NEW ORLEANS – Less than two weeks before the season opener versus Mississippi State on Sept. 4, the Tulane Green Wave returned to the practice field Monday for the first time since Saturday's scrimmage. At one of the most humid days of preseason practice, Head Coach Chris Scelfo expressed disappointment in the spirit and effort of his team during the one hour and 45 minute workout at the Westfeldt Facility.
"I thought today's practice was sluggish from the standpoint of the enthusiasm wasn't where it should have been after having a day off (Sunday)," Scelfo said. "There are a lot of changes going on with the players right now – they're getting settled in their permanent housing, they're getting their classes and starting class on Wednesday. But we've got to understand, when we're out at practice the focus has to be on that, and it wasn't quite there today."
In one of several changes to the depth chart, Scelfo announced that freshman Antonio Harris, a 6-2, 261-pounder from Green Oaks High School in Shreveport, had taken over a starting position at defensive end. Harris lined up alongside tackles Taurean Brown and Bamm Mateen, and defensive end Billy Harrison. He is one of a large group of freshman competing for playing time on the defensive line this fall.
"Antonio has had a good camp. His effort and attitude has been good for our team," Scelfo said. "He's growing and developing and understanding what it takes to compete at this level."
One of the most heated battles this preseason has been at cornerback, where junior Bruce Youmans and sophomores Jeremy Foreman and Israel Route are competing for the job opposite all-star candidate Sean Lucas. The seesaw competition has seen Youmans, then Foreman and now Youmans claim the No. 1 jobs. Route is the team's nickel back in addition to competing at corner. All three saw action last year with Youmans starting five games.
"The competition at corner will continue throughout the fall," Scelfo said. "Guys have to come ready to perform everyday. All four of the corners are having a good camp and I expect them to continue to play that way. They (Youmans, Foreman and Route) are learning to play a little faster, and becoming more physical."
Last Saturday's scrimmage was the last major intrasquad scrimmage of the preseason. Beginning Tuesday, practices will be held at the regular weekday time of 2:15 p.m. Classes begin Wednesday, August 25th on the Tulane campus.
Tulane will hold its Annual Fall Fan Day on Saturday, August 28 from 6:30-9 p.m. at the Westfeldt Facility. The Tulane football, volleyball and soccer teams will be on hand to sign autographs and participate in interactive games with kids, while a live band and giveaways will also highlight the event. Tickets for the 2004 season, including the Sept. 11 home opener with Florida A&M, are on sale through the Tulane Athletics Ticket Office in the Wilson Center and by calling 504-861-WAVE.
-- Roll Wave --
Green Wave Returns To Practice Field
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