Who's The Man?

Nick Isham (latechsports.com)

It looked all along like Nick Isham was going to be the starting quarterback at Louisiana Tech. How early was anyone's guess and certainly yesterday's announcement was somewhat of a surprise.

Both Nick Isham and Colby Cameron were impressive in last Friday night's scrimmage. Isham was 19-27 for 212 yards with two touchdowns and one interception. Cameron was 15-20 for 178 yards and three touchdowns.

You could tell they recruited Isham to be the quarterback at Louisiana Tech, but Head Coach Sonny Dykes and Offensive Coordinator Tony Franklin had an interesting dilemna on their hands. Colby Cameron had a great August and the two quarterbacks seemed neck and neck in the race to be the starter.

Coach Dykes called for another scrimmage Wednesday night. The stat sheet didn't read so hot for either signal caller. Cameron was 4-11 for 45 yards with one touchdown and one interception. Isham was 4-13 for 39 yards and an interception. Isham also had a 40 yard touchdown run. That run may be a prime example of what Dykes see's in the true freshman.

"I felt like Nick Isham has come in and led our football team [during preseason camp]," Dykes said. "He has a tremendous amount of confidence on the field."

Isham has all the istincts that you look for in a quarterback. He is a leader and his is direct when he gets on the field. There is no indecision. Dykes needed to let his team know who they needed to get behind and he went with the guy he felt gives them the best chance to win.

Could Isham be the second coming of another 6-foot tall spread offense pilot hailing from the west? Tim Rattay arrived from Arizona 15 years ago and not many Bulldog fans knew who he was. It didn't take long for the whole country to find out who Rattay was. In 1997, in his first year as the Bulldogs starter, Rattay led Tech to a 9-2 record with wins over Alabama and California.

You can't put that high of expectations on a true freshman that hasn't taken a single snap at the college level. Isham does give Tech fans reason for hope. Coach Dykes said recently that they expect to be very good in 2012. He's not taking anything away from 2011, but with a year under his belt; the schedule sets up nicely for Isham and the Bulldogs in 2012.

There are some great games on the schedule in 2011. Houston and Hawaii both come to Ruston for early season shootouts. Of course Tech takes the tour of Mississippi as the Bulldogs take on Southern Miss, Mississippi State, and Ole Miss all on the road. Four of the five games mentioned above are all found in the first half of Tech's schedule. It will be a wild start to Isham's career, but he looks ready for the challenge.

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