football

RUSTON, La. – With spring practice just over a week away, Louisiana Tech head coach Skip Holtz announced the addition of four players to the 2021 roster in running back Marcus Williams Jr. (Rocky Mount, N.C./App State) and defensive backs Baylen Buchanan (Lawrenceville, Ga./Tennessee), Elijah Hamilton (Roswell, Ga./Vanderbilt) and Myles Mason (Trussville, Ala./Arkansas).

"We're really excited about the four guys who are coming here in the spring that just started classes," head coach Skip Holtz said. "When you look at the three defensive backs, they bring size, maturity and experience to a secondary that really needs it. I'm really excited about the new secondary coach in Perry Carter. He's going to do a great job and bolstering the back end with three guys who look like this is going to create some great competition this spring and really will be something to watch as these guys continue to compete.

"The other place where we wanted to make an immediate contribution was at the running back position. We had lost both Israel Tucker and Justin Henderson, who both just graduated. With both of those upperclassmen leaving, we felt there were some people in the transfer portal. Marcus Williams has rushed over 2,000 yards with 500 yards every year of his career and has a lot of experience. These guys have played a lot of college football and that's what makes me excited about adding them to a very talented and also a very young roster."

Marcus Williams Jr.

Williams, a 5-10, 210-pound running back, spent the last five seasons at App State where he played in 42 career games, including six starts. He rushed for more than 500 yards in each of his four seasons played (2017-20). Williams finished his App State career with 2,216 rushing yards and 14 touchdowns, averaging 5.5 yards per carry. He had six career-games with 100-plus rushing yards and rushed for a career-high 130 yards against Georgia Southern in 2017. Williams appeared in eight games with two starts as senior in 2020, registering 503 rushing yards on 68 attempts for three touchdowns. He scored a 70-yard rushing touchdown in the bowl win against North Texas (Dec. 21, 2020). Williams was an All-Sun Belt honorable mention in 2019 after finishing the season with 652 rushing yards on 113 attempts for five touchdowns. He appeared in 12 games in 2018, rushing for 561 yards on 122 attempts and scored four touchdowns, and played in eight games as a redshirt freshman in 2017 where he finished the season with 500 rushing yards on 97 attempts for two touchdowns.

Baylen Buchanan

Buchanan, a 5-11, 196-pound defensive back, played at Tennessee from 2016-20 where he appeared in 31 games, including 13 starts. During his Tennessee career, Buchanan registered 73 tackles, including 51 solo and 3.0 for loss, five pass break ups, one forced and one fumble recovery. He started in all 12 games as a junior in 2018, recording 49 tackles, four pass break ups, one forced fumble and one recovery. Buchanan made seven tackles against No. 21 Auburn (Oct. 13, 2018). He appeared in six games as a sophomore in 2017, finishing the season with four tackles. As a true freshman in 2016, he played in all 13 games with one start, tallying 20 tackles and one pass breakup. He had eight tackles against Alabama, including six solo stops (Oct. 15, 2016). Buchanan missed the 2019 and 2020 seasons due to injury.

Elijah Hamilton

Hamilton, a 6-2, 205-pound defensive back, played at Vanderbilt from 2016-20, appearing in 41 games for the Commodores. He was elected as a team captain in 2020. Hamilton registered 24 tackles and three pass breakups as a fifth-year senior in 2020. He had multiple tackles in five games, recording seven or more stops twice. Hamilton had seven tackles against No. 6 Florida (Nov. 21, 2020) and a career-high eight stops the next week at Missouri (Nov. 28, 2020). He led Vanderbilt with 10 special team tackles in 2019. In 2019, Hamilton appeared in 12 games as a reserve cornerback and a special teams contributor, registering 12 tackles on the year.

Myles Mason

Mason, a 6-2, 204-pound defensive back, appeared in 27 games at Arkansas from 2018-20 where he registered 58 total tackles, including 25 solo and 1.5 for loss. He played in seven games during the 2020 season, posting 25 total tackles and had a career-high nine tackles against LSU (Nov. 21, 2020). Mason appeared in 11 games as a sophomore in 2019, seeing action on defense and special teams. During the 2019 season, he recorded 28 total tackles, including 16 solo and 1.0 for loss, and registered multiple tackles in all but two games played.

Season tickets for the 2021 Louisiana Tech football season are on sale now. Fans can purchase season tickets online at LATechSports.com/tickets or by calling the LA Tech Ticket Office at (318) 257-3631. Fans who purchase or renew their season tickets by March 17 will be able to attend the first-ever Meet The Bulldogs presented by Origin Bank during the first day of spring practice on Friday, March 19.

For all the latest in Bulldog Football, follow them on Twitter (@LATechFB), Instagram (@LATechFB) and Facebook (LATechFootball) or visit the official website at LATechSports.com.

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2021 Louisiana Tech Football Newcomer Roster (Dec.-March)

Name Pos Ht. Wt. Yr. Hometown/Previous School

Kenneth Bannister OL 6-6 290 Fr. New Orleans, La./Edna Karr HS

Erron Bean OL 6-5 280 Fr. Shreveport, La./Huntington HS

Carson Bruno OL 6-4 290 Fr. Shreveport, La./C.E. Byrd HS

Baylen Buchanan DB 5-11 196 Gr. Lawrenceville, Ga./Tennessee

J'Dan Burnett DE 6-1 220 Fr. Fort Worth, Texas/Nolan Catholic HS

CJ Calhoun LB 6-0 220 Fr. Freeport, Texas/Brazosport HS

Marquis Crosby RB 5-10 185 Fr. Hattiesburg, Miss./Presbyterian Christian School

Carlos Dunovant DB 6-1 180 Fr. Cusseta, Ga./Chattahoochee County HS

Demarcus Gordon OL 6-5 295 Jr. Tunica, Miss./Copiah-Lincoln CC

Elijah Hamilton DB 6-2 205 Gr. Roswell, Ga./Vanderbilt

Caleb Holstein QB 6-5 225 Fr. Lafayette, La./St. Thomas More Catholic HS

Solomon Lewis WR 5-10 165 Fr. Lake Charles, La./Lake Charles College Prep

Myles Mason DB 6-2 204 Jr. Trussville, Ala./Arkansas

Marcus Williams Jr. RB 5-10 210 Gr. Rocky Mount, N.C./App State

Samuel Williams OL 6-7 322 Gr. Fordyce, Ark./ULM

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2021 Louisiana Tech Football Newcomer Bios (Dec.-March)

Kenneth Bannister (New Orleans, La./Edna Karr HS)

OL, 6-6, 290, Fr.

High School: Expected to graduate from Edna Karr High School in 2021... Rated as a three-star offensive tackle by Rivals.com and 247Sports.com... Helped lead the Cougars to be state champions as a freshman, sophomore and junior... Led Edna Karr to a 10-2 record in 2020 as the Cougars had a runner-up finish at the state championship... Selected to the 2020 LSWA Class 4A all-state team... Named all-district in 2019... Coached by Brice Brown... Chose Louisiana Tech over offers from a number of schools including Colorado, Mississippi State, Texas Tech, and West Virginia.

Erron Bean (Shreveport, La./Huntington HS)

OL, 6-5, 280, Fr.

High School: Expected to graduate from Huntington High School in 2021... Rated as a three-star strong-side defensive end by 247Sports.com... Named Louisiana Football Magazine Preseason first team all-North Louisiana... Helped lead Huntington to a 6-2 overall record in 2020... Named a 2020 LSWA Class 4A all-state honorable mention... Coached by Steven Dennis... Also lettered in basketball at Huntington... Chose Louisiana Tech over offers from Louisiana-Lafayette, McNeese State and Northeastern State.

Carson Bruno (Shreveport, La./C.E. Byrd HS)

OL, 6-4, 290, Fr.

High School: Expected to graduate from C.E. Byrd High School in December 2020... Rated as a three-star defensive tackle by 247Sports.com... Helped lead Byrd to a 10-1 season as a senior in 2020... Helped Byrd to a runner-up finish at the state championships... Selected to the 2020 LSWA Class 5A all-state team... Two-time all-District selection... Coached by Mike Suggs... Chose Louisiana Tech over offers from various schools, including Arkansas State, Army, ULM, McNeese State, and Nicholls State.

Baylen Buchanan (Lawrenceville, Ga./Tennessee)

DB, 5-11, 196, Gr.

Previous School: Appeared in 31 games, including 13 starts for Tennessee between the 2016-18 seasons... Registered 73 tackles, including 51 solo and 3.0 for loss, five pass break ups, one forced and one fumble recovery... Started in all 12 games as a junior in 2018, recording 49 tackles, four pass break ups, one forced fumble and one recovery... Made seven tackles against No. 21 Auburn (Oct. 13, 2018)... Appeared in six games as a sophomore in 2017, finishing the season with four tackles... Appeared in all 13 games with one start as a true freshman in 2016, tallying 20 tackles and one pass breakup... Had eight tackles against Alabama, including six solo stops (Oct. 15, 2016)... Missed the 2019 and 2020 seasons due to injury.

J'Dan Burnett (Fort Worth, Texas/Nolan Catholic HS)

DE, 6-1, 220, Fr.

High School: Expected to graduate from Nolan Catholic High School in 2021... Rated as a three star outside linebacker by Rivals.com and 247Sports.com... Helped lead Nolan Catholic to an 8-1 record as a senior in 2020... Led the team to a runner-up-finish at the 2020 state championships... Holds the school record for blocked punts/kicks in a single season... Forced a fumble on a sack in the first playoff game of the 2020 campaign that was then recovered for a touchdown... Was named to the Star-Telegram all-area team as a junior in 2019... Recorded 70 tackles and 14.5 sacks in 2019... Coached by David Beaudin... Chose Louisiana Tech over offers from various schools such as Hawai'i, Kansas, North Texas, San Diego State and UTSA.

CJ Calhoun (Freeport, Texas/Brazosport HS)

LB, 6-0, 220, Fr.

High School: Expected to graduate from Brazosport High School in 2021... Rated as a three-star inside linebacker by 247Sports.com... Played in four games in 2020 before missing the remainder of the season due to injury... Was named academic all-district as a senior in 2020... Recorded 111 total tackles as a junior in 2019, including 11.0 tackles for loss.. Finished his high school career with 185 total tackles, including 90 solo and 15.0 for loss... Coached by Mark Kanipes... Also lettered in baseball and track... Chose Louisiana Tech over offers from various schools such as Nevada, New Mexico State, UNLV and UTSA.

Marquis Crosby (Hattiesburg, Miss./Presbyterian Christian School)

RB, 5-10, 185, Fr.

High School: Expected to graduate from Presbyterian Christian School in 2021... Set the Mississippi single-season record with 3,678 rushing yards as a senior in 2020... Averaged 282.9 rushing yards per game as a senior... Finished the 2020 campaign with 34 rushing touchdowns... Had a combined 5,105 rushing yards on 555 carriers for 44 touchdowns between his junior and senior season... Coached by Derek White... Also lettered in basketball... Chose Louisiana Tech over offers from Arkansas State, East Carolina and ULM.

Carlos Dunovant (Cusseta, Ga./Chattahoochee County HS)

DB, 6-1, 180, Fr.

High School: Expected to graduate from Chattahoochee County High School in 2021... Helped lead the team to an 8-3 overall record as a senior in 2020... Registered 37 tackles, six interceptions and two fumble recoveries as a senior... Posted 28 receptions for 694 yards in 2020... Rushed for 202 yards on 12 attempts as a senior... Had 16 total touchdowns in 2020... Named the Ledger-Engeuirer 2020 All-Bi-City Athlete of the Year... Set the Georgia high school football record of interceptions in a single game with six as a junior in 2019... Was named preseason all-state, first team all-BiCity and first team all-region as a junior... Coached by Pierre Coffey... Chose Louisiana Tech over offers from various schools such as Army, Maryland, South Alabama and Troy.

Demarcus Gordon (Tunica, Miss./Copiah-Lincoln CC)

OL, 6-5, 320, Jr.

Previous School: Appeared in 10 career games for Copiah-Lincoln Community College... Earned Second Team All-MACCC South Division honors as a sophomore in 2020... Made first career appearance in 2019 at Northwest.

Elijah Hamilton (Roswell, Ga./Vanderbilt)

DB, 6-2, 205, Gr.

Previous School: Played at Vanderbilt from 2016-20, appearing in 41 games for the Commodores... Was elected a team captain in 2020... Registered 24 tackles and three pass breakups as a fifth-year senior in 2020... Had multiple tackles in five games, recording seven or more stops twice... Had seven tackles against No. 6 Florida (Nov. 21, 2020) and a career-high eight stops the next week at Missouri (Nov. 28, 2020)... Also had one rush for three yards and one kickoff return for 17 yards in 2020... Led Vanderbilt with 10 special team tackles in 2019... Appeared in 12 games as a reserve cornerback and a special teams contributor in 2019, registering 12 tackles on the year... Appeared in 13 games in 2018 and seven in 2017.

Caleb Holstein (Lafayette, La./St. Thomas More Catholic High School)

QB, 6-5, 225, Fr.

High School: Graduated from St. Thomas More Catholic High School in 2020... Was a three-year letterwinner in football and basketball at St. Thomas More Catholic... Accumulated a 33-6 record during his high school football career, completing 634-of-965 passes for 9,519 total yards and 106 touchdowns... Also rushed for 15 career touchdowns... Finished his high school career by capturing the St. Thomas More records for career passing yards and touchdowns, the single season records for passing yards, touchdowns and completion percentage, and holds the single game record for passing yards and touchdowns... Earned various honors as a senior, including being named Suddenlink by Atlice Louisiana all-state, Louisiana Football Coaches Association composite all-state, Louisiana SportsLine all-state, Louisiana Sports Writers Association all-state, All-Acadiana, all-District 5-4A, Class 4A first team all-decade and earning the Jake Delhomme QB of the Year Award... Played in the I-10 Bowl as a senior... Collected numerous honors as junior, including being named USA Today all-Louisiana, Louisiana SportsLine all-State and Offensive Player of the Year, Louisiana Sports Writers Association all-state and Outstanding Offensive Player, Louisiana Football Coaches Association all-state and offensive MVP, All-Acadiana, All-Acadiana Offensive MVP, all-District 4-4A and district offensive MVP, The Daily Advertiser's Boys Athlete of the Year, The Daily Advertiser's All-Acadiana Offensive Most Valuable Player, Best of Louisiana High School Football State MVP, Class 4A All-State Offensive Player of the Year and earned the Jake Delhomme QB of the Year Award.

Solomon Lewis (Lake Charles, La./Lake Charles College Prep)

WR, 5-10, 165, Fr.

High School: Expected to graduate from Lake Charles College Prep in 2021... Rated as a three-star wide receiver by 247Sports.com... Named MaxPreps 2020 preseason All-Louisiana second team... Helped lead the team an undefeated 10-1 season in 2020... Averaged 74.4 receiving yards per game as a senior... Recorded 744 receiving yards on 43 receptions for 11 touchdowns in 2020... Totaled 1,449 receiving yards on 95 receptions for 19 touchdowns during his high school career... Named 2020 LSWA Class 3A all-state as a kick returner... Coached by Erick Franklin... Chose Louisiana Tech over offers from schools such as Fresno State, Houston, Miami (Fla.) and Texas Tech.

Myles Mason (Trussville, Ala./Arkansas)

DB, 6-2, 204, Jr.

Previous School: Appeared in 27 games at Arkansas from 2017-20... Registered 58 total tackles, including 25 solo and 1.5 for loss... Played in seven games during the 2020 season, posting 25 total tackles... Had a career-high nine tackles against LSU (Nov. 21, 2020)... Appeared in 11 games as a sophomore in 2019, seeing action on defense and special teams... Recorded 28 total tackles, including 16 solo and 1.0 for loss, in 2019... Opened and closed the season with a season-high five tackles in both games... Registered multiple tackles in all but two games played in 2019... Played in nine games for the Razorbacks as a freshman in 2018.

Marcus Williams Jr. (Rocky Mount, N.C./App State)

RB, 5-10, 210, Gr.

Previous School: Played in 42 career games, including six starts, at App State... Rushed for more than 500 yards in each of his four seasons played (2017-20)... Finished App State career with 2,216 rushing yards and 14 touchdowns, averaging 5.5 yards per carry... Had six career-games with 100-plus rushing yards... Rushed for a career-high 130 yards against Georgia Southern in 2017... Appeared in eight games with two starts as senior in 2020, registering 503 rushing yards on 68 attempts for three touchdowns... Scored a 70-yard rushing touchdown in the bowl win against North Texas (Dec. 21, 2020)... Was an All-Sun Belt honorable mention in 2019 after finishing the season with 652 rushing yards on 113 attempts for five touchdowns... Appeared in 12 games in 2018, rushing for 561 yards on 122 attempts and scored four touchdowns... Played in eight games as a redshirt freshman in 2017 where he finished the season with 500 rushing yards on 97 attempts for two touchdowns.

Samuel Williams (Fordyce, Ark./ULM)

OL, 6-7, 322, Gr.

Previous School: Appeared in 33 career games for Louisiana-Monroe, including 16 career starts at right tackle... Appeared and started in eight games for ULM in the 2020 campaign... First career appearance came in 2017 against South Alabama.

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