Tulane football was front and center at the Conference USA Media Day activities. They were 2-10 last season, thanks to a series of issues, the tragic spinal injury to Devon Walker chief among them.
But quarterback Ryan Griffin, trying to make the Saints roster, was solid throughout. Coach Curtis Johnson expects some lively competition for the quarterback spot, starting with "Joe's Kid."
Said Johnson, "Nick Montana, he's a transfer from Washington. He's won a bunch of games at the junior college level, he'll be outstanding, he has the it factor. Devin Powell, big strong, physical, outstanding arm and you love watching him play. And then Tanner Lee is a freshman. In one high school game, he threw for 500 some yards and six touchdowns."
Whoever wins the quarterback competition with have targets such as Ryan Grant, who played every game last season, caught more than 1,200 yards worth of passes, and was money in the end zone.
Johnson went on to talk about the importance of the run game, and the ability to stop the run on defense. He thinks he has the personal and experience reach that goal at a higher level.
"I think we're better equipped. We played 13 freshman last year. 55 guys from the state of Louisiana are now on the team. And now I think we've got enough depth where we can start stopping the run and begin to run [ourselves], and it starts in the trenches."
Tulane opens its season Thursday, August 29, hosting Jackson State at the Mercedes-Benz Superdome. Kickoff is scheduled for 7 p.m.