March 19, 2012
RUSTON, La. - Louisiana Tech donned pads for the first time in its 2012 spring practice schedule as the Bulldogs practiced for over two hours at Joe Aillet Stadium Monday afternoon.
The offense and defense continued to spar, this time with a heightened sense of physicality as the team wore shoulder pads in addition to their helmets Monday. The NCAA does not allow teams to wear shoulder pads during the first two practices of spring camp.
Offensive Quinton Patton continued to be a vocal and athletic leader on the field while Dave Clark registered a pair of interceptions to lead the defense but it was a pair of younger players that got the attention of the coaching staff.
Wide receiver Jacarri Jackson continued to improve and burned the secondary on a 50-yard touchdown pass. That was just one of the highlights on the day for the rising redshirt junior from Logansport.
"He has been playing with more confidence," head coach Sonny Dykes said of Jackson. "He has always been a good athlete and had good size, I just don't know how confident he has been in his abilities. I think he is getting more and more confident and it just takes a little bit of time for some of those guys to come into their own. Colby [Cameron] went through the same thing. I'm not sure how confident he was as a player and he realized midway through the year last year that `Hey, I can do this.' He has been different since then and I think Jacarri is undergoing the same process."
On the defensive side of the ball, IK Enempkali used several explosive plays to get the attention of the coaching staff as he continues to battle for a spot vacated by Christian Lacey.
The aggressive play of the defense, particularly by some players that didn't receive much playing time in 2011, was another aspect of Monday's practice that was easily noticeable.
"I have been pleased with how the young linebackers have been doing, Rufus [Porter] and Antonio Mitchum have been running around, been active and making plays," Dykes said. "Javontay Crowe is a guy that stuck out today and anytime you put the pads on he sticks out because he is so physical. He did some god things. I think Dave Clark did some good things; he is very much improved at the corner spot."
Tech returns to practice on Wednesday, March 21, for the squad's fourth of 12 practices this spring. Wednesday's practice is set to begin at 4 p.m. at Joe Aillet Stadium and is open to the public.
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