Tulane Football 2017 Position Preview: Safeties
NEW ORLEANS – Tulane football held its ninth practice of the preseason with a two-hour workout Wednesday morning on the turf at Yulman Stadium.
As the 2017 season approaches, with just 24 days to kickoff, the units are rounding into shape, and previews of each position will follow on www.TulaneGreenWave.com in the coming days and weeks. Today: safeties.
The Green Wave return to the practice field Thursday morning for a workout at the New Orleans Saints facility. Practices are closed to the public.
The Green Wave return seven safeties, including five that played in at least 11 games last year, and welcomed four newcomers to the roster for 2017.
Senior Jarrod Franklin and junior Roderic Teamer Jr. started every contest last season, while junior Taris Shenall, sophomores P.J. Hall, Sean Harper, Will Harper played in at least 10 games and sophomore Eric Lewis saw action in four games. Tirise Barge, Quentin Brown, Chase Kuerschen, Jaylon Monroe and Jeremy Allen all joined the team as freshmen this season.
“It’s a good group, a tough group,” head coach Willie Fritz said. “Three guys who are starting for us out there – Jarrod Franklin and Rod Teamer have started a bunch of games, and Taris Shenall has really stepped up and played well for us. Those three guys are tough-minded, they practice tough, and I think that helps with the rest of the team when they see the way those guys go about their work.”
Franklin and Teamer are the two leading returning tacklers on the defense, as the duo accounted for 79 and 58 stops, respectively. Each player picked off a pass, while Teamer, a New Orleans native, picked up four tackles for loss, and Franklin, a Baton Rouge native, forced and recovered a fumble.
Shenall, who hails from Marrero, La., started three contests, and tallied 24 tackles and an interception. Will Harper, a Memphis native, recorded 20 stops in 12 contests, and Hall, a Hoover, Ala., product, totaled eight tackles in 11 games with a pair of starts on defense. In addition, Sean Harper (Fayette County, Ga.) played in 10 games, and Lewis (LaPlace, La.) appeared in four contests.
The safety position is a veteran group for the Green Wave, but the older players are backed up and pushed by a talented freshman class. Barge came to Tulane from Colquitt County High School in Moultrie, Ga. Brown played at Conroe High School in Conroe, Texas. Kuerschen is a native of Knoxville, Tenn., where he attended Knoxville Catholic High School. Monroe came to Tulane from West Mesquite High School in Mesquite, Texas. Allen joined the Wave from Highland Park High School in Chicago, Ill.
“We’ve noticed in fall camp, how much these guys have progressed from a year ago,” said defensive coordinator and safeties coach Jack Curtis. “Once they’ve been in the system, learning the terminology and learning the things that we’re doing, you start to see improvement. Usually when you’re playing with a veteran secondary and you have seniors and juniors that have seen playing time, results are going to show up in a positive way. We’re able to do more because they have a better understanding of the game. We’re really pleased with where we are.”
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.
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