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TULANE Team Report
Tulane entered the spring with two primary goals and took positive steps toward addressing both areas.
The first goal was to find someone to replace tailback Matt Forte', the nation's second-leading rusher in 2007 and a second-round pick of the Chicago Bears in the 2008 NFL Draft.
Between injuries and suspensions to other players, junior Andre' Anderson saw a lot of reps in the spring and took a lot of hits, but he showed plenty of signs he'll be able to carry the load in 2008.
"I wanted to come out this spring and establish myself as somebody that can be the man, be the guy who could carry the load," Anderson told The Times-Picayune. "It was really good letting everybody see we don't have to worry about a running back. We have somebody that can step up and do what he needs to do."
The Green Wave also needed to make progress in the passing game and appeared to do that. Last year, the lack of consistent productivity in the passing game forced Forte to run against stacked fronts.
In the spring, sophomore quarterback Kevin Moore and junior receiver Jeremy Williams teamed up to form the makings of an effecting passing combination. Redshirt freshman Joe Kemp also showed signs of being an able and willing competitor for the starting quarterback job in the preseason.NOTES, QUOTES
--OG Michael Parenton, a three-year letterman, has started 34 of 35 games and 18 straight games entering his senior season. He is the anchor on a line that returns four starters.
--Senior David Skehan returns after finishing 2007 with 66 tackles, four interceptions and 10 pass breakups, but he's playing a new position, making the move from strong safety to outside linebacker.
WR Jeremy Williams -- Williams led Tulane with 46 catches, 773 receiving yards and five TDs as a sophomore in 2007 but aggravated coach Bob Toledo with his lack of consistency. He showed better hands, focus and attention to detail in the spring.
TB Andre' Anderson -- Tulane needed someone to step up following the departure of leading rusher Matt Forte' and Anderson did that in the spring.
DT Tony Bryant -- Bryant didn't play much last season but new defensive coordinator O'Neill Gilbert liked what he saw of Bryant in the spring.
QUOTE TO NOTE: "Obviously, Anthony had a chance last year to show what he could do. And we know what he can do. He's involved with baseball now, and this summer he's going to be involved with baseball. He's missing a lot of football. It's one of those things where we need someone to come in here and throw the football efficiently and effectively. And if it is Scelfo in fall camp, then it may be him. But right now, it is down to basically two people -- Moore and Kemp." -- Tulane coach Bob Toledo on the Green Wave's quarterback race. Senior Scott Elliott opened the 2007 season as a starter but lost the job to junior Anthony Scelfo and sophomore Kevin Moore, who split the job most of the season. When Scelfo decided to play baseball in the spring, Moore and redshirt freshman Joe Kemp took advantage of the opportunity.STRATEGY AND PERSONNEL
2008 OUTLOOK: On paper, Tulane has a huge hole to fill with the loss of leading rusher Matt Forte' but things might not be as bad as they seem due to the return of eight offensive starters and seven defensive starters.
SCOUTING THE OFFENSE: The emergence of RB Andre' Anderson in the spring and the return of four starting offensive linemen give the Green Wave the opportunity for another productive running game. The key will be finding and developing the right quarterback and making progress in the passing game.
SCOUTING THE DEFENSE: With the decision to move senior David Skehan from strong safety to outside linebacker, the front seven returns six starters. But it was the up-and-coming players who made the biggest impact in the spring, with DT Tony Bryant and LBs David Kirskey and Travis Burks all pushing for starting jobs. Junior FS Chinonso Echebelem looks like a rising star.
SCOUTING THE SPECIAL TEAMS: Junior Ross Thevenot and sophomore Darren deRochemont both punted last season with poor results. Thevenot appears to be developing into a dependable kicker. WR Jeremy Williams looked like a natural returning kicks in the spring.
--Junior Anthony Scelfo shared the quarterback job with sophomore Kevin Moore through most of the 2007 season but didn't do himself any favors in the spring by making a full-time commitment to baseball.
--Tulane had high hopes for redshirt freshman RB Andre Agers but he missed most of the spring due to a suspension for violating a team rule and his return remains uncertain. With or without him, Tulane will be looking for help from incoming freshman Nathan Austin.
--Center was the only open spot on the line entering the spring and it still remains a quandary for the Green Wave. At this point, it seems more possible that Andrew Nierman, the returning starting right guard, would be the starter, backed up by Michael Parenton, the returning starter at left guard. Two other candidates to play center, sophomore Tyler Rice and redshirt freshman Joey Ray, saw significant practice time at guard in the spring.
Previous Report: 03/26/2008