RUSTON, La. - Louisiana Tech head football coach Sonny Dykes announced Thursday that true freshman Nick Isham will be the team's starting quarterback when the Bulldogs open the 2011 season on Sept. 3 at Southern Miss.
Isham, a true freshman from Hidden Hills, Calif., was chosen as a 2010 Old Spice National High School Player of the Year, an honor previously won by Cyrus Gray (Texas A&M), Garrett Gilbert (Texas), Jacquizz Rogers (Oregon State), Andy Dalton (TCU) and Tim Tebow (Florida). He was a three-star athlete rated by Rivals.com as he was a three-year starter at Westlake High School. He threw for 2,990 yards and 34 touchdowns his senior year and was a two-time all-state honoree.
"I felt like Nick Isham has come in and lead our football team [during preseason camp]," Dykes said. "He has a tremendous amount of confidence on the field. I felt that both quarterbacks - Isham or Colby Cameron - did great [in fall camp] but we believe Nick Isham gives us the best chance to win."
Isham replaces Ross Jenkins as the team's signal caller after Jenkins graduated and exhausted his NCAA eligibility last year. He battled redshirt junior Colby Cameron for the starting job since Louisiana Tech first entered camp on Aug. 8.
Tech is looking to improve upon its 5-7 mark achieved last year in Dykes' first season as head coach of the Bulldogs. His guidance improved Tech's offense in almost every statistical category and Tech was one of only four schools out of the 22 that had first year head coaches in 2010 to improve upon its conference record from the previous season.
The Bulldogs open the season at Southern Miss on Sept. 3 in Hattiesburg, Miss. in a nationally televised game on FSN at 9 p.m. CT. Last season, the two schools renewed a regional rivalry that dates back to 1935 with Southern Miss edging Louisiana Tech, 13-12, in Ruston.
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