FEBRUARY 07, 2018

#Fritzmas Tracker: Tulane closes out historic recruiting class

Wave signs three 3-star prospects on National Signing Day

By JP Gooderham

After adding 22 signees during the first-ever early signing period in December, the Green Wave was focused on finding the last few pieces of its 2018 class.

Today, the Wave added three prospects, including two new signing day commitments. Here's the breakdown of what just happened.

DT Alfred Thomas

The Wave got off to a tremendous start when 3-star DT Alfred Thomas announced his signing:

Thomas ranked as the #19 prospect in Alabama, according to 247, as well the #47 DT in the country.

He had earned offers from many P5s, and the Wave held off a late run by conference rival Memphis for the prospect from Montgomery, AL.

LB Keitha Jones

Next up, recent commit Keitha Jones, who had previously committed to SMU, made it official by signing with the Wave.

This ATH from Port Arthur, TX hails from the same high school as incoming transfer running back Corey Dauphine.

Of note, while he played several positions in HS and was classified by the recruiting services as an athlete, he will project to play LB at Tulane.

LB La'Dedric Jackson

Finally, we expected one more signing today, and it came from La'Dedric Jackson also out of Montgomery, AL:

This 3-star prospect also attracted a lot of offers on the recruiting trail and ranks as the #30 Alabama recruit, according to 247.

A former Mizzou commit, Jackson will fill a need position on the D's depth chart as the second LB to sign in this class alongside Jones.

Big Picture

The dust certainly hasn't settled yet, but what is clear is that Coach Fritz and his staff have made an impressive step forward in the recruiting game.

When it's all said and done, the Wave's class will rank as one of the AAC's best for the first time ever.

As an early indicator as 247 hasn't been updated yet: their class calculator would place Tulane around #67 with the new additions. That would certainly be good for our best class during the recruiting rankings era, and I expect us to finish around there.

Of note, with the additions today, DC Jack Curtis will have a very promising core group to work with for his defensive front.

Merry Fritzmas to all. On to the offseason.

JANUARY 30, 2018

Fritzmas Tracker: Keitha Jones Flips from SMU to Tulane

Versatile Texas player adds a projected LB to Wave's Big Board

By JP Gooderham

Last night on Twitter, Keitha Jones - a consensus 3-star according to 247 - announced that he would decommit from conference foe SMU and instead take his talents to Uptown.

Breakdown on Jones

Jones made a visit to Tulane this month, and he ultimately was swayed to join the Wave over the Mustangs.

We've been told that he projects as a linebacker, though other schools recruited Jones as a wide receiver or safety (and he played quarterback in high school).

Notably, he joins Tulane from his Memorial program in Port Athur, TX, where Texas Tech transfer Corey Dauphine also played his high school ball.

Jones became the 24th commitment (after 22 signees in December) for Tulane's 2018 recruiting class. That group currently ranks as the 4th best in the AAC and 71st in the country, according to 247.

Per tradition, this announcement has been Roll Wave'd by Coach Fritz.

Film

Here's Keitha working through WR drills at a Rivals camp last spring:

JANUARY 30, 2018

Fritzmas Tracker: Tulane Football Junior Day Report

2019 Recruiting Prospects visit the Green Wave

By JP Gooderham

At the moment, Coach Fritz and his staff are not only closing out one of Tulane's best recruiting classes in history; they are also teeing up the 2019 class.

Over the past weekend, Tulane Football hosted its Junior Day, so here's a briefing on 2019 prospects who hold a Green Wave offer and made the trip.

I'll not that this list isn't all-inclusive, as Tulane saw a lot of additional talent come to Uptown to check out the program (including some intriguing 2020 names).

Editor's note -- sorry for the wait. Our site was down with technical issues over the weekend, as you may have seen.

Tulane Football Junior Day

Jacob Bernard - Lakeshore, LA | WR (Offer)

Greg Brooks - West Jefferson, LA | DB (Offer)

Ishmael Burdine - Slidell, LA | DB (Offer)

Bertrand Carrell - Madison Prep, LA | DB (Offer)

Donald Clay - Curtis, LA | DB (Offer)

Bryton Constantin - University Lab, LA | LB (Offer)

Dylan Rathcke - University Lab, LA | LB (Offer)

Mike Hollins University Lab, LA | RB (Offer)

Gerron Duhon - Sam Houston, LA | WR (Offer)

Jha’Quan Jackson - Hahnville, LA | ATH (Offer)

Chester Kimbraugh - Easton, LA | DB (Offer)

Lance Legendre - Easton, LA | QB (Offer)

Brandon Legendre - Ed White, LA | RB (Offer)

BJ Lockhart - Walker High, LA | DB (Offer)

Khi Matheiu - St. Aug, LA | WR (2020 - Offer)

Jarius Monroe - East St. John, LA | DB (Offer)

John Plumlee - Oak Grove, MS | QB (Offer)

Jaquelin Roy - University Lab, LA | DL (2020 Offer)

Quintin Torbor - Destrehan, LA | WR (Offer)

Tyrone Lewis - Hammond, LA | DB (Offer)

Travis Mumphrey - Ehret, LA | QB

Jamel Cooley - Carver, LA | LB

JANUARY 24, 2018

Tracking Tulane's NFL Prospects with NFL Draft Bible

NFL Draft Bible joins FTW to break down the NFLPA Bowl

By JP Gooderham

Last week, CB Parry Nickerson and DE Ade Aruna were in Pasadena, CA for the NFLPA Bowl as they showcased their talent for NFL Scouts.

Rick Serritella, who has run NFLDraftBible.com since 2002, got a first hand look out west at both players' prospects for the next stage. Rick runs a great site, and you can find him on Twitter here too for scouting updates.

We're checking in with him to see how things went.

FTW: We were following your coverage of the NFLPA Bowl from Pasadena, so big thanks for all your work. Tulane had two seniors in attendance from our Defense: Ade Aruna and Parry Nickerson.

Overall, were those two prospects on your radar, and what did you expect from them coming in?

Rick, NFLDB: Coming into the NFLPA Collegiate Bowl, Parry Nickerson was one of the more underrated players based on his game film. His footwork and coverage abilities were that of a starting caliber cornerback, so it was to see that his skillset matched up when evaluating him in person.

While my study of Ade Aruna was not as in-depth leading into the all-star event, I was aware of his raw athleticism and size, he was viewed as a borderline draftable prospect.

FTW: You tweeted that Parry may be the best player on either roster coming into the week. What did you see out of him in California?

Rick, NFLDB: What we saw on film, was confirmed in practice throughout the week from Nickerson. He showed a smooth, fluid backpedal, great lateral movement going through cone drills and effortless change of direction.

When it came time to one-on-one drills, he proved more than capable covering the top wide outs in attendance and later showcased his ability to play effectively in a zone scheme during scrimmage action.

FTW: Aruna is really intriguing. For one, he's a tremendous athlete who has upside from starting football late in life.

On top of that, he had to do some things this year out of his natural fit to make up for personnel changes. How did his week go at showcasing his ability?

Rick, NFLDB: What scouts saw was an extremely athletic, lengthy player who oozes with potential.

The one term thrown around by scouts when discussing him was ‘raw’ but when you see him flash that burst on the edge, you see a lump of clay that NFL coaches are going to love to mold. He made himself some money during one-on-one trench warfare with quickness and active hands.

While he wasn’t asked to get after the quarterback a lot this past year, he certainly possesses the skill-set to play end in a 4-3 scheme. His best football is ahead of him.

FTW: Do you have a sense of where you would mock Nickerson and Aruna today? Do you have a feel for any teams where there could be an interest and fit?

Rick, NFLDB: As soon as day three rolls around, Nickerson will be a huge value if selected in the mid-rounds, which is where he currently projects. If he doesn’t get invited out to Indianapolis, it will be hard to boost his draft stock significantly more.

As for Aruna, he’s also expected to have to wait until pro day to perform in front of NFL scouts. Based on the agility and movement that was on display in Pasadena, expect him to test very well and work himself into consideration as a late day three developmental pick—he just possesses too much size/speed too pass up.

FTW: Beyond those two, do you have any other Wave players on your radar as potential picks?

I've been surprised that Dontrell Hilliard has not gotten more attention yet as one of our most productive backs in history, reminiscent of Orleans Darkwa a couple years back. LB Rae Juan Marbley had an excellent senior year. Is anyone jumping out to you?

Rick, NFLDB: With such a deep running back class this year, a player like Hilliard will be overlooked, simply due to the fact that there are many backs available with his measureables and he isn’t going to wow you in any one particular area. He does have the Green Wave running back lineage working in his favor, in addition to a highly productive career. He’ll need to test well to ensure he gets a look as an undrafted free agent.

Rae Juan Marbley will be battling the ‘undersized’ label. One player worth noting would be Jarrod Franklin, with his starting experience, active hands and ability to make plays in the backfield, he is also an undrafted free agent candidate.

JANUARY 08, 2018

Tulane Basketball Report: Week of Jan. 8

The Wave moves into the RPI Top 90. Previewing the week ahead.

By JP Gooderham

Here's your weekly report on Tulane Basketball (11-4 | 2-1 AAC), where we'll track what's at stake for the Green Wave.

Recap

The Green Wave is coming off a big week after taking down one of the conference's best at Devlin on Thursday night.

You can see our full recap here, but the short story: Tulane overcame a sluggish first half and turned around a 12-point deficit into a 73-70 victory over the Mustangs.

This victory for an 8.5-point underdog pushed Tulane into the RPI Top 90 and set up a chance for a really strong conference start (more on that).

In my mind, this is the biggest win for the program since the post-Clark era began, and we're just barely into January. Good times ahead.

Up Next: @ Memphis, UConn

First up, Tulane will head on the road to face the Memphis Tigers on Tuesday night. It's clear that these are not the Tigers of old, as they sit at #174 in the Ken Pomeroy rankings.

They have been better at home -- their only loss at the FedEx Forum was a 71-61 defeat at the hands of LSU.

Their shooting has been poor, as Memphis ranks #252 in field goal percentage and #338 in 3-point shooting (a good sign, since Tulane has been the 35th best team in the country at defending the three).

Memphis did sneak out a surprising win over Tulsa at home last week, so they have some momentum coming in after three straight double digit losses before beating the Golden Hurricane.

KenPom Prediction: 71-70 Tulane

TV: National, ESPN News

Then on Saturday, Tulane comes back to Devlin for a showdown with the UConn Huskies.

UConn just managed to get above .500 after struggling to get past one of the country's worst teams in East Carolina at home. They did finish off that win, but this 1-2 start in AAC play has not been encouraging to Huskies fans.

Still, UConn's name carries weight with folks, and the Wave will most likely be favored. Remember, the students will be back. That's a great sign after a solid crowd against SMU without them.

Finally, I like this matchup a lot. Huskies are a poor shooting team (#326 in FG %) and not particularly impressive on the boards (#141 in rebounds). That's typically the best recipe for Wave success this year.

KenPom Prediction: Tulane 73-68
TV: National, ESPN News

Big Picture

The win over SMU moves Tulane up to its season high in the Ken Pomeroy rankings at #125 in the country. More importantly, the team has been trending up in recent weeks.

The RPI rankings used by the NCAA and NIT committes are more bullish with the Green Wave moving into the Top 90:

On to two big matchups on national TV.

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