Tulane takes more depth into quest for second-straight winning season

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Willie Fritz
(Photo: Parker Waters)

The Tulane head coach volunteered the information, but only to make a point.

“We have had some great players at Tulane over the years,” said Willie Fritz. “But last season was only our sixth winning season in 37 years. We have a lot more to accomplish.

In year four in charge of the Green Wave, Fritz feels like he has something he hasn’t in the past – depth.

“There’s some spots, we have three veterans at some positions, that’s what we didn’t have when I first got here. We didn’t have very much depth,” said Fritz. “Most teams have 5-10 really good players that have a chance to play in the NFL. It is those guys that are 11 thru 45-50 that win championships.”

Tulane will again be bolstered by graduate transfers. Wide receiver Jalen McCleskey (Oklahoma State), defensive tackle Chris Hinton (Columbia), offensive lineman Christian Montano (Brown) and linebacker Malik Lawal (Arizona State) are all expected to be big contributors.

No one understands the power of transfers more than Fritz. With his team stuck at 2-5 last season, he turned to LSU grad transfer Justin McMillan at quarterback.

The Green Wave won five of the last six games, including the Cure Bowl.

Was it a tipping point on the way to sustained success?

“I had a couple of recruits in that I do a presentation to, about Tulane Football and the great players who have played here,” said Fritz. “Also, the great teams here at Tulane, the problem is hasn’t been done consistently. Year after year, after year. That’s what we want to achieve. Be a team that does it year after year.”

Tulane football will again be returning to the Superdome, not to play games but to practice as many as a half dozen times in the preseason. The Green Wave will also use the Saints practice facility, especially when the Saints practice August 15-16 in California.

The Saints play the Los Angeles Chargers on Sunday, August 18.

Is there a theme for the 2019 season?

Fritz chuckled and noted that no one was worried what Clemson’s theme was when the Tigers were an eight-win team.

“I am not a big theme guy. I have had some good themes, (laughter). You have real good players and good coaches, you win some games.”

Fritz noted that every player on the roster will get to show what they can do in the first 10 practices.

The kickoff of fall camp at Yulman Stadium has arrived but higher expectations were already here.

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Ed Daniels

Ed Daniels

WGNO Sports Director/106.1 FM

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…

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