April 3, 2008
NEW ORLEANS - The Tulane University football team's secondary will have a different look in 2008, with the movement of several players on defense announced Wednesday by head coach Bob Toledo, and the payoff will be added versatility to the defense.
Returning for the Green Wave in the defensive backfield are seniors Josh Lumar and Charles Harris, junior Matt Harding, sophomore Phillips Davis and redshirt-sophomore Alex Wacha, who sat out last season with an injury at cornerback. Redshirt freshman Dominique Dade joins the mix at cornerback.
At safety, the Wave features returners junior Chinoso Echebelem, sophomore Devin Holland, and newly added redshirt-freshman Lamont Simmons, who moved from linebacker. Senior David Skehan started last season at strong safety, but has moved to linebacker.
"What we're trying to do is we're trying to find the best four - or best five defensive backs for a nickel situation," Toledo said. "We're trying to find where people fit the best for us. That's the thing about spring ball. You get a chance to experiment with plays and with players.
"I think the big thing that it does for you is, in the fall when players get hurt, for example, some of these guys now can draw from their experiences from spring. We can adjust and, again, have the best players on the field as opposed to maybe having the second or third best player because he's just in that position. We want the best people to play the games. We want to have more flexibility within our team."
On the field Thursday, the quarterbacks threw in the regular 7-on-7 drills, team offense vs. defense periods, and the second and third team offense and defense scrimmaged to end the practice. Senior Scott Elliott completed 10-of-12 passes with one touchdown and one interception. Redshirt freshman Joe Kemp was 13-of-17 on the day with a touchdown, and sophomore Kevin Moore went 8-of-10 passing. The offensive play of the day was a touchdown connection from Elliott to senior wide receiver Brian King in the front corner of the end zone over King's shoulder despite tight coverage provided by Lumar.
The best defensive play of the practice included a David Kirksey interception. Elliott's pass intended for junior running back André Anderson was tipped and popped into the air where the junior linebacker plucked the ball for the interception.
"It was a good practice," Toledo said of Thursday's workout. "It wasn't a scrimmage-type atmosphere where we had a lot of scrimmage plays. But it was a good teaching environment, and a good learning environment, and there is a lot of enthusiasm."
Toledo said the scrimmage scheduled for Saturday will come at the end of practice. He wants to focus on practicing with the team and getting better, beginning with improving fundamentals in individual drills. The team will scrimmage special teams live, and end practice with a 45-50 play live scrimmage.
The Green Wave return to the practice field Saturday from 1:30-4 p.m. at the Westfeldt Facility. Fans who wish to see the Tulane football team in action during the spring can park for free on the sixth floor of the Collins Diboll Memorial Complex any time after 2:30 on midweek practice days.
Season tickets for the 2008 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 and lower prices than individual game ticket purchasers. Adult sideline seats are $180, while adult end zone seats are $90 and youth (under 18) end zone seats are just $72.
For more information on 2008 Tulane football tickets or tickets to any future Green Wave home athletic event, contact the Ticket Office at (504) 861-WAVE.