Posted Aug 16, 2005 21:49:56
Dillard Impressive on Field and in Weight Room
RUSTON – Mark Dillard continued to impress Louisiana Tech coaches Tuesday during Day No. 2 of the Bulldogs preseason workouts held at the Jim Mize Track and Field Complex.
During the two-hour session, the sophomore running back from Baton Rouge split time in the backfield with the first team with teammate Freddie Franklin, who he will share the load with for Tech during the upcoming season. Despite a mild nagging injury, Dillard looked sharp.
“We have a number of good running backs and Mark is obviously one of them,” said Tech head coach Jack Bicknell. “He doesn’t really remind me of anyone (we’ve had since I’ve been at Tech); maybe a little of Joe Smith. He just has his own style.”
That running style could best be described as physical. It would also be the best word to describe Dillard in the weight room.
Tech head strength and conditioning coach Yancy McKnight said Dillard recently lifted a combined total of 1190 pounds during the three lifts used to total the “power index,” a total that ranked fifth best on the entire Bulldog squad.
Dillard’s totals included 530 pounds in the squat, 310 pounds on the power clean and 350 pounds on the bench press. For a 209-pound running back who possesses sprinter speed, the 1,190 pounds made an impression.
“He’s just a real powerful guy,” Bicknell said. “He just has to learn how to use that power when he runs. If he can do that, you could see something special. He possesses power and speed which is a dangerous combination.”
As a senior at Glen Oaks High School, Dillard won the Louisiana Class 5A state title in the 100- and 400-meters. During this past spring, he earned all-WAC honors as a member of Louisiana Tech’s second place 400- and 1600-meter relay teams that competed at the WAC Outdoor Championships.
About the same time this spring, Dillard rushed for over 100 yards in the Bulldogs final two scrimmages, scoring on two long touchdown runs of over 50 yards each.
It’s that type of ability that has Bicknell and the Tech coaching staff anxiously waiting to see what the sophomore has in store for the upcoming season.