Feb. 7, 2007
NEW ORLEANS, La. - Tulane University first-year head football coach Bob Toledo announced today the signing of 23 high school football players to national letters-of-intent on the first day of national signing day.
The 2007 class marks Toledo's first as the head coach of the Green Wave. He was tabbed as the 37th head football coach in school history on Dec. 11, 2006.
Among the 2007 class are eight players from the state of Louisiana, including five players from the New Orleans areas. The Louisiana natives include Cody Blackwelder (Ruston), Dominique Dade (Monroe), Antoine Duplessis (Violet), Tyler Helm (Covington), Devin Holland (Baton Rouge), Andrew Nierman (Harvey), Lamont Simmons (New Orleans) and Jordan Stephany (Luling).
The 23-member group is represented by players from around the region, including nine players from Texas, four from Georgia and one each from Alabama and Florida.
"I am very pleased with our 2007 class, especially since we came in so late and only had three weeks to recruit," Toledo said. "I thought our staff did an outstanding job. Our goals were to recruit players to each position and take care of needs with the style of offense we are going to run, and we accomplished both goals. We signed three fullbacks and two tight ends on offense and fulfilled our immediate needs in the secondary with three defensive backs.
"I strongly believe you can never have enough offensive and defensive linemen, and we signed a total of eight with five on offense and three on defense. We will recruit linemen every year because it takes time to develop these young players."
Toledo and his staff addressed both sides of the ball and special teams with 15 offensive players: one quarterback, two running backs and three fullbacks, two tight ends, two receivers and five offensive linemen. On the defensive side, TU inked seven players: three linemen, one linebacker, two cornerbacks and one safety. On special teams, the Green Wave landed a kicker/punter to provide depth in each area.
"Two of our assistant coaches, O'Neill Gilbert and Greg Jackson, each have strong ties within the state and they helped give our staff an immediate presence in Louisiana," Toledo said. "We visited over 80 high schools in the state in an effort to establish a relationship with the coaches and were successful. We have already begun the recruiting process for next season.
"I stated the day I was hired that Louisiana, and especially the New Orleans area, were going to be our primary concern when it comes to recruiting. We signed eight players from the state and total of five players from the New Orleans area, so I feel like we are off to a good start. I believe the previous staff had put together a pretty good class, so I thought it was imperative that we honor the commitment to those young men."
The Green Wave addressed priorities on both the offensive and defensive lines with the signing of five offensive linemen, including Texas natives J.D. Jeanes (Brookshire), Joey Ray (Spring) and Dhamari Thomas (Houston), ¬¬Andrew Higgins out of Duluth, Georgia and Nierman from nearby John Curtis High School.
Tulane beefed up its blocking in the backfield with three fullbacks-- Josh Smith from Thomaston, Ga., and the in-state duo of Blackwelder and Stephany, and added two tight ends-- Helm and Duplessis. Both positions will be prominently featured in TU's new multiple offense under Toledo.
The Wave also signed one quarterback, Joe Kemp from North Richland Hills, Texas, a pair of Texas running backs-- Andre Agers (Irving) and J.T. McDonald (Flower Mound)-- and a the receiving duo of Chandler Davis from Gulf Shores, Ala., and Tyler Echols from League City, Texas.
Tulane also attracted a trio of defensive backs to replace two secondary starters lost to graduation. The cornerbacks are Phillip Davis from Snellville, Ga., and Dade, while Holland is the lone safety in this year's class. The final newcomer on defense is Simmons, a linebacker from nearby O.P. Walker High School.
Season tickets for the 2007 Tulane football season are now on sale through the Tulane Athletics Ticket Office. Being a season ticket holder allows you to receive priority seating locations, lower prices than individual game ticket purchasers and the option to purchase additional tickets for the LSU & Mississippi State games at a lower price than the general public. Adult sideline seats are $200, while adult end zone seats are $100 and youth (under 18) end zone seats are just $80.
Tulane also offers a "Family Four Pack" which provides two (2) adults and two (2) youth tickets in end zone seating plus a special entertainment value coupon for the $280In addition, any person graduating from a Tulane undergraduate program in the last four years, or a Tulane graduate program in the last two years, can purchase up to two (2) 2007 Tulane football season tickets for just $100 each. Also, Tulane University Faculty & Staff receive a 50% discount on season tickets.
These Early Bird prices are only available until May 11. At that time, all ticket sales are subject to change. For more information, contact the Ticket Office at (504) 861-WAVE.
2007 Tulane Football Signing Class
Name Pos Ht. Wt. Hometown/High School Justin Adams DL 5-11 255 Missouri City, Texas/Thurgood Marshall HS Andre Agers RB 5-9 186 Irving, Texas/Bishop Lynch HS Cody Blackwelder FB 6-1 220 Ruston, La./Cedar Creek HS Brooks Cunningham DL 6-2 245 Norcross, Ga./Norcross HS Dominique Dade CB 5-9 190 Monroe, La./Neville HS Chandler Davis WR 6-0 180 Gulf Shores, Ala./Gulf Shores HS Phillip Davis CB 5-9 160 Suwanee, Ga./Peachtree Ridge HS Darren deRochemont P/K 5-9 190 Riverview, Fla./Armwood HS Antoine Duplessis TE 6-3 252 Violet, La./Holy Cross HS Taylor Echols WR 6-1 178 League City, Texas/Clear Creek HS Tyler Helm TE 6-4 230 Covington, La./St. Pauls HS/Fork Union Andrew Higgins OL 6-3 275 Duluth, Ga./Duluth HS Devin Holland DB 6-0 200 Baton Rouge, La./Istrouma HS J.D. Jeanes OL 6-6 279 Brookshire, Texas/Brookeshire Royal HS Joe Kemp QB 6-3 215 North Richland Hills, Texas/Richland HS J.T. McDonald RB 5-9 219 Flower Mound, Texas/Flower Mound Andrew Nierman OL 6-2 295 Harvey, La./John Curtis Joey Ray OL 6-3 308 Spring, Texas/St. Thomas Lamont Simmons LB 6-2 213 New Orleans, La./O.P. Walker Josh Smith FB 6-1 250 Thomaston, Ga./Upson-Lee Jordan Stephany FB/LB 6-0 240 Luling, La./Hahnville Dhamari Thomas OL 6-2 290 Houston, Texas/Galena Park Cedric Wilson DL 6-2 240 Sugar Land, Texas/Clements