Tulane Football 2017 Position Preview: Offensive Line
NEW ORLEANS – Tulane football completed its 19th preseason practice with a two-hour workout Tuesday morning at the indoor facility of the New Orleans Saints in Metairie.
As the 2017 season approaches, with just 11 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: offensive line.
The Green Wave return to the practice field Wednesday morning for a workout Yulman Stadium. Practices are closed to the public.
The Tulane offensive line will be a young group in 2017, with three redshirt juniors and four redshirt sophomores carrying the flag as veterans of the group. The unit paved the way for a prominent rushing attack that totaled 2,737 yards on the ground in 2016, and returns two full-time starters from that group.
Redshirt junior tackle John Leglue (Alexandria, La.) has played in 24 career games, including 12 starts last year, while redshirt sophomore guard Leeward Brown (Miami, Fla.) started all 12 contests in 2016. Redshirt junior center Junior Diaz (Miami, Fla.) has started seven of his 15 career contests, despite missing the final nine games last season due to injury.
Meanwhile, junior Dominique Briggs (Tulsa, Okla.), a transfer from Coffeyville Community College, enrolled for the spring semester, and began fall camp at the top of the depth chart at guard, and redshirt sophomore Keyshawn McLeod (Port Charlotte, Fla.), who appeared in two games last season, was listed atop the depth chart at tackle.
“Overall I’ve been pleased. I think we had a really good summer, and the offseason conditioning is showing,” Alex Atkins, assistant head coach/offensive line coach, said. “Getting a couple of hours a week during the summer really helped us, especially with our group. We’re going to end up playing a lot of guys that haven’t taken a lot of snaps. We’re really young and we don’t have any seniors. I’ve been impressed with our work ethic and our hard-hat mentality. We’ve taken on the theme of being smart and tough.”
Sophomore Tyler Johnson (Stone Mountain, Ga.) played in the final five games last season, making four starts. Redshirt sophomore John Washington (West Monroe, La.), who spent last season on the defensive line playing in 10 games with a pair of starts, moved over to the offensive side of the ball, while redshirt junior Devon Johnson (Amite, La.) has seen action in 12 career games. Redshirt sophomore Brian Webb (New Orleans) rounds out the returning linemen.
The newcomers of Briggs, graduate transfer Hunter Knighton (Pottstown, Pa./University of Miami) and freshmen Corey Dublin (New Orleans), Joey Claybrook (Starkville, Miss.) and Cameron Jackel (Marrero, La.) will likely have a major impact on the composition of the offensive line this season.
“Some of the older guys haven’t taken a lot of snaps, so they are younger on the field,” Atkins said. “We’re one group trying to get to that goal to be one of the best groups on the field, and we’re working toward that goal.”
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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