Tulane set to reap benefits of football transfer talent
In college football, it is the NFL’s answer to unrestricted free agency.
The ability to acquire talent via transfer is not as important as signing and developing your own players. It is a key component, nonetheless.
After spring football, LSU landed Ohio State graduate transfer quarterback Joe Burrow, who is now the presumed starter in Baton Rouge.
Meanwhile, Tulane head coach Willie Fritz and his staff have also been busy adding transfer talent.
Wide receiver Freddy Canteen, who started his college career at Michigan and then moved on to Notre Dame, figures to be a big part of the Tulane passing game this fall.
In preseason practice, left tackle Noah Fisher, a second team all-Sun Belt performer, has been running with the Wave’s first team. The grad transfer started 25 consecutive games at South Alabama.
Tulane also added running back Corey Dauphine, who is eligible now after transferring from Texas Tech. In high school in Texas, Dauphine was a state 200-meter champion.
On the first day of practice, Fritz said he makes sure when he brings in a player that the individual fits in with his program. However, once a player passes a vetting process, history shows the impact they can make on a team’s won-loss record is significant.
In 2013, Tulane won six games and a New Orleans bowl berth. The club’s leading rushers, Orleans Darkwa and Rob Kelley along with the Green Wave’s interception leader Lorenzo Doss, all played in the National Football League.
The ’13 Green Wave squad was also given a boost from two important transfers, quarterback Nick Montana and defensive tackle Chris Davenport.
Davenport, a much heralded five star recruit who never could get consistent playing time at LSU, was very good in Olive and Blue. In the middle of the Green Wave defense, he was a stout run defender. That’s something a non-Power 5 program like Tulane is always searching.
For years, I argued for junior college players to be part of the Tulane football footprint.
Former head coach Wally English flooded the school with JUCOs, but this will never be a huge part of Tulane’s mission as a university. Yet, two or three every year could make a huge impact.
Targeted transfer additions, especially on the offensive and defensive line, can help a head coach tremendously. It is not acting outside the school’s academic mission. It is about not tying your head coach’s hands and then expecting him to compete in a league where other teams have access to that player.
Tulane does have a lot to sell. The academics are first rate, and the coaching staff is stable. Willie Fritz is under contract till 2023, and his coaching staff each year has little or no turnover.
Coaching stability is a selling point, indeed. There are not many places in college football where a player can go, and the coach can say that he and his staff will be there.
This week, Tulane added quarterback Keon Howard. The transfer from Southern Miss knows the situation. He can sit out 2018 and be in prime position to compete for the starting job next spring.
But first things first.
If Tulane does go to a bowl this year, the Green Wave’s efforts to bring in quality transfers will likely be a significant part of the story.
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WGNO Sports Director/WGSO 990am
Ed is a New Orleans native, born at Baptist Hospital. He graduated Rummel High School, class of 1975, and subsequently graduated from Loyola University. Ed started in TV in 1977 as first sports intern at WVUE Channel 8. He became Sports Director at KPLC TV Channel 7 in Lake Charles in 1980. In 1982 he was hired as sports reporter…