Sophomore quarterback Devin Powell and the Green Wave capped an action-packed Monday with a 20-period practice at the New Orleans Saints Indoor Facility on the first day preseason camp.
The day opened at 10 a.m. in the James W. Wilson, Jr., Center with a full-team meeting where the members of the Green Wave were greeted by the coaching staff and received talks from the support departments, including athletic communications, compliance, training staff, equipment staff and the strength and conditioning coaches. From there, the Tulane team headed to Bruff Commons for a bite to eat and returned to Wilson for positional meetings and later boarded busses an extended practice in helmets, jerseys and shorts.
"I thought it was the best of our firsts," Tulane head football coach Curtis Johnson said. "We looked like we knew what we were doing. Even the young kids were beginning to pick it up. I thought the quarterbacks looked pretty sharp today...probably in mid-season form. We got the plays off, we ran well. We had a couple of forced turnovers and those three freshmen receivers (Terren Encalade, Leondre James and Teddy Veal) were very, very impressive."
Following a few drills to get loose, the Green Wave began team stretching exercises and went through the usual barrage of drills. While most of the day was a focus on teaching and technique, the practice was not without it standouts as running backs Sherman Badie, Danté Butler and Lazedrick Thompson took turns showing off their moves, the quarterbacks and receivers made several nice connections and the defense made some big plays as well.
The Green Wave return to the practice field on Tuesday, Aug. 5, with an open-media session starting at 8:30 a.m. at the Saints Indoor Facility. From there, Tulane will hold an open practice on Wednesday at a nearby, off-campus facility on Wednesday and a closed practice at the Saints Facility in addition to the annual Media Day festivities at the Wilson Center on Thursday. The Wave will don full pads for the first time with an open practice on Friday at the Saints Facility before capping week one with their first two-a-day on Saturday. The first session of double session will be an open scrimmage at 8:30 a.m. at Tad Gormley Stadium before concluding the day with a closed session at the Saints Facility at 3:30 p.m. Saturday's scrimmage is open the public and admission is free.
Tulane will kick off the 2014 season on Thursday, Aug. 28, when the Green Wave travel to Oklahoma to take on fellow American newcomer Tulsa at 7 p.m. on the CBS Sports Newtwork before opening the home portion of the schedule on Saturday, Sept. 6, against Georgia Tech at 3 p.m. in the new, on-campus Yulman Stadium in front of a national audience on ESPNews.
For season ticket information, which features packages starting as low as $200, contact the Tulane Athletics Ticket Office at (504) 861-WAVE (9283). The Tulane Ticket Office is located on the first floor of the James W. Wilson, Jr. Center and is open weekdays from 8:30 a.m. to 5 p.m. For additional information, log onto the official website at www.TulaneGreenWave.com.
TULANE FOOTBALL DAY ONE PRACTICE NOTES
Let's Get It Started: The Tulane football team opened its third preseason camp under head coach Curtis Johnson on Monday and hope abounds for the Green Wave as they begin a new era as members of the American Athletic Conference. After leading the 2-10 mark in his first season at the helm of the program, Johnson guided the team to a 7-win campaign and a trip to the R+L Carriers New Orleans Bowl - Tulane's first bowl since the 2002 campaign - last season.
Player Of The Day: While several individuals stood out during the first day of practice, sophomore quarterback Devin Powell got the hot hand and connected on three consecutive touchdown strikes of 40 yards during one-on-one passing drills. He first hit senior wide receiver Xavier Rush with a high, arching toss and later found junior Marc Edwards on a similar pattern. The third went to sophomore wideout Devon Breaux.
Play Of The Day: While Powell drew Player of the Day honors, true freshman receiver Teddy Veal made the play of the day with an acrobatic catch over All-American cornerback Lorenzo Doss in one-on-one drills. Lining up wide and drawing a defender who snared seven interceptions in 2013, Veal streaked toward the endzone and it originally appeared as if Doss would pick off redshirt-freshman quarterback Tanner Lee's offering with a leaping effort. As receiver and cornerback began to decend, Veal ripped the ball out of Doss' hands to spark a round of cheers from his teammates.
Quote of the Day: "You had to be Superman to snag that pass." - Senior cornerback Taurean Nixon to fellow corner, sophomore Richard Allen, who was unable to reach an overthrown ball during a one-on-one drills between receivers and defensive backs.
Welcome Back: Redshirt-freshman linebacker Luke Jackson returned to practice for the first time since last November. Jackson was diagnosed with testicular cancer in mid-November of 2013 and battled the disease this past spring. Jackson is now cancer free.
Welcome To The Team: Freshman Leondre James joined the Green Wave for the first time and will play receiver this season for Tulane. A four-year letterman at Donaldsonville High School where he played quarterback, wide receiver, cornerback and kick returner, James was named first-team All-District 9-3A as a kick returner and second-team all-district as a receiver and defensive back in 2013.
Welcome To the Team, Part II: One newcomer to the Tulane football program is offensive lineman Anthony Johnson, who already has a year under his belt at Tulane as a member of the track & field program. Johnson enrolled last fall as a member as a thrower for the track program, but suffered a preseason injury and did not compete. A 2013 graduate of nearby John Curtis Christian School, Johnson is beginning his first season with the football team.
What's Good For The Goose: One of the most vocal coaches during every Tulane practice is assistant Keith Williams, who handles the wide receivers and return specialists. As a punishment for each dropped passed or bobbled return opportunity, Williams often orders the offending party to instantly drop and do 10 push-ups. During a hotly contested punt-return drill, Williams inserted himself into the drill only to have the ball bounce off his hands and hit the turf. While several members of the team snickered, Williams was quick to pound out the obligatory punishment before returning to his outspoken ways.