July 7, 2011

Preseason position breakdown; receivers next

This off-season has been a tumultuous one for Louisiana Tech's receiving corps. The two highlights of the group were Southeastern Conference transfers Ahmad Paige and Tim Molton. Those players however found themselves off the team for breaking team rules. Where did that leave Tech?

Both Molton and Paige both missed the spring because of injuries but two junior college transfers came in and shook things up. One found himself in the number one spot for his position, Z receiver, and the other found himself in the number two spot for his position, X receiver. Those players of course are Quinton Patton and Myles White, respectively.

Patton, a 3-star rated player by Rivals.com, chose Tech over South Florida and Troy. He has a great frame, great speed and hands on the outside. Patton basically picks up the slack left by Molton.

White, a former Michigan State Spartan, came to Tech through Senatobia, Ms. and Northwest Mississippi Community College. White is a burner with great athleticism on the outside opposite Patton. He picks up the slack left by Paige.

Tech should not miss Molton and Paige too much on the roster. Neither player contributed significantly last season however the expectations were great for both.

Behind Patton at Z after the spring on the depth chart was redshirt freshman D.J. St. Julien who like Patton has great speed and size but lacks the experience Patton does but is a quality backup at Z. Another junior college transfer, Scott Cathcart, follows St. Julien on the depth chart. Cathcart is a big target with sure hands and will be an asset for the Bulldogs.

White is preceded on the depth chart by Andrew Guillot a walk-on redshirt sophomore from Slidell, La. Guillot turned heads last season with his blocking ability and hands garnering him starts last season at receiver.

Going to the inside receivers and beginning with the H receiver has Richie Casey of Homer HS (La.) getting the top spot in the depth chart. Casey has that "wow" factor you want in a slot receiver. He has the ability to turn any play into a touchdown. Lyle Fitte will be joined on the team this fall by his brother Beau Fitte and Lyle possesses that same "wow" factor as Casey and also plays some running back for the Bulldogs. Listed with Fitte as an "or" on the depth chart is Chandler Spence. Spence was recruited originally by Derek Dooley to play tight end. When Sonny Dykes and Tony Franklin installed the new offense, there was not a tight end position. Spence found himself in a new position and will give the Bulldogs a big target to go to in short yardage.

Now for the last inside receiver position, the Y receiver, Taulib Ikharo started last season for the Bulldogs at both inside and outside receiver but made the move back inside more permanently in the spring. Ikharo has great hands and runs extremely precise routes. Backing him up is David Gru. Gru was high school teammates of Colby Cameron and came to Louisiana from California to walk-on and play football for Tech. Gru is a crisp route runner with an extreme toughness. He's a very blue-collar player.

Of course there will be other receivers to receive playing time, such as the athletic freak of nature, Jacarri Jackson. Jackson's nickname on the team is "T.O." for Terrell Owens because of his similarities both athletically and physically to Owens. Jackson still has three years at Tech and will one day turn into a contributor. Another receiver that one day will be a big target for Tech is Noah Cheshier. Cheshier redshirted last season and enters his redshirt freshman season after shedding lots of weight to become a receiver and not look like a tight end. Cheshier should be a very worthy backup to a Chandler Spence this season.

Louisiana Tech is in good shape for receivers. The question remains though, can the Tech offense find that quarterback that can consistently get the ball to the open receiver so he can make a play.


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