ARLINGTON, Tx (KMSS/KTAL) – The first season of the Sonny Cumbie era for Louisiana Tech football also means Coach’s first Conference USA Media Day.

“It’s an exciting time of the season for everyone,” Cumbie said during Tech’s media availability. “Everybody’s looking forward to the season starting. There’s a lot of optimism.”

Reasons for optimism include Conference USA preseason watch list selections Joshue Mote and Keivie Rose, who is one of six returning starters on defense.

“Since we have so many starters coming back I feel like we can still play together, no matter what scheme we’re doing,” said Rose, who was an All-Conference USA honorable mention selection in 2021.

There’s still no word on who the Tech’s starting quarterback will be. Coach Cumbie is familiar with both TCU transfer Matt Downing and Texas Tech transfer Parker McNeil and believes they set a perfect example for one of Shreveport’s own.

“I coached Matt Downing two years at TCU, and Parker, coached him a year at Texas Tech,” said Cumbie.

“Both of them have a ton of experience. Both of them prepare really well and there’s a value that you place in that. There’s a value you place in them coaching up a guy in Landry Lyddy, who just got to our program and they’re showing him how to prepare.”

Of all the schools in Shreveport, Huntington will have the most Bulldogs on this year’s team, in Erron Bean, Kendrick Rucker, and Zyion Claville.

“Erron Bean, he came in with a great frame, he’s long and very athletic, and this offseason he’s done a tremendous job,” said offensive lineman Joshua Mote. Mote is a back-to-back All-Conference USA Honorable Mention Selection. “He’s a talented player and I’m excited to see him play the next few years.”

“Zyion and Kendrick both are very different receivers. Kendrick is a tall, longer receiver that could potentially grow into a tight end and has had a pretty good summer,” said Cumbie. “Zyion is more of a possession type receiver. They both have done a really nice job.”

Another first has been checked off the list for Sonny Cumbie in his first year as Head Coach. Now, the Bulldogs will look to prove preseason polls wrong after being predicted to finish 9th in Conference USA.