Tulane Football 2017 Position Preview: Running Backs

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NEW ORLEANS – Tulane football worked out for two hours Thursday morning at the New Orleans Saints indoor facility, marking the 10th practice of preseason camp, then participated in a team outing in the afternoon.

The Green Wave visited the National WWII Museum on Thursday afternoon, taking an educational field trip to mix up the routine of camp.

As the 2017 season approaches, with just 23 days to kickoff, the units are rounding into shape, and previews of each position will follow on TulaneGreenWave.com in the coming days and weeks. Today: running backs.

The Green Wave return to the practice field Friday morning for a workout at the New Orleans Saints facility. Practices are closed to the public.

Running Backs
The Tulane backfield features a pair of seniors in Dontrell Hilliard and Sherman Badie, who have combined to rush for more than 3,000 yards in their careers, and a stable of young runners behind them.

Hilliard, a Baton Rouge native, ran for 759 yards and nine touchdowns last season, averaging 5.6 yards per carry. He has totaled 1,857 rushing yards and 18 scores in his career. Badie, meanwhile, has 1,167 career rushing yards and six touchdowns, with 405 receiving yards out of the backfield. The Metairie native is also a special teams threat, with 728 career kickoff return yards.

“It’s very important for us to make sure we have great backs in this offensive system,” head coach Willie Fritz said. “One thing we’re really working on is getting complete running backs. Dontrell is probably the leader right now in being able to run with the football inside, run with the football outside and block. We’re trying to get our guys to become more physical in the blocking aspect of the game. All of them are pretty good receivers. Sherman Badie could probably play wide receiver for us because he really does a good job running routes and catching the ball.”

Joining Hilliard and Badie in the offensive backfield is true freshman Stephon Huderson, a Petal, Miss., product, who enrolled at Tulane in January, and became acclimated with the offensive system during spring drills. Sophomore Darius Bradwell (Tallahassee, Fla.) transitioned to running back after playing last season at quarterback, where he rushed for 33 yards in three contests. Sophomore Andrew Zuckerman (Potomac, Md.) saw action in three games, compiling 26 yards on four carries. Miles Strickland (Madison, Ala.), who redshirted as a freshman last year, and junior Jared Bertrand (Covington, La.) mix in at the position, which goes seven runners deep this season. Sophomore Corey Dauphine (Port Arthur, Texas) will sit out the 2017 campaign after transferring from Texas Tech in the spring.

“The good thing about having veteran guys is they know what you’re thinking and know what you want things done,” running backs coach Jamaal Fobbs said. “They’re really honing in on that and staying together as a close group, and trying to be that force that we need to have.”

Season tickets and mini-plans are on sale now, and can be purchased by calling 504-861-WAVE (9283), logging onto TulaneTix.com or visiting the ticket office at the James W. Wilson Jr. Center. Season tickets that includes all six home games during the 2017 season start as low as $200 for a single book and $300 for a family four-pack. Mini plans include the 3rd & Goal package for $75 and the Homecoming & Lagniappe package for $65. Seats are available in locations throughout Yulman Stadium.

Follow Tulane football on Twitter, Facebook and @GreenWaveFB on Snapchat. Follow Tulane Athletics on Twitter, Facebook¬, Instagram and @TulaneAthletics on Snapchat.

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