To understand what Louisiana Tech is getting out of graduate transfer Christopher Fournier is to know what he turned down to come to Ruston.
The Ontario, Canada, native passed up kicking off his professional football career with the Montreal Alouettes, who drafted Fournier in the third round of the Canadian Football League draft in May.
More than three weeks later, the Lehigh left tackle decided to transfer and play his final collegiate season for the Bulldogs, committing May 29. Fournier is immediately eligible.
Tech’s offensive line play needed improvement. Last season, the Bulldogs managed just 992 yards rushing and 10 touchdowns and opponents recorded 29 sacks against the offensive line.
The group lost its All-Conference USA center and four-year starter Kody Russey, and starting tackles Willie Allen and Antawn Lewis entered the transfer portal. Allen transferred to Michigan prior to the start of the season while Russey and Lewis left after the team lost to Georgia Southern, 38-3, in the New Orleans Bowl.
Last year, the Bulldogs used four offensive line combinations, partly because of the COVID-19 protocols, but also former Offensive line coach Robert McFarland searched for the most consistent performers.
Not happy with the numbers, Louisiana Tech coach Skip Holtz went out and hired offensive line coach Dave DeGuglielo, a 16-year NFL coaching veteran, following McFarland’s departure.
The addition of Fournier, a three-year starter at Lehigh, brings some much-needed experience to go along with veterans Joshua Mote and Abraham Delfin. Fournier’s versatility, having started games at center and left tackle, is vital for the Bulldogs.
Louisiana Tech also signed TCU grad transfer offensive lineman Kelton Hollins in early June. Hollins adds more depth, having started double-digit games at center for the Horned Frogs since 2018. He lined up at right guard as well.