March 9, 2013
New Orleans - The Tulane football team completed its second spring campaign under head coach Curtis Johnson this morning with a 65-play scrimmage that was highlighted by a pair long touchdown throws by redshirt freshman quarterback Devin Powell while senior receiver Ryan Grant grabbed a pair of touchdown passes in the 15th and final practice at the Saints Indoor Facility.
It was alumni weekend for the Green Wave and many former Tulane stars returned to the Crescent City and were on hand this morning to watch the current crop of Tulane football players. Among the group was former TU quarterback standouts Shaun King and Terrence Jones, along with the Green Wave's all-time rushing leader, Mewelde Moore.
And the group wasn't disappointed with what they saw. Following a slow start on the first couple of series, Grant drew everyone's attention when he took a short pass from Powell on the left side, discarded a would-be tackler and sped 80 yards for a touchdown, once again showing why he was a 2012 Conference USA first team performer.
Powell then kept his foot on the gas when he found redshirt freshman receiver Kedrick Bank, who made a nice over-the-shoulder catch, on the left sideline for a 35-yard gain. Powell eventually chalked up his third throw of 40+ yards and his second scoring strike when he connected with senior receiver Wilson Van Hooser for a 40-yard scoring strike.
Not to be outdone, junior quarterback Nick Montana threw one score to Grant on a 20-yard hook-up and then ran a boot-leg around the left side for a one-yard touchdown. Montana also had several nice scrambles on the day.
"I thought today was outstanding, especially with the play of our quarterbacks," Tulane head coach Curtis Johnson said. "Devin Powell had big, big day with several touchdowns and I thought Nick Montana moved around well and was very accurate.
"Ryan Grant also had a big day. He comes to play every day and we know he's around because he always makes big plays. Today, he had another when he took a short pass from Powell and took it the distance. There is no question he is our best receiver."
The Tulane defense also had its share of big moments. Sophomore cornerback Lorenzo Doss made a nice play on a Joseph pass and managed to put the old tip drill to good use when he tipped the ball into the waiting arms of junior safety Brandon LeBeau for the only turnover of the scrimmage.
Junior defensive tackle Kenny Tackle and senior defensive tackle Julius Warmsley made several stops at the line of scrimmage, while seniors defensive backs Jordan Sullen and Derrick Strozier were not only good against the pass but came up to thwart several potential big plays by the offense.
The hit of the day easily went to sophomore linebacker David Laborde, who laid out junior receiver Justyn Shackleford near the goal line on a pass play over the middle, and drew a very vocal response from the football alums.
"Defensively, I thought Darion Monroe played well and had a bunch of tackles. There were several other players who made big plays like Julius Warmsley, Chris Davenport, Dominique Robertson and Lorenzo Doss," Johnson said.
"Overall, we are light years ahead of where he wanted to be at the end of spring practice. The quarterbacks are playing well and that was a huge area of concern coming in, but I feel very good about what we have and how they performed. We were able to install everything we wanted on both sides of the ball," Johnson added.
Following today's practice, the Tulane coaching staff handed out several individual awards for the spring. Among the award winners were Grant, who earned the outstanding offensive for the spring, while Robertson collected the same honor on defense.