Tulane Football 2020 Preseason Notebook

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Tulane football
(Photo: Parker Waters)

GREEN WAVE LOOKS TO BUILD OFF MEMORABLE 2019 SEASON
• Tulane football opens 2020 with hopes of building off a memorable 2019 campaign that saw the Green Wave win five of their first six games and ended the year with a win in the Lockheed Martin Armed Forces Bowl.
• The Green Wave’s bowl win was their sixth in program history and the first time the Olive and Blue won bowl games in back-to-back seasons.
• Tulane will look to appear in three straight bowl games for just the first time in program history.

FIVE YEARS WITH FRITZ
• Willie Fritz begins his fifth year (28th overall) as the Green Wave’s head coach.
• In each of his previous four seasons, Tulane has protected its home turf compliling a 15-9 home record overall and a 13-5 record at Yulman Stadium in the last four seasons.
• Fritz led the Olive and Blue to a 5-1 home record last season.

A TOUGH ROAD AHEAD
• The Green Wave will once again face a competitive schedule, as they face off against six teams who earned a bowl bid in 2019.
• Tulane’s 2020 opponents posted a combined mark of 82-54 during the 2019 season.
• The Green Wave’s 2019 slate ranked as the 61st toughest schedule in the nation (NCAA.org), as Tulane opponents posted a mark of 89-76.

FIRST YEAR OF HALL BALL: A SUCCESS
• Tulane exploded on offense under first-year offensive coordinator Will Hall.
• The Green Wave set a single-season school record with 5,841 yards of total offense.
• The Olive and Blue’s 3,162 yards rushing were also a single-season school record.
• Tulane’s 299 first downs was the third offensive single-season school record in 2019.
• The Green Wave rushed for 30 touchdowns for just the third time in program history.
• Tulane rushed for over 300 yard on four occasions and ranked 11th nationally in rushing yards per game in 2019.
• During his lone season at Memphis, Hall helped guide the Tigers to a school record 42 rushing touchdowns during the regular season. In addition, Memphis finished the regular season with 3,311 rushing yards, which set a new school record.
• Hall joined the Tulane coaching staff prior to the Green Wave’s appearance in the 2018 AutoNation Cure Bowl.

AMARE CAN DO IT ALL
• As a sophomore in 2019, Amare Jones continued his success on special teams and established himself as one of the top all-purpose backs in The American.
• He finished 2019 with 873 combined kick return yards – a figure that ranked second in The American and fifth in the nation.
• He also ranked seventh with 1,611 single-season all-purpose yards in 2019.
• Jones surpassed 100 all-purpose yards in seven games last season.
• He now has 1,245 kickoff return yards in his career.

RED ZONE SUCCESS
• Tulane finished the 2019 season second in The American and ranked 27th nationally in red zone conversion percentage at .898.
• The Green Wave’s .7143 touchdown percentage in the red zone were good enough for 16th nationally and second among American teams.
• The Olive and Blue’s defense stood tough in the red zone, only allowing opponents to score touchdowns 51.02 percent of the time. This number was second in The American and 22nd nationally.

THE NO FLY ZONE
• During the 2019 campaign, the Green Wave established themselves as one of the American Athletic Conference’s top passing defense units.
• The Green Wave also ranked third in the league and 31st nationally in interceptions, finishing with 12.
• Tulane ranked third in The American and 26th nationally in passes defended with 63.

ELEVEN PLAYERS NAMED PRESEASON ALL-AAC BY PHIL STEELE MAGAZINE
• Eleven Tulane University football players earned Preseason All-American Athletic Conference honors from Phil Steele Magazine.
• Seniors Patrick Johnson and Corey Dublin headlined the list, as they were both named first team. Senior Cameron Sample, junior Amare Jones and redshirt freshman Ethan Hudak each collected second team recognition. Senior Jaylon Monroe was selected third team.
• Redshirt freshman Tyjae Spears, graduate transfers Mykel Jones and Kevin Henry, sophomore Sincere Haynesworth and junior Amare Jones rounded out the Tulane list of honorees as they were each named fourth team All-AAC.

TULANE ADDS FIVE GRADUATE TRANSFERS
• Tulane added graduate transfers Kevin Henry, Mykel Jones, Ajai Kerr, Jaylen Miller and Kyle Meyers over the offseason. All four student-athletes will be able to compete immediately.
• Henry comes to Tulane after he spent the past four seasons at Oklahoma State University. During his career at Oklahoma State, Henry played in 36 games and amassed 50 career tackles. He played in 12 games, recorded 23 tackles and tallied 1.5 tackles for loss last season.
• Jones arrives in New Orleans following a stellar career at Oklahoma where he totaled 33 career receptions for 495 yards. His best year at OU came in 2017 when he logged 16 catches for 310 yards and one touchdown. He helped guide the Sooners to the College Football Playoff Semifinals against Georgia in 2017.
• Miller begins the 2020 campaign following a career at Duke. He played in nine games for the fifth ranked offensive line in the ACC in sacks allowed. Miller also helped the Blue Devils rank 15th nationally in tackles for loss allowed in 2019.
• Kerr saw action in five games at Georgia Tech and made one start in 2019 before missing the rest of the season due to injury. In 2018, he finished eighth on the team 39 tackles, fourth with two pass breakups and fifth with four special teams tackles.
• Meyers arrives in Uptown after playing four years at Florida State. During his career at FSU, Meyers in over 35 career games and made over 50 career tackles. In high school, he was rated as a four-star cornerback and the Holy Cross graduate was ranked the No. 15 player in the state of Louisiana by Scout and the No. 17 player by Rivals and 247Sports.

GLOVER IN THE RECORD BOOKS
• Redshirt senior kicker Merek Glover has put himself in the Tulane recordbooks with his play.
• Glover will come into the 2020 season ranked fourth in PATs made (124) and PATs attempted (131), sixth in most kicking points (217) and eighth in field goals made (31) and PAT percetage (.947).
• Glover came to Tulane as a walk-on and was nominated for the 2019 Burlsworth Trophy, which is given to the most outstanding football player that started their career as a walk-on.

SACK ARTIST
• Senior defensive end Patrick Johnson has made a name on the defensive line during his three seasons Uptown. He has led the team in sacks the last two seasons and currently ranks seventh in program history with 14.5 career sacks. Johnson has also amassed 25.5 tackles for loss in his career.
• The Chattanooga, Tennessee, native earned Second Team All-Conference honors in the 2019 season. If he is named All-AAC in 2020, Johnson will be just the third player in Tulane history to earn All-AAC in three seasons.

FEARSOME FOURSOME
• The Green Wave defensive line of junior Jeffery Johnson and seniors Patrick Johnson, Cameron Sample and DeAndre Williams has become one of the most consistent forces at Tulane. The foursome has started a combined 97 games in their careers.
• Sample leads the way with 27 career starts, Patrick Johnson has 26, Williams brings 25 and Jeffrey Johnson rounds out the group with 19 career starts.
• The group has also stepped up defensively as they combined for 167 total tackles, 9.5 sacks and 21 tackles for loss. The foursome accounted for 21.1 percent of the Green Wave’s total tackles, 45 percent of the sacks and 29 percent of the tackles for loss.

RUNNING DEEP AT RUNNING BACK
• The Tulane running back room will be one of the deepest in the country as it returns senior Stephon Huderson, junior Amare Jones, redshirt freshman Tyjae Spears and redshirt sophomores Cam Carroll and Ygenio Booker. The returing running backs combined for 1,312 rushing yards and 11 rushing touchdowns in 2019.
• The Green Wave will return 56.1 percent of their rushing yards from running backs in the 2019 season.

SUCCESS AT HOME
• With a 5-1 record at Yulman Stadium last season, the Green Wave finished the last three seasons with a 4-2 or better record.
• Throughout the course of its 126-year program history, Tulane has
• posted home winning streaks of five-or-more on just 14 different
• occasions.
• Tulane’s seven-game winning streak at home through the 2018 and 2019 seasons was tied for the10th longest in program history and the longest in Yulman Stadium history.
• In six home games last year, the Green Wave averaged 42.7 points,
• 314.8 rushing yards and 226.0 passing yards per game.

HOMETOWN BOYS
• Located in the iconic city of New Orleans, the Tulane football team has made a habit of keeping its local players at home. The 2020 roster features seven student-athletes who hail from New Orleans.
• Defensive lineman Angelo Anderson (John Curtis), offensive lineman Corey Dublin (Jesuit), quarterback Justin Ibieta (Country Day School), offensive lineman Cameron Jackel (Archbishop Shaw), offensive lineman Colby Orgeron (John Curtis), tight end Connor Prouet (Jesuit) and offensive lineman Josh Remetich (Holy Cross) all played high school football in New Orleans.

MOONEY & KEYES DRAFTED; THREE OTHERS EARN ROSTER SPOTS
• Tulane University wide receiver Darnell Mooney was selected as the 28th pick in fifth round (173 overall) by the Chicago Bears and cornerback Thakarius Keyes was taken as the 23rd pick of the seventh round (237) by the Kansas City Chiefs in the 2020 NFL Draft.
• Their selections mark the fourth consecutive season a Green Wave student-athlete has been taken in the NFL Draft. Mooney and Keyes also become the 147th and 148th Tulane players chosen in the NFL Draft in program history, respectively.
• As a senior in 2019, Mooney led the Green Wave with 48 receptions, 745 yards and five touchdowns. He was also the team leader with 57.3 average yards per game. Mooney broke out during his junior season when he hauled in 47 receptions, 993 yards and eight touchdowns. He was named Second Team All-AAC honors after the 2018 season.
• Mooney left his mark on the recordbooks at Tulane as he is sixth in receiving yards (2,572), eighth in touchdown receptions (19), ninth in 100-yard games (seven) and 11th in receptions (154).
• Keyes made 12 starts last season and recorded 47 tackles and one interception. He was second on the team and first among cornerbacks with five pass breakups. The Laurel, Mississippi, native marked the fifth straight year a cornerback from Tulane was taken in the NFL draft.
• Keyes ended his career in Uptown with 20 pass breakups.
• Former Tulane offensive linemen Christian Montano, running back Darius Bradwell and wide receiver Jalen McCleskey inked free agent contracts with the Pittsburgh Steelers, the Los Angeles Chargers and the Atlanta Falcons, respectively.

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