Updated Aug 12, 2003 08:06:31
Bulldogs Possess Stable of Quarterback Talent
RUSTON - With about 30 minutes remaining in Monday mornings practice, a number of Louisiana Tech players jogged off the field in order to catch a shower before 9:15 a.m. classes.
With only 17 days remaining before head coach Jack Bicknell and Co. face the third ranked Miami Hurricanes in Shreveport, the fifth-year Bulldog boss said he hates not having his full squad for the entire practice session.
"It's a nightmare," Bicknell said. "I remember when I was in college, the coaches always used to say, 'Hey, this is the one time of the year we have you totally to ourselves.' It was 100 percent football, 24 hours a day. Now, we can't say that because guys have English and math finals and everything else."
One area all Tech fans are keeping an eye on during the fall is quarterback; not because the starting position is up for grabs. Instead, every Bulldog faithful is trying to figure out who the quarterback of the future will be starting next year.
With seven quarterbacks in camp, including six scholarship student-athletes, Bicknell has plenty of talent to choose from in years to come. However, Bicknell hasn't thought about next year during the first seven days of fall drills ...he's happy to have two veterans topping the depth chart heading into 2003.
"It's fantastic to have two experienced quarterbacks like Luke (McCown) and Maxie (Causey)," Bicknell said. "We've gotten so spoiled because we can come into fall practice and these two guys know the offense. They know where to go with the ball in a sophisticated offense."
The much-publicized McCown enters his senior season as the NCAA's active career passing yards leader with 9,420 and an impressive 68 passing touchdowns. The three-year starter from Jacksonville, Texas, looks to rebound from a junior campaign that saw him throws as many touchdowns as interceptions.
"You can't put the blame all on Luke," Bicknell said. "I think we have much better receivers this year; guys are year older and they know where they are going. You have to know how to protect him, especially against the teams we play. When we evaluated Luke, he had 19 interceptions and about eight of them were bad decisions. Eight bad decisions out of (505 passes) isn't too bad."
Causey, a fifth year senior who is schedule to complete his master's degree in business administration in November, is considered one of the top backups in the country. The former West Monroe High product, who is engaged to be married following the season, is known for his intelligence and work ethic.
"I can't say enough about Maxie," Bicknell said. "He comes out everyday and practices hard, and he is ready if we need him. He is one of the most important guys on this team. He has such a great attitude and has become a great leader. Every player on this team respects him."
The battle for the future is between sophomores Matt Kubik and Donald Allen, and freshmen Zac Champion, Brett Weyman and Justin Gaines. According to Bicknell, all five of them bring something to the table.
"Brett Weyman and Justin Gaines both just got here and we can't tell too much about them yet because they haven't had an opportunity to throw the ball much," Bicknell said. "I think Matt Kubik is a guy who is No. 3 right now and he is continuing to improve. You also have Zac Champion and Donald Allen who I feel are two young guys who I feel like are very talented. It's a situation where these younger guys aren't getting the amount of reps they need right now but we can only rep out basically two guys."
Tech continues practice Tuesday with one evening session at 7 p.m.