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TULANE Team Report



 
INSIDE SLANT

When Hurricane Katrina hit New Orleans in late August and did so much damage to the Tulane University campus that the football team had to relocate to Dallas and then to Ruston, La., it also took a toll on Tulane's recruiting.

Katrina not only wiped out Tulane's database of recruiting information but it also discouraged a lot of prospects from even visiting Tulane once the football team returned to campus to start over. With Tulane playing 11 games in 11 different locations, it was also difficult to get prospects to take unofficial visits on game days.

"Considering everything, we thought 15 to 17 would have been a great number for us to shoot for," recruiting coordinator Brad Smiley told The Times-Picayune. "We were way behind, and kids were having to make decisions before we were in position to offer them.

"Some we had to tell to move on, and others we had to ask please not to commit until we could get them in for a visit. We weren't going to give away a $160,000 education just to fill out a recruiting class with people who couldn't play at the level we were looking for."

Instead, Tulane signed 24 players who comprise what coach Chris Scelfo called "perhaps not the best, but the deepest and most talented," of his eight recruiting classes at Tulane. Those players include nine players from Texas, six from Georgia and five Louisianans, two from Virginia and one each from Pennsylvania and Florida. Tulane's 24 signees include 14 defensive players, eight on offense, one specialist and one athlete who could play on offense or defense.

The players who did come to visit, including running back Andre Anderson of Stone Mountain, Ga., saw a city and a campus in rebuilding mode. Scelfo admitted the Tulane tour didn't include the city's most devastated areas, but also said, "Fortunately for us, the most-devastated places are not areas that our student-athletes usually frequent."

"I'd heard a lot of things about how everything was closed and there wasn't anything to do in the city, but it wasn't like that at all," said Anderson, who originally committed to Central Florida and then signed with Tulane. "The campus was fine, and everything they showed me was top of the line.

"After meeting the coaches and the players, I left knowing this was the place for me."

TOP RECRUITS:

Kevin Leary, OL, West Chester, Pa./Valley Forge Military -- Leary was a three-year letterman at West Chester East High who played one season at Valley Forge Military Prep after high school. He played defensive end as a senior, posting 18 sacks, but appears to be a better fit for the offensive line in college.

Kevin Moore, QB, Highland Village, Texas/Flower Mound Marcus HS -- Moore was ranked as a national top-50 quarterback prospect by one recruiting service and included in the Dallas Morning News Top 100 after passing for 4,513 yards and 32 touchdowns during his prep career, including 2,007 yards and 12 touchdowns as a senior. With all of Tulane's uncertainty at quarterback in 2005, Moore could get involved in the competition for playing time.

Andre Anderson, RB, Stone Mountain, Ga./Stephenson -- Anderson originally committed to UCF before visiting Tulane and changing his mind. With Jovon Jackson completing his eligibility, Tulane needs someone to split time with Matt Forte. Anderson could be that back after rushing for 1,827 yards and 16 touchdowns as a senior.

NOTES, QUOTES

--Tulane's current coaching staff has done a good job recruiting the Atlanta metro area in recent years, signing key players such as linebacker Anthony Cannon and defensive backs Sean Lucas and Israel Route. The Green Wave coaches continued to build on their past success this year by signing six players from the Atlanta area: safety Travis Burks from Union Grove High School in Ellenwood, Ga.; quarterback D'Metres Hill and wide receiver Allen Mitchell from Cedar Grove High School in Ellenwood, Ga.; cornerback Shannon Davis from Mays High School in Atlanta; running back Andre Anderson from Stephenson High in Stone Mountain, Ga.; and defensive end Tony Grady from Grady High in Atlanta.

--Quarterback Kevin Moore of Marcus High School in Flower Mound, Texas, committed to Tulane last April and never wavered on his commitment, despite the wrath of Hurricane Katrina. "I got up early this morning to get it (the national letter of intent) in as soon as I could," Moore told The Times-Picayune. "A big part of staying with Tulane was that I had given them my word. But it also felt right. Tulane just fit everything I was looking for and still does. .. Because of what they've been through, there's great cohesion among the players that you can feel. You just want to be a part of that kind of team environment. Tulane is going to bounce back, and I want to be part of helping them get there."

QUOTE TO NOTE: "We usually average about 45 visits. We weren't going to bring in anybody unless we felt really good about them. It wasn't going to be a New Orleans sight-seeing tour; we didn't want anybody using Tulane University for a visit to New Orleans. We wanted people that fit our profile that were serious about coming to play football and get a degree from Tulane University. If we went on a home visit with them and didn't feel good about it, we nixed them." -- Tulane coach Chris Scelfo, on inviting 34 prospects for a campus visit.

STRATEGY AND PERSONNEL

GLANCE AT 2006: The Tulane football program still has a lot of work to do just to get the team back on the right track with offseason conditioning and spring practice so it can move past a disastrous 2005. The Green Wave loses some valuable players, such as LB Anthony Cannon and OT Chris McGee, but a solid, experienced core returns from a team that has been through adversity and could be dangerous in 2006 if the coaches and team leaders can pull everything back together.

PRO POTENTIAL:

LB Anthony Cannon -- He spent most of his college career in the middle but he'll move to the weak side in the NFL, where he will be able to use his speed and pass-coverage skills without having to take on as many massive blockers as he faced in the middle.

C Joe Traina -- Not particularly athletic or quick but smart, efficient and good with technique and angles.

TE Bobby Hoover -- He's not exceptional at any one thing, but he's solid enough as a blocker and receiver to add depth to an NFL roster.

T Chris McGee -- He has good technique and intelligence but must add bulk and strength to his 6-foot-4, 296-pound frame.

ROSTER REPORT: All-conference punter Chris Beckman remains questionable for spring practice after suffering a gunshot wound in his abdomen during a hunting accident last November.

Previous Report: 01/05/2006


 

 

 


 
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