Aug. 30, 2006
NEW ORLEANS, La. - The first day of classes proved to be a special one for several members of the Tulane University football team as head coach Chris Scelfo awarded six scholarships to former walk-ons at the conclusion of practice Wednesday afternoon at the Westfeldt Facility.
With the team wrapping up preseason camp on Tuesday and hitting the classroom for the first time in the fall semester on Wednesday, the team went through a rigorous 24-period practice before Scelfo called the team to midfield to make the announcement. Scelfo awarded scholarships to former walk-ons in seniors Taylor Bertin and Ian Miller, along with juniors O'Lindsey Brown, David Skehan, Evan Smith and Louis Thomas.
"This is a group of guys who I thought worked hard and deserved it," Scelfo said. "They work hard for us on the field as well as in the classroom. They are extremely dedicated to this football program and I feel that that dedication should be rewarded."
Bertin, a defensive lineman from Baton Rouge, La., has played in three games during his career, and has had an outstanding preseason to date. He was worked both inside at tackle, and on Wednesday, played with the No. 1s at defensive end. A fullback from Dallas, Texas, Miller is a fifth-year senior who has worked his way into the No. 1 fullback on the depth chart and is expected to see a lot of action in short-yardage situations.
Brown and Skehan, both defensive backs, played extensively in 2005. A native of Baton Rouge and former prep teammate of Bertin at Woodlawn High, Brown was used exclusively on special teams, but enters the final week before the games start listed as a second string corner. Skehan, meanwhile, played in all 11 games last season, and is in the rotation among safeties.
A native of Plainview, N.Y., Smith has been primarily a scout-team player in each of his first two seasons at Tulane, and Thomas played in 10 games last season. Thomas, a native of nearby Marrero, had to sit out the 2004 season after transferring from UL-Monroe.
With 10 days left before the regular-season opener on Sept. 9 at Houston, the Green Wave battled through the heat of a sunny, humid afternoon. Both sides of the ball had their moments, but the offense made big plays late. Over the final three periods of practice, the Green Wave ran a two-minute drill with the scenario set that Tulane had to score a least a field goal to earn a win.
The No. 1 offense drove down the field steadily before calling a timeout with three second remaining and the ball resting at the seven yard line. From there, rookie placekicker Ross Thevenot booted a 24-yard field goal to convert the drive.
The No. 1 defense held the No. 2 offense on several occasions, but with sophomore quarterback Scott Elliott under center, the offense made one last drive before the day's final whistle. On the last play of the day, Elliot hit sophomore wideout Brian King on a curl near the 12 yard line, and King the rest himself by breaking a pair of tackles for a touchdown.
Season and single-game tickets for the 2006 season are currently for sale through the Tulane Athletics Ticket Office. The ticket office is located on the first floor of the James W. Wilson, Jr. Center and is open from 8:30 a.m. to 5 p.m. Monday through Friday. Tickets can be purchased in person, via the telephone at (504) 861-WAVE or via the internet at www.TulaneGreenWave.com.
In addition, single-game tickets are also available via Ticket Master at www.TicketMaster.com and at all Ticket Master outlets.