Tulane offensive lineman McLeod readies for fifth year in program
Florida native is the lone scholarship player on Tulane’s roster before Coach Fritz’s arrival
NEW ORLEANS – A lot of things have changed with the Tulane University football team since the fall of 2015, but one thing that has stayed the same is the presence of Keyshawn McLeod on the Green Wave offensive line.
This fall, McLeod returns to the gridiron as the only scholarship player on the roster to have been on the roster Uptown before head coach Willie Fritz arrived.
The Port Charlotte, Florida, native who started in nine of the team’s 13 games last season, helped Tulane average 218.2 yards rushing and paved the way for over 300 yards on the ground in Tulane’s wins over Memphis, Tulsa, USF and Louisiana.
Heading into his final year in Olive and Blue, McLeod believes that everything has come together for the Green Wave, as it seeks back-to-back bowl wins for the first time in program history.
“Everybody’s competing right now, everyone comes out here and works hard,” McLeod said. “The defense is giving us really good looks and on offense, we’re putting it all together, piece by piece.”
When Fritz first came to New Orleans in 2016, McLeod didn’t find it very hard to adjust to the change in leadership because he was on the same page as the coaching staff when it came to winning.
“Right away he (Coach Fritz) came in and said we were going to change the culture around here,” McLeod said. “And that’s what he did. He doesn’t expect anything but wins.”
Though McLeod said he gives a lot of credit to the coaching staff in getting Tulane to where it is today, the coaches would agree that his influence on the younger players has helped raise the team’s standards.
“He’s done a phenomenal job coming in and being the leader you need him to be, no matter what the situation is,” offensive line coach Cody Kennedy said. “He’s headstrong about it and I think that goes along with the transformational process and being mature.”
Though 2018 was a big year for Tulane football, the fifth-year guard is certain that 2019 will be even better.
“That bowl game was last year. That was great for the program, but our coaching staff doesn’t expect anything but the best,” McLeod said. “We’re onto bigger and betting things, like conference championships and another bigger and better bowl game.”
Tulane practiced at the New Orleans Saints Indoor Facility for the second time during fall camp. The Green Wave will spend three of their next four practices indoors to escape the humid Louisiana summer days.
Tulane’s lone practice outdoors over the course of the next four days will take place under the lights at Yulman Stadium on Wednesday night.
Tulane opens the 2019 season on Thursday, August 29 at home against FIU with kickoff scheduled for 7 p.m. The Green Wave are coming off a memorable 2018 campaign that was highlighted by a win in the AutoNation Cure Bowl and an American Athletic Conference West Division Co-Championship.
For season ticket information, please call 504-861-WAVE (9283), log on to TulaneTix.com or visit the ticket office at the James W. Wilson Jr. Center.
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