NEW ORLEANS, La. (WVUE) - Tulane’s 22 signees represent nine different states. But just as important, they landed nine players from the home state of Louisiana. Including two graduate transfers and Hahnville defensive tackle Adonis Friloux, who they were able to steal away from conference rival Houston.
“The grad transfer guys, Adonis, a bunch of these other guys that we signed early, Angelo Anderson, they want to stay here at home. Sometimes guys go away and figure out the grass isn’t always greener,” said Willie Fritz.
Guys like receiver Mykel Jones, who joins the Green Wave after spending the last four years at Oklahoma, follow the path of last year’s graduate transfer Jalen McCleskey. Like McCleskey, a Covington native, Jones wanted to make his way back closer to his home town of Patterson. Coach Fritz says it’s a trend that’s not a coincidence.
“If I told you how many grad transfers have entered the portal and contacted us and wanted to transfer back, that we haven’t been able to take, you’d be surprised,” said Fritz.
Obviously, though, the position that everyone wants to talk about is quarterback with the departure of two-year starter Justin McMillan leaving the door open for a much younger player to step up in his place. Head coach Willie Fritz says the most important thing to that position right now is everyone around it.
“Where we’re at right now is we just have a lot more depth than we’ve ever had. It doesn’t matter... If the offensive line doesn’t do a good job blocking or the receivers don’t get open and the running backs don’t protect as well, it doesn’t matter what that quarterback does,” said Fritz.
Fritz didn’t rule out the possibility of a freshman quarterback winning the job either. In fact, he says the reason they’re starting spring practice at the end of the month is to get an early grasp of the talent they have on the roster. Incoming freshman Justin Ibieta, who we’ve seen shred defenses at Country Day for years now, is already going the extra mile to give himself a shot to see the field in the fall.
“I’ve started watching film with the coaches. I’m just trying to learn as much as I can with them,” said Country Day QB Justin Ibieta.
Given what they’re replacing, there may be growing pains for Tulane, but there’s no doubt that they’ve taken strides forward with back to back winning seasons and another strong recruiting class.