By Ashley Springer, Louisiana Tech Assistant Director of Athletic Communications
With spring practice just over a week away, Louisiana Tech head coach Skip Holtz announced the addition of four players to the 2021 roster — 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,” 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.”
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.
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.
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.
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.