Back to Ball: Tulane opens spring football practice

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Green Wave to take part in 15 practices throughout spring camp

NEW ORLEANS – The Tulane football team opened its spring practice at Yulman Stadium on Tuesday morning, its first of 15 spring practices that will continue until the team’s Spring Game on April 13.

Offense was the topic of the day, as Tulane had its first spring practice under new offensive coordinator Will Hall. Hall has begun to install a faster-paced offense, and that caused segments of practice to finish faster than Head Coach Willie Fritz anticipated.

“There’s a lot of similarities to what we were doing [last year], there’s just a lot more tempo and we’re going a lot faster,” Fritz said. “We’ve got to [be able to] change tempos. There have to be times where you’re trying to milk the clock as much as you can, and there’s other times where you want to go as fast as you can.”

Hall, a former college quarterback who joined the Green Wave in December from Memphis, wants to use each of Tulane’s 15 practice days to get better. While he says the offense is not where he wants it to be right now, he knows the players have had plenty of new things to digest so far in the spring.

“We’ve thrown a lot of information at them in a short amount of time, and that causes you to play slow sometimes from a mental aspect,” Hall said. “We want to get them to where they’re reacting and not thinking. But we got a lot of stuff in, and we’ll keep pushing forward.”

For their part, the Green Wave players seem to be enjoying the new offense. Quarterback Justin McMillan, who is under his sixth offensive system in five seasons of college football, thinks this is one of the best offenses in which he’s played a role.

“So far I feel like this offense is one of the most versatile and diverse offenses I’ve been in,” McMillan said. “Honestly, I love it. It has a good pace, you can get in a good rhythm as a quarterback and with Coach Hall being a quarterback I feel he suits the offense to a quarterback’s hands.”

One of McMillan’s new weapons this season will be graduate transfer wide receiver Jalen McCleskey, the son of Green Wave secondary coach J.J. McCleskey. A former Oklahoma State receiver who racked up nearly 2,000 receiving yards and 17 touchdowns with the Cowboys, McCleskey will be eligible to play for Tulane in the fall.

“It felt good to get out here with the team, put the helmet back on, and I’m just ready to get better and get our timing down,” McCleskey said. “It takes a minute [to develop chemistry] especially in the new offense that we installed in the few weeks before spring started…but we’ve been building chemistry since the semester started.”

Tulane’s spring practice continues Thursday inside Yulman Stadium and concludes Saturday, April 13 with the annual spring game at Yulman Stadium.

Tulane opens the 2019 season on Thursday, August 29 at home against FIU with kickoff scheduled for 7 p.m.

Fans can purchase 2019 football season tickets in non-premium sections by visiting TulaneTix.com or by calling (504) 861-WAVE (9283). Season ticket deposits for premium sections are also on sale. All deposits are $50 and are non-refundable.

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Remaining Spring Football Practice Schedule
Date: Practice # – Time
Thursday, March 14: Practice #2 – 8:30-10 a.m.
Saturday, March 16: Practice #3 – 9-11 a.m.
Tuesday, March 19: Practice #4 – 8:30-10 a.m.
Thursday, March 21: Practice #5 – 8:30-10 a.m.
Thursday, March 21: Pro Day – Noon (will be held at the New Orleans Saints Indoor Facility)
Saturday, March 23: Practice #6 – 8:30-10 a.m.
Tuesday, March 26: Practice #7 – 8:30-10 a.m.
Thursday, March 28: Practice #8 – 8:30-10 a.m.
Saturday, March 30: Practice #9 – 8:30-10 a.m.
Monday, April 2: Practice #10 – 8:30-10 a.m.
Thursday, April 4: Practice #11 – 8:30-10 a.m.
Saturday, April 6: Practice #12 – 8:30-10 a.m.
Tuesday, April 9: Practice #13 – 8:30-10 a.m.
Thursday, April 11: Practice #14 – 8:30-10 a.m.
Saturday, April 13: Spring Game – 8:30-10 a.m.

*** – Please keep in mind that practice dates/times and location are subject to change – ***

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