Curtis Johnson and his staff proved last year they could go head-to-head with BCS schools after plucking away Darion Monroe (East Saint John) and Jordan Batiste (Lutcher) from the clutches of SEC and other power conference programs.
There were decided ups-and-downs during the 2013 home stretch, however.
Clark, a linebacker, signed with Louisville and Smith (DE) with Arizona State. Clark withdrew his commitment after the staff balked at his scheduled visit to Louisiana Tech, and Smith soon followed suit.
On a positive note the Green Wave coaches were able to bring in multiple new pledges close to signing day. One was Hahnville linebacker Sergio Medina, an excellent natural athlete who did terrific work on both sides of the football during his prep career.
Scotlandville defensive tackle Tanzel Smart picked Tulane at the conclusion of an official visit in late January. The Wave seemed ready with another DT if Smart didn't pull the trigger in former commit Antonio McGhee, the state's 5A Defensive MVP (who ultimately joined McNeese State's class).
Tulane missed on one of its big targets - John Curtis Christian LB Duke Riley - but the Wave signed four players from the national champion Patriots: OL Brandon Godfrey, CB Richard Allen, LB Eric Thomas and RB Sherman Badie.
Godfrey (6-4, 280) was the nation's No. 32-ranked center prospect. He can play all positions on the o-line. Allen has documented 4.38 speed which he displayed frequently on special teams.
Thomas (5-9 3/4, 235) bench presses 450 pounds and appears to be well on his way to mending an injury that shortened his senior campaign. Badie averaged close to 15 yards per carry as a junior and led Curtis in rushing the past two years. He can run well, having defeated Allen head-to-head at the state track meet last year.
Two signees that will bring leadership to the table are Tampa Plant WR Tristan Cooper and DB Nico Marley. Cooper, a Florida transplant who prepped in Baton Rouge for three years, was a late addition. He held offers from Iowa State and East Carolina, among many others, including Harvard and Columbia.
Marley is a second Florida signee. The son of Rohan Marley and grandson of Bob Marley, Nico led Cypress Bay HS to the state finals. He was a favorite of other commits and prospects that took officials to Tulane over the weekend of January 20th.
Chris Taylor out of Zachary is another offensive lineman that is well-regarded. Jason Stewart from Warren Easton and McDonogh #35's Kenneth Santa Marina (nation's 23rd-ranked OG) will join Taylor and Godfrey on Tulane's o-line of the future.
Jesuit QB Tanner Lee proved he can air it out with great success during his senior year. Lee threw for 550-plus yards and seven touchdowns and was the game-winning hero in Jesuit's defeat of Archbishop Shaw.
Jarrod Franklin, a safety from University Lab in Baton Rouge, was described by his head coach (Chad Mahaffey) as a "laser."
Helen Cox DE Eldrick Washington was adept at avoiding the media spotlight, although his actions on the field for head coach Willie Brooks said plenty.
Davis' brother is St. Augustine junior RB Leonard Fournette, a five-star prospect.
The class had star-power with Marley and JUCO QB Nick Montana, the son of legendary Joe Montana.