Tulane Football 2017 Position Preview: Defensive Line

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Tulane Green Wave Football - Ade Aruna

NEW ORLEANS – Tulane football held a two-hour practice Wednesday morning at Yulman Stadium, as the focus shifted from preseason camp to the season-opening opponent – Grambling State.

With the first game of the 2017 season just 10 days away, the Green Wave began their game preparation and scout team work for the Tigers, which visit Yulman Stadium on Saturday, Sept. 2 for a 7 p.m. kickoff on  ESPN3.

“The first time you do this each year, it’s a little bit different,” head coach Willie Fritz said of the move to game preparation in practice. “Guys have to learn what they’re doing and how they’re helping us. One thing we have to do as coaches, is to find exactly what we’re looking for in every drill, in the tempo and the speed. Everything is full speed, but we don’t want collisions.”

As the 2017 season approaches, with just 10 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: defensive line.

The Green Wave return to the practice field Thursday morning for a workout Yulman Stadium. Practices are closed to the public.

Defensive Line
Tulane’s defensive line, like the rest of that side of the ball, is a veteran unit with plenty of experience on the field. The front line includes five contributing players in at least their fourth year on the uptown campus.

Seniors Sean Wilson, Eldrick Washington and Ade Aruna anchor the defensive line for the Green Wave. Wilson (Port Sulphur, La.) has played in 34 games with 23 starts, and totaled 84 tackles with 13.5 tackles for loss and six sacks. Washington (Harvey, La.), a fifth-year senior, has appeared in 28 games, notching 32 stops, including 6.5 TFL and four sacks. Aruna (Akure, Nigeria) has started 23 games at end, and recorded 82 tackles, 16 TFL and nine sacks in 32 career contests.

Redshirt junior Peter Woullard (New Orleans) has played in eight games and made four starts, collecting 13 tackles with a pair of sacks. Redshirt junior Robert Kennedy (Belle Chasse, La.) has played in 22 games with seven starts, logging 33 tackles and 3.0 TFL. Fourth-year junior Braynon Edwards (Miami, Fla.) has appeared in nine contests, all last season, while senior Paul Staudinger (Rye, N.Y.) also returns at tackle.

“We have a lot of guys coming back that have played a lot of football for us,” Fritz said. “Inside, Sean Wilson, Eldrick Washington, De’Andre Williams, Deion Rainey, Cameron Sample – those guys have big bodies and can stay at the point. We need to have a big year out of Ade Aruna. Peter Woullard – those guys have played a bunch of games here at Tulane University.”

While the front line is flush with experience, the Green Wave have several players in their first or second year. De’Andre Williams and Deion Rainey, both Baton Rouge, La., natives, are poised to contribute after a redshirt season in 2016. Patrick Johnson (Chattanooga, Tenn.) and Cameron Sample (Snellville, Ga.) are true freshmen expected to figure in the rotation at end. Nick Kubiet (Palm Coast, Fla.), Michel Scott (Tallahassee, Fla.), Torri Singletary Jr. (Baldwin, Fla.) and Justin Walton (Cleveland, Ohio)

“I feel good about two of the freshman – Cam Sample and Patrick Johnson – that they can really contribute this year,” defensive line coach Kevin Peoples said. “Then, they have the benefit of watching the older guys do things. The older guys have been good mentors. Right now, we’re in a good place, and we just have to keep improving.”

Season tickets, mini-plans and single game tickets 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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