Friday's practice was the first practice in full pads during fall camp for the Green Wave
NEW ORLEANS -Tulane's football squad returned to the gridiron on Friday morning at the New Orleans Saints Indoor Practice Facility on Airline Drive, and for the first time during this fall camp, the team donned full pads as they took part in a practice that lasted nearly three hours.
After a day in which the team spent much of afternoon tending to Tulane Media Day duties, in addition to taking headshots and filming their intro videos for the upcoming season, the team spent a majority of the beginning of the 19-period practice in position drills before running through some plays at full contact.
Quarterbacks Devin Powell and Tanner Lee looked impressive, as they found receivers Marc Edwards, Teddy Veal and Justyn Shackleford for some nice catches despite strong coverage from the Green Wave defensive backs.
Towards the end of practice, the team worked on PATs. Much to the delight of special teams coordinator Jason Rollins - who also works with the secondary unit - junior safety Darion Monroe blew past the right side of the offensive line to easily block one of the extra point attempts.
"I would like for us to practice better," said Tulane football head coach Curtis Johnson. "I thought we ran around real well today. I thought Nico Marley had an outstanding practice. Tanner Lee did real well, and Sherman (Badie) did a good job today. These freshmen receivers are playing well, also."
The Green Wave have a full slate of action scheduled for Saturday, as the team will hold their first two-a-day practice of fall camp. The squad will make their first appearance at Tad Gormley Stadium on Saturday morning at 8:30 a.m. CT for the first practice of the day - open to the media and fans - that will feature the Green Wave's first scrimmage of camp. There is no charge for admission.
Later in the afternoon, Tulane will return to the Saints Indoor Practice Facility for a 3:30 p.m. CT practice that will be closed to the media. Saturday will mark the conclusion of the first week of fall camp.
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 Network 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 atwww.TulaneGreenWave.com.
TULANE FOOTBALL DAY FIVE PRACTICE NOTES
Play of the Day: Redshirt freshman defensive end Ade Aruna hasn't played football long, but you wouldn't know that by his work in one-on-one drills with the offensive line on Friday. The project from Nigeria ran right into the chest of freshman offensive line Devon Johnson - who outweighs Aruna by nearly 100 pounds - pushing him all the way from the sideline of the Saints Indoor Practice Facility to the wall, much to the excitement of defensive line coach Kwahn Drake.
Player of the Day: After practice, Tulane head coach Curtis Johnson anointed sophomore linebacker Nico Marley as "a demon" for his work on the field during the first day of full pads. Johnson remarked that Marley was the biggest hustler in camp thus far, and was impressed with his play. At the conclusion of the day, Johnson allowed the usually soft-spoken native of Weston, Florida, to break down the huddle.
Quote of the Day: "Time to pop, baby!" ~ Rob Phillips, Director of Strength and Conditioning, to the players shortly before stretching, referring to the first day of practice in full pads.
The Green Wave held their first practice in full pads on Friday during their fifth practice of the fall. The first two practices of fall camp saw the team only in helmets. On Wednesday and Thursday, the team donned shells (shoulder pads and helmets).
Redshirt sophomore Fudge Van Hooser, who started practice wearing No. 83 as a wide receiver, has gone through a major change since Monday. The Montgomery, Alabama, native has moved to the defensive side of the ball, appearing as a defensive back for the last few practices. He now dons No. 29.
Five former Green Wave footballers took to the field during NFL preseason action on Thursday night, including four players who made their NFL debut. Cairo Santos (Kansas City Chiefs), Ryan Grant (Washington Redskins), Wilson Van Hooser (New England Patriots) and Jordan Sullen (Denver Broncos) all made their debuts. Dezman Moses (Kansas City Chiefs) suited up for his third season of NFL football. Santos went 1-for-1 with a 28-yard field goal with two extra points in the Chiefs' 41-39 victory over the Cincinnati Bengals. Grant snagged three passes for 37 yards, including a long of 18 in the Redskins 23-6 win over the Patriots that saw Van Hooser catch one ball for 16 yards. Sullen recorded a pass defended in the Broncos' 21-16 win over the defending Super Bowl Champion Seattle Seahawks.
On Friday, four former Green Wave players will suit up for NFL preseason action, including two first-timers. Orleans Darkwa (Miami Dolphins) and Derrick Strozier (New Orleans Saints) will make their NFL debuts, while Ryan Griffin (New Orleans Saints) and Matt Forte (Chicago Bears) - coming off his second Pro Bowl season - will continue their careers as veterans.