Local Flavor Prevalent As Football Inks 22 On National Signing Day

TULANEGREENWAVE.COM Tulane head football coach Bob Toledo announced the addition of 22 incoming freshman, including seven New Orleanians and 11 Louisiana natives, during Wednesday's National Signing Day.
Tulane head football coach Bob Toledo announced the addition of 22 incoming freshman, including seven New Orleanians and 11 Louisiana natives, during Wednesday's National Signing Day.

Feb. 2, 2011

Tulane Signing Day Release in PDF Format Get Acrobat Reader | Watch Coach Toledo's Press Conference

Signing Day Central | Transcript from Signing Day Press Conference

NEW ORLEANS - Seven New Orleanians and 11 Louisiana natives highlight the Tulane University football team's incoming talent for the 2011 season as the Green Wave inked 22 prospects on National Signing Day, Green Wave head coach Bob Toledo announced Wednesday.

On offense, Tulane added four wide receivers, three tight ends, two offensive linemen, two quarterbacks and a pair of running backs. Defensively, the Green Wave inked five linemen, three defensive backs and one linebacker.

"The recruiting process has been going on for a year and we've worked extremely hard for this day," Toledo said. "I think the coaches have done a super job. We've signed 22 players, of which 11 are from the state of Louisiana, seven are from the New Orleans area, and 11 other players from nine different states. We've tried to recruit guys to give us quality depth at all positions and also to help us improve on special teams.

"We've always put an emphasis on recruiting the area. Right now, we've got 36 players on our team from Louisiana. We always want to get the best Louisiana kids and New Orleans kids that we can and I'd like to get more. We're making an effort to do that."

Highlighting the list of Green Wave signees are New Orleans natives Matthew Bailey (LB/Edna Karr HS), Lawrence Burl (DL/St. Augustine HS), Danté Butler (RB/Brother Martin HS), Marc Edwards (WR/St. Augustine HS), Robert Kelley (RB/O. Perry Walker HS), Brandon LeBeau (DB/McMain HS) and Renaldo Thomas (DB/St. Augustine HS). Also joining the Tulane team for the upcoming season are Louisiana products Leon Blouin, IV (QB/Geismer/Dutchdown HS), Devin Boutte (WR/New Iberia/Catholic HS), Sam Scofield (DB/Lafayette/St. Thomas More HS) and Evan Tatford (TE/Lafayette/St. Thomas More HS).

Aaron Bryant (DL/Katy, Texas/Seven Lakes HS), Josh Drum (TE/Hoover, Ala./Spain Park HS), Michael Pierce, Jr. (DL/Daphne, Ala./Daphne HS), Corey Redwine (DL/Fairburn, Ga./Creekside HS), Xavier Rush (WR/Terry, Miss./Terry HS), Nick SanGiacomo (QB/Barnegat, N.J./Barnegat HS), Justyn Shackleford (WR/Suwanee, Ga./Berkmar HS), Andrew Siden (DL/Natick, Mass./Natick HS), Nate Skold (OL/Omaha, Neb./Westside HS), Greg Thomson (TE/Skaneateles, N.Y./Christian Brothers Academy) and Arturo Uzdavinis (OL/Thonotosassa, Fla./Jesuit HS) round out the 2011 signing class.

Toledo's fifth class also includes nine three-star recruits (Bailey, Butler, Drum, Edwards, Kelley, SanGiacomo, Shackleford, Tatford and Thomas), according to the various scouting services - the most ever signed by the Green Wave and surpassing the former mark of eight back in 2009 - and Tulane has now inked a combined 24 three-star recruits over the last three seasons.

In addition, 15 Tulane signees are rated among the Top 200 nationally at their respective positions. Skold is rated the No. 8 overall prospect in Nebraska by Rivals.com and the No. 157 offensive tackle in the nation by ESPN.com, while Butler is listed as the No. 39 overall prospect in Louisiana by Rivals.com, the No. 121 running back nationally by ESPN.com and the No. 125 running back in the country by Scout.com

ESPN.com also rated SanGiacomo the No. 72 quarterback, Bailey the No. 106 safety, Blouin, IV the No. 149 quarterback, Scofield the No. 151 safety, Kelley the No. 153 running back, Edwards the No. 161 wide receiver, Uzdavinis the No. 161 offensive tackle, and Boutte the No. 196 wideout. According to Scout.com, SanGiacomo is the No. 75 quarterback, Thomson the No. 83 tight end, Thomas the No. 84 safety, Drum the No. 105 tight end, Bryant the No. 136 defensive tackle, Scofield the No. 168 safety, Kelly the No. 178 running back, and Edwards the No. 190 wide receiver. Siden, meanwhile, was listed as the No. 1 senior receiver prospect in the state of Massachusetts by MaxPreps.com

"Every year, the emphasis on recruiting is a little bit different," Toledo said. "We still want to get guys at all positions so we can create some quality depth across the board. I don't really know who is going to be able to contribute right away. We never would have imagined a guy like Orleans Darkwa would have the kind of year he had as a true freshman. You just never know how it's all going to pan out."

On offense, Blouin IV and SanGiacomo will join the quarterback hunt following their respective careers at Dutchtown and Barnegat high schools. Blouin IV was named honorable-mention all-state, first-team All-District 6-5A, all-metro and All-Ascension Parish, and was tabbed District MVP in 2010 after completing 70-of-118 passes for 1,054 yards and five touchdowns while running 177 times for 1,129 yards and 12 scores. SanGiacomo, meanwhile, completed his prep career with 6,351 yards and 55 touchdowns on 457-of-840 passing while running for 565 yards and 10 scores for a total of 6,957 yards of total offense.

At running back, New Orleans natives Butler and Kelley join the Tulane team from Brother Martin and O. Perry Walker, respectively. Butler wrapped up his high school career as the Crusaders' career record holder with 5,135 rushing yards and 65 touchdowns while Kelley posted career totals of 404 carries, 2,347 rushing yards, 25 rushing touchdowns, 28 receptions for 242 yards and three scores, and four two-point conversions.

Boutte, Edwards, Rush and Shackleford will bolster the Green Wave receiving corps. Boutte missed his senior season at Catholic High due to a knee injury, but was named first-team all-state as a junior after hauling in 70 passes for 1,426 yards and 17 touchdowns in 2009. Edwards caught 51 passes for 621 yards and 10 touchdowns during his career at St. Augustine, and Rush earned honorable-mention all-state honors as a senior at Terry High after tallying 51 receptions for 836 yards and eight scores. Shackleford, meanwhile, was an honorable-mention all-state selection as a senior at Berkmar High after catching 55 passes for 1,777 yards and 12 touchdowns.

Drum, Tatford and Thomson represent the influx of talent at tight end. Drum, who is already enrolled in classes at Tulane this spring, completed his prep career at Spain Park High in 2009 with 21 receptions for 268 yards. Tatford caught 27 passes for 327 yards and four touchdowns last year at St. Thomas More en route to earning first-team all-state and All-Acadiana honors. Thomson, meanwhile, was named third-team all-state, first-team All-Central New York and first-team all-league as a senior at Christian Brothers after snaring 25 passes for 401 yards and four touchdowns.

Defensively, linemen Bryant, Burl, Pierce, Redwine and Siden represent the biggest addition to one particular position for the Green Wave. Bryant posted 72 tackles, eight sacks, three forced fumbles and 15 tackles for loss as a senior at Seven Lakes High, and Burl was named first-team All-District 10-5A out of St. Augustine in 2010 after tallying 84 stops, 23 tackles for loss, 15 sacks, two blocked punts and an interception while scoring three defensive touchdowns.

Pierce is a familiar name to Tulane fans as his father, Michael Sr., lettered three years with the Green Wave and served as team captain in 1989. The younger Pierce was named first-team all-state and All-6A Region 2A honors as a senior at Daphne High after finishing the year with 82 tackles and spearheading a defense that limited opponents to just 9.5 points per game. Redwine claimed all-state, all-area and all-region honors last year at Creekside High following an 84-tackle, 14-sack senior campaign. Siden will look to make the shift from tight end at Natick High to defensive line, but did post 19 stops, two sacks and a safety as a senior while playing both ways throughout his prep career.

LeBeau, Scofield and Thomas will look to make their marks in the Tulane secondary next year after standout careers at McMain, St. Thomas More and St. Augustine, respectively. LeBeau played primarily at quarterback as a prepster, completing 61-of-121 passes for 881 yards and six touchdowns, running 159 times for 755 yards and 15 scores and hauling in four passes for 62 yards for his career. As a prep senior, Scofield was named first-team all-state and All-Acadiana MVP after posting 124 tackles, four interceptions and a blocked punt. Thomas, meanwhile, was an honorable-mention all-state selection and claimed first-team All-District 10-5A honors for the Purple Knights after tallying 77 tackles, 18 pass break-ups, four picks, two blocked punts and a pair of defensive touchdowns.

Bailey is the lone linebacker on the Green Wave signee listing and brings impressive credentials to the program after earning first-team all-state, all-district and all-metro honors last season and helping lead Edna Karr to a 13-2 overall record, the District 10-4A title and a state runner-up finish as a senior.

The 2011 Tulane football schedule features six home games, including the home opener against Southeastern Louisiana and a marquee matchup against Big East opponent Syracuse. Tulane will also host Conference USA foes Houston, Tulsa, Memphis and UTEP. Season ticket prices are only $180 for sideline seats, $90 for adult endzone, $60 for youth endzone and $240 for the Family 4 Pack (2 adult, 2 youth). Season ticket renewals will be mailed to 2010 season ticket holders in the near future.

For additional information or to order season tickets, please call the Tulane Athletics Ticket Office at (504) 861-WAVE (9283), log onto the internet at TulaneGreenWave.com, or show up in person at the ticket office located inside the James W. Wilson Jr. Center on Ben Weiner Drive.

2011 Tulane Football Signing Class

Name Pos. Ht. Wt. Cl. Hometown/High School
Matthew Bailey LB 5-10 210 Fr. New Orleans, La./Edna Karr HS
Leon Blouin, IV QB 5-11 185 Fr. Geismar, La./Dutchtown HS
Devin Boutte WR 5-9 175 Fr. New Iberia, La./Catholic HS
Aaron Bryant DL 6-3 210 Fr. Katy, Texas/Seven Lakes HS
Lawrence Burl DL 6-3 210 Fr. New Orleans, La./St. Augustine HS
Danté Butler RB 5-10 210 Fr. New Orleans, La./Brother Martin HS
Josh Drum TE 6-4 240 Fr. Hoover, Ala./Spain Park HS
Marc Edwards WR 6-1 180 Fr. New Orleans, La./St. Augustine HS
Robert Kelley RB 5-11 205 Fr. New Orleans, La./O. Perry Walker HS
Brandon LeBeau DB 5-11 190 Fr. New Orleans, La./McMain HS
Michael Pierce, Jr. DL 6-1 260 Fr. Daphne, Ala./Daphne HS
Corey Redwine DL 6-1 305 Fr. Fairburn, Ga./Creekside HS
Xavier Rush WR 6-2 195 Fr. Terry, Miss./Terry HS
Nick SanGiacomo QB 6-3 195 Fr. Barnegat, N.J./Barnegat HS
Sam Scofield DB 6-1 180 Fr. Lafayette, La./St. Thomas More
Justyn Shackleford WR 6-0 175 Fr. Suwanee, Ga./Berkmar HS
Andrew Siden DL 6-3 240 Fr. Natick, Mass./Natick HS
Nate Skold OL 6-7 290 Fr. Omaha, Neb.
Evan Tatford TE 6-5 240 Fr. Lafayete, La./St. Thomas More HS
Renaldo Thomas DB 6-3 205 Fr. New Orleans, La./St. Augustine HS
Greg Thomson TE 6-3 240 Fr. Skaneateles, N.Y./Christian Brothers Academy
Arturo Uzdavinis OL 6-7 290 Fr. Thonotossa, Fla./Jesuit HS