Tulane hasn’t had a winning season since 2002 and has really struggled to get back on track since Hurricane Katrina hit in 2005. The Green Wave has changed some things up during the offseason, including every player staying on campus to work out in the summer, but there’s still a long way to go for this program to be competitive in a tough Conference USA.
Here’s a look at the strongest and weakest positions for Tulane this spring:
Strongest position: Secondary
Key returners: Senior cornerback Phillip Davis (41 tackles, two interceptions), senior free safety Alex Wacha (77 tackles, two forced fumbles), sophomore cornerback Alex Lauricella (23 tackles), sophomore Jordan Garrett (27 tackles), free safety Devon Walker (15 tackles, two passes defended)
Key departures: Cornerback Charles Harris (34 tackles, one interception), safety Chinonso Echebelem (93 tackles, one interception, four forced fumbles)
The skinny: The Green Wave’s secondary was the strongest part of the defense behind the play of safety Chinonso Echebelem, but toward the end of the season, it got a couple younger players such as cornerback Alex Lauricella, sophomore Jordan Garrett and free safety Devon Walker some meaningful playing time, which will pay dividends this season. However, for as good as the secondary was, the run defense was one of the worst in the country.
Weakest position: Running back
Key returners: Sophomore Payten Jason (19 carries, 85 yards), junior fullback Antoine Duplessis (10 carries, 58 yards)
Key departures: Andre Anderson (238 carries, 1,016 yards, eight touchdowns)
The skinny: Outside of departing senior Andre Anderson, the Green Wave had little help in the rushing department. Anderson accounted for 80 percent of the team’s rushing yards and scored eight of the team’s 10 rushing touchdowns. Payten Jason is the heir apparent, but the Green Wave also will look to incoming freshmen Orleans Darkwa and Jamar Thomas to help.