There is also help coming for Defensive Coordinator Tommy Spangler. Defensive Linemen Jon'al White and Daniel Hayden will be nightmares for opposing quarterbacks while Chip Hester and Antonio Mitchum will compete for spots at linebacker.
With no junior college signees at defensive back in addition to the signing of Hester and Mitchum, it is almost certain Tech fans will see more of the 4-3 defense in 2011. There is now plenty of talented upper classmen at the linebacker postion with Hester and Mitchum joining Jay Dudley, Rusfus Porter, Dusty Rust, Adrien Cole, and Solomon Randle.
Cathcart gives Tech quarterbacks a big target at 6'5". Cathcart caught 56 balls for 919 yards and 6 touchdowns for Hancock College in 2010. Patton had 50 receptions for 687 yards and four touchdowns for Coffeyville last season. Former Michigan State receiver Myles White also had over 50 receptions in 2010. White caught 53 passes for 712 yards and six scores. The three players bring much needed skill and experience to a unit that saw significant growing pains in 2010. With the return of Ahmad Paige and Tim Molton from injury, wide receiver should be a position of strength for Tech in 2011. Taulib Ikharo and Richie Casey also return after combining for over 900 yards and grabbing 7 touchdown passes between them. Youngsters Jacarri Jackson and Carey Fortson showed flashes of big play ability last year with Fortson hauling in a 38 yard pass and Jackson catching a 41 yard pass.
Oscar Johnson is a favorite to earn a starting spot at tackle alongside Jordan Mills. Johnson is 6'6 350 while Mills is 6'6" 325. Larry Banks, Johnson's teammate Copiah-Lincoln, will also figure into the mix at offensive tackle. Banks is 6'4" 315 and will compete along with veteran Kris Cavitt for a spot in the two deep at tackle. Jeremy Graffree, an All-American Mississippi Gulf Coast, could start at offensive guard along with Kevin Saia. Graffree is 6'4" 315 and will have to hold off Houston Lantrip, Matt Shepperd, and Josh Parrish for a starting spot. With centers Stephen Warner and Vince Cano both a shade over 300 pounds, Tech will have a large offensive line for the next couple of years.
White returns to Ruston after spending two years at Jones College. The former Ruston Bearcat will move across Tech Drive and continue where he left off: wreaking havoc in opposing backfields. Daniel Hayden caused plenty of damage to offensive game plans in his own right at Pearl River Community College. The two players will join Matt Broha and I.K. Enemkpali in their pursuit of quarterbacks in 2011.
Broderick Waters gives Tech another weapon to go with fellow signee Levander Liggins and junior Lyle Fitte. Waters. Played quarterback in junior college and will have the chance to play quarterback at Tech. He could also be used in a wildcat formation or in the slot. However he is used, Waters brings even more speed and athleticism to the field.
Louisiana Tech Head Coach Sonny Dykes had little time to assess the Tech roster when he arrived in Ruston last year. Over the last season, he identified positions that could use experienced help and went out and recruited junior college players to fill those needs. All of these players will see significant roles on the field for Coach Dykes.