Grad transfers open eyes on first day of Tulane preseason camp

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Yulman Stadium

NEW ORLEANS – Continuity is a big reason why there’s optimism at Tulane heading into the 2018 football season.

Cases in point: A coaching staff that has remained fully intact for three years. A returning starter at quarterback. Another 17 starters back.

But as the Green Wave opened preseason drills Wednesday inside Yulman Stadium, two players participating in their first full practices with the team were among those drawing the most attention.

Graduate transfers Freddy Canteen and Noah Fisher both saw reps with the first offensive unit during team drills.

Canteen, who transferred this summer from Notre Dame after beginning his career at Michigan, caught a pair of long passes from quarterback Jonathan Banks during the 11-on-11 period, while Fisher was at left tackle, the same spot he started all of 2017 at South Alabama.

“We got some guys that we think are going to be able to play right away,” Tulane head coach Willie Fritz said of Canteen and Fisher. “If you can get some (transfers), that’s great.”

Fritz said his preference is to “develop guys who are in the program,” but isn’t against taking a transfer who can be a fit. Sometimes, he said, “guys are disenchanted or want a change of scenery.”

“Freddy Canteen, one of my former coaches recruited and coached him at Michigan,” Fritz said, “and had nothing but great things to say about him.

“We recruited (Fisher) a little bit when he was coming out of high school when were at Georgia Southern, so we had a little bit of a relationship with him. After having him here on the visit and getting to meet his family, you could tell he’d be a great fit here.”

Canteen – who started two games as a true freshman at Michigan in 2014 and caught a touchdown pass against Ohio State – has battled injuries throughout his career but has a clean bill of health entering the season.

“I feel good now,” he said. “I think this system is great for me.

“They’ve done a tremendous job of easing me in. It hasn’t been too hard (getting acclimated).”

Fisher started 25 games over the last two seasons in Mobile and went through spring practice with the Jaguars before deciding to transfer.

“I just wanted something different my last year,” he said. “This is a great place. The transition was way easier than I thought it would be.”

Banks welcomes the opportunity to add two veteran players into the mix.

“They were able to come in (during the summer), work out hard and do some of the extra work,” Banks said.

He added specifically about Canteen, “It’s always good when you’ve got a vertical threat.”

Tulane opens its season Aug. 30 at home against Wake Forest.

Video: Willie Fritz, Jonathan Banks, Noah Fisher, Freddy Canteen, Rod Teamer

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Lenny Vangilder

Lenny Vangilder

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Lenny has been involved in college athletics since the early 1980s, when he began working Tulane University sporting events while still attending Archbishop Rummel High School. He continued that relationship as a student at Loyola University, where he graduated in 1987. For the next 11 years, Vangilder worked in the sports information offices at Southwestern Louisiana (now UL-Lafayette) and Tulane;…

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