March 4, 2012

Pre-spring depth chart analysis: Quarterbacks

Louisiana Tech went the unconventional route in 2011 when they started a true freshman at quarterback, Nick Isham. Isham won the starting position after getting to Ruston in June. He won the job in the matter of a couple of months. On the roster was two junior college transfers, Tarik Hakmi and Zach Griffith, junior Colby Cameron and redshirt freshman Taylor Burch. During the season, Isham was injured and Cameron began starting and rolled off and impressive win streak including a WAC Championship and ended in a close loss in the Poinsettia Bowl to TCU.

This spring, the personnel looks exactly the same at quarterback.

While the quarterback position is likely Cameron's job to lose, there is not a shortage of competition. Isham showed at times why the Tech offensive coordinator, Tony Franklin, recruited him from California. His touch is very impressive on his short and intermediate passes. His deep passing ability got better and better as the season went along. His decision-making was his downfall as a starter as he threw interceptions at very inopportune times. Some put this poor decision-making on his being a Freshman.

Hakmi saw action in 2010 before getting a shoulder injury. He did not see much action in 2011 after having surgery. Hakmi's strengths lie in his mobility, physical stature, and his huge arm. His weaknesses are in his accuracy as a passer and decision-making.

Griffith has not seen action in a game as a Bulldog. During practice, Griffith's strength is his accuracy as a passer. It is hard to really know what Griffith's weaknesses are until more of him is seen.

Burch is currently playing baseball for the Tech baseball team. It is unknown at this time whether he will participate in spring football or continue playing baseball. Burch's strengths as a quarterback are his deceiving agility as a runner, his big arm, and physical stature. His weakness is his accuaracy.

The incumbent starter, Cameron, has a good mix of skills from all the other quarterbacks. His quickness is unmatched, accuracy is better than some but not as good as Isham's, and his arm strength is better than Isham's but not as good as Burch and Hakmi. Cameron's weakness at times can be his decision-making.

Spring will be truly interesting to see if Cameron can pick up where he left off and if any of the others can step up and challenge Cameron.

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