Aug. 10, 2007
NEW ORLEANS, La. - The scene around the James W. Wilson, Jr. Center on Friday resembled more of a high school reunion than a reporting day as the Tulane University football team welcomed back 68 returnees to campus one day prior to the first day of fall practice.
With handshakes, high-fives and hugs abound as the student-athletes arrived on campus, the veterans joined 25 freshmen who reported yesterday to bring the 2007 squad to 93. There were no unhappy surprises for the Tulane coaching staff as everyone expected back showed up. The only non-graduates from the 2006 Green Wave team not to report on Friday were Josh Mitzel, who transferred, former walk-on Leo Webb, who was medically disqualified, and former walk-on Christian Okoye, who decided to focus strictly on his academics.
"This is always an exciting time," new Tulane head coach Bob Toledo said. "Everybody is kind of anxious. Of course, the freshmen are looking at the veterans like, `Wow, these guys are big,' and the veterans are looking at the freshmen and thinking, `these young guys are trying to take my job.'
"For the most part, the veterans were here in the spring, so they have a pretty good idea of what it is we're going to do. It's the freshmen that really have no clue at all as far as what's going to happen to them. We won't put the pads on for another couple of days, but now is the time to learn the drills, get yourself into football shape and ease into it for a little bit."
After the veterans arrived Friday morning, they went through team physicals and were fitted for the equipment they will use throughout the 2007 season. The freshmen, meanwhile, attended more orientation meetings throughout the day, and the entire squad met up at 5 p.m. at the Lavin-Bernick Center for University Life ballroom for a team barbecue.
Following dinner, the veterans went through a compliance meeting and the entire squad met in the squad room of the Wilson Center after that, where Toledo and his staff went over the rules and team policies.
Tulane will hold its annual Media Day and first day of practice on Saturday, Aug. 11. Media Day will take place in the Wilson Center beginning at 11 a.m., and the team will hit the field for the first time at approximately 3:25 p.m. at the Westfeldt Practice Facility.
Tulane opens the 2007 season on Saturday, Sept. 8, when the Green Wave take on Mississippi State at 6 p.m. in the Louisiana Superdome. Season tickets remain on sale through the Tulane Athletics Ticket Office. For ticket information, visit the ticket office on the first floor of the James W. Wilson, Jr. Center, by phone at 504-861-WAVE or on-line at www.TulaneGreenWave.com.
MEDIA DAY NOTE: Fans can watch Tulane football's 2007 Media Day live via the CSTV.com All-Access Pass on the internet at www.TulaneGreenWave.com. Coach Toledo will take the podium at approximately 11:45 a.m. (CDT), and after offering an opening statement and fielding questions from the media, senior running back Matt Forté and senior defensive back Joe Goosby will address the media as well. To watch Toledo, Forté and Goosby discuss the upcoming season, click on the "Tulane's Live Media Day" button on the right side of the website (just below the "Countdown To Kickoff"). A complete transcript of their media session will be available later in the day.