds.
Tight end Eli Finley was the first out-of-state signee when he made things official at 7:20 a.m. Finley is a three-star recruit from Heath, Texas. He helped lead Rockwall-Heath High School to a 7-5 record as a senior while tallying 23 receptions for 230 yards and four touchdowns. Finley was a first-team all-district selection and chose LA Tech over Oregon, Air Force, Army, Navy, North Texas and ULM.
Linebacker Colton Deckard was next on the Bulldogs’ haul of prospects from the Lone Star State. Deckard has an athletic frame (6-3, 190) and played fullback and linebacker while at Muenster High School in Muenster, Texas. Deckard garnered all-state honors and was named region newcomer of the year in 2019. He was a four-sport athlete, lettering in football, baseball, basketball and track.
Physical running back Keith Willis Jr. and Linebacker DeMardrick Blunt were the next additions to Cumbie’s program.
Willis starred at CE King High School in Houston, Texas, rushing for 1,515 yards during the Panthers’ 9-5 season in 2022.
Blunt played both ways at Carroll High School in Monroe, La. The local product tallied 1,200 all-purpose yards and earned all-district and all-parish honors. Blunt also participated in basketball and track for the Bulldogs.
Evan Bullock was the lone quarterback signee on early signing day. The Anna, Texas native led all Texas high school quarterbacks with 56 touchdown passes while throwing for a staggering 4,179 yards with a 66 percent completion percentage. He was a semifinalist for the 2022 Mr. Texas Football Award and was voted district MVP. Bullock led Anna High School to a 13-1 record and a state quarterfinals appearance which was the best mark in school history.
Hahnville wide receiver Dakota Williams was next on the Bulldogs signing slate. The three-star prospect tallied 37 receptions for 637 yards and 11 touchdowns as a senior. LA Tech won the recruiting battle for Williams over Tulane.
LA Tech continued its impressive signing day swipe of offensive linemen with the edition of east Texas offensive tackle Keystone Allison, who is coming off a 16-0 state championship season at Carthage High School. The 6-4 266-pound athletic tackle chose Tech over 16 other offers, including Indiana, Colorado State, SMU, Tulane, UNLV and UTSA.
Cumbie and company added to the defensive pass rush with the addition of defensive lineman Obinna Okeke out of Houston, Texas. The three-star recruit had an impressive senior campaign at Cypress Falls High School, recording 63 tackles, 17 tackles for loss, 10 sacks and a forced fumble on his way to being a unanimous first-team all-district selection.
“Offensive line and defensive line are the most important positions in football,” Cumbie said. “You can’t ever turn down a good offensive or defensive lineman, regardless of what your numbers say.”
Ball-hawking safety Jacob Fields was the next to join the signing class of 2023. Fields is a three-star prospect from Melissa High School in Texas. Fields was an all-state selection as a defensive back and a returner. He tallied 156 tackles, 26 pass breakups, eight interceptions and three forced fumbles in his prep career.
Tech added another defensive back, David Webb III from New Orleans. Webb was a lockdown corner during his senior season at King Charter High School where he tallied four interceptions and did not allow a completion while targeted this season. He was a first-team all-district selection and also lettered in basketball.
LA Tech then got a signature from defensive lineman Delvin Whitaker in St. Francisville, La. The three-star recruit chose LA Tech over the likes of Florida State, Penn State, Purdue, ULM, Northwestern State, Prairie View A&M and Southern. Whitaker garnered all-metro, all-district and all-state honors after leading West Feliciana High School to a 13-1 record which included a district championship.
Next up, was the largest offensive lineman in the class, 6-7 305-pound Hayden Christman from Tioga, La. Christman was an all-district and all-state selection as a senior, helping Tioga to a 7-4 mark. Christman lettered all four years of his prep career while also lettering in basketball and track.
Rounding out the class was Offensive lineman Ja’Marion Kennedy from Northwood High School in Shreveport, La. The physical lineman paved the way for 1,998 rushing yards his senior season helping lead the Falcons to a 9-3 record.
The 2023 recruiting class will be expanded during the second national signing day, which will take place in February.
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