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August 15, 2011
Cameron lightyears ahead of where he was last year
RUSTON, La. - It was musical chairs last year for Louisiana Tech at the quarterback position as several Bulldogs took their time under center in Sonny Dykes' first year.
This year the Bulldogs Head Coach hopes he can finally find some consistency at the quarterback position and all signs point to Colby Cameron getting the first shot to prove he deserves to be the player with the first shot to make that happen.
"Colby is kind of your proto-typical type of California kid," Dykes said of his junior play-caller. "Or at least what people perceive to be a California type of kid or at least what I perceive to be being from the State of Texas. He likes to surf and he has a laid-back type of personality. That is just the way he is.
"The biggest adjustment that he has made and the way he approaches practice this year is that his biggest shortcomings last season were not necessarily physical. They involved more his approach to the game itself. We pointed that out to him and I think that he recognized it. You can see the changes in the way he approaches the game this season already. He has taken a leadership role in our program. He is more dedicated and more competitive. You can see that he is harder on himself than he was a season ago. He has had to step outside his comfort zone a little bit which has been good. In my opinion I believe that helps guys grow not just as players but as men. He is a different player this year. In a lot of different ways."
Starting three games a season ago, including at Texas A&M, the Newbury Park native threw for 461 yards on 54-91 passes for a touchdown, but also five interceptions. Despite the lack of impressive statistics, Dykes said it was the experience of starting three games last season that he hopes to build on to make 2011 a breakout year for his quarterback.
"Last year it was musical quarterbacks and we never really developed the offense to fit our quarterback because we were always in the process of looking for the right quarterback," Dykes said. "It took a long time last year, but it was later in the season. The proof is there because once we found our starting quarterback we did start to play better offensively.
"Colby is comfortable already. He has a lot of confidence and your team generally generates its confidence as a unit from your quarterback. He is comfortable and confident. He feels good with what he is doing and what we are asking him to do for us when he is out there. He is also getting pushed by two young guys as well. So that is good as well. Competition is a really good thing at any position."
Cameron echoed his coaches' sentiments.
"Couldn't agree with him more," he said. "It is so much easier to go out and play now because I am much more comfortable than I was a year before. When you are comfortable you don't have to think as much. When I first got here I was thinking way too much; like what should I do when this happens and this happens and so on and so forth. I have a much better understanding now of what we are trying to do offensively and what the coaching staff is trying to tell us now.
"The other great thing about having a year in the system is I have the reps now. Reps are big when you are trying to run this offense. They throw a lot of stuff at you at first so when you are in the game you are still questioning yourself. But now and it is hard to explain, I just know so much more now when I'm out there. I know who is going where and what reads to go through. It's really hard to explain until you are out there doing it, but I just feel like I am light years compared to where I was a year ago."
While Dykes and Offensive Coordinator Tony Franklin have yet to officially name a starting quarterback, Cameron said he hopes that his leadership on and off the field will make it a very easy decision and one that really doesn't have to be announced.
"I'm acting as if I am the guy," Cameron said. "I want to take a big leadership role on this team this season and just prove to the coaches that they don't even have to make a decision and that I'm already out there and this team knows I'm the starting quarterback. I'm going to make sure I gain the trust of all my teammates and we get the job done each and every day at practice."