Rydon Naquin, a 6'5" 295-pound offensive lineman from E.D. White High School in Raceland, LA, first visited Louisiana Tech over the summer.
"We didn't really have a connection to LA Tech," said Faron Naquin, Rydons's father. "Rydon attended a day camp over the summer. They sent letters and cards all summer, 40 or 50 at least. Rydon was invited to attend the Nicholls State game. We were interested because LA Tech is a good school. A good engineering school with a pretty good football program."
Naquin, who wants to major in Mechanical Engineering, maintains an A average and scored a 26 on the ACT.
Dovian Ingram didn't get the same attention going into his senior year. As a junior, he played mostly an upback position for Carrolton Ranchview. Ingram caught some passes and rushed a few times, but mostly blocked for two senior backs.
Ranchview Head Coach Terry LeBlanc said at the time that Ingram would be the feature back his senior season. Ingram ran a 22.76 in the 200 Meters at the District 11-3A Track and Field Championship as a junior. Ingram would use his size, 6'1" 220, and speed to lead the Wolves' rushing attack.
Ingram started off with 14 carries for 154 yards and two scores against Dallas Pinkston. He added a 33 yard touchdown reception in the win. The next week, he put up 164 yards on 22 carries against Crandall.
Meanwhile, Naquin was getting less attention as the season got going. By the end of the season, he had stopped hearing from Tech. "We met Coach (Frank) Scelfo over the summer," explained Mr. Naquin. "They said he was in charge of recruiting our area. We never heard from him, but they kept sending the letters. When we called, no one ever called us back."
Signing Day came and went, and McNeese State was calling wanting Naquin to walk on. "McNeese really wanted him to walk on," added Mr. Naquin, "but Rydon was really leaning to LA Tech. Education and Football were the biggest factors."
Back in Texas, Ingram kept putting up numbers. He had 107 yards and a score against Fort Worth-Jarvis Hill. Ingram added 164 yards and two scores against Madison. In his last four games, Ingram finished strong with 368 yards and two scores.
Stephanie Ingram, Dovian's mom, thought maybe the lack of attention was because Ranchview High School was still in it's infancy and not a known school in the football world. Coach LeBlanc said Ingram did get noticed. "He get letters all year and the University of Texas came to visit the school a lot. They showed a lot of interest. Tulsa and Rice came and talked to him. Army and navy both showed a lot of interest. We had Tyler Lynch sign with Navy last year."
Ingram was interested in Louisiana Tech after watching them on T.V. several times since the 2008 Independence Bowl. Stephanie graduated from nearby Chatham High School and went on to graduate from Tech. She and Dovian moved to the Dallas area in 1999. They sent film and Coach LeBlanc tried to call, but they got no response.
Ingram is fully qualified. "People were still calling and checking on him in January," said LeBlanc. "Only Texas A&M-Kingsville stayed with him."
Naquin, who also participates in track, decided to try Louisiana Tech one last time. Naquin recently finished 4th in his Region meet with 136 feet.
Naquin's father got in touch with former Tech Assistant Coach Mickey Slaughter. "Coach Slaughter got us in touch with Coach (Ed) Jackson at Tech," added Mr. Naquin. "We sent tape through Coach Jackson. Rydon's High School Coach, Kyle Lasseigne, got in touch with Tech Offensive Line Coach Petey Perot. They set up the process for Rydon to walk on."
Rydon recently was able to stop by campus and meet Tech's new Head Coach Sonny Dykes.
Stan Eggen, Tech's new recruiting coordinator, got word to Ingram that they did indeed want to him to walk on. Ingram and his mom were in town last weekend to visit family. They were able to stop in and meet Coach Eggen and new Running Backs Coach Pierre Ingram.
"They were both real nice and helpful," said Mrs. Ingram. "Coach Eggen explained everything and they made sure we knew that nothing was being promised, but they did think he was a good player and that they want him to walk on."
A chance is all Rydon and Dovian are both looking for it. Because their parents and high school coaches stayed with it, they will get their chance this fall. Both players have Division One size and talent and have a chance to help the Bulldogs in the future.