NEW ORLEANS – With the opening game of the 2005 season 24 days away, the Tulane Green Wave practiced as a group for the first time Tuesday morning, going through a two-plus hour workout in shorts at the Westfeldt Facility. It was the first formal workout of the preseason for the Green Wave veterans, who reported to campus Tuesday, while the freshmen were in action for the second straight day.
"There was a lot of excitement out there today," said Tulane head coach Chris Scelfo. "The kids are looking forward to getting started, putting the pads on and playing football. There was a lot of enthusiasm during today's practice."
Scelfo said with 44 lettermen, including 17 starters, returning, the 2005 Green Wave is a veteran group that has shown a lot of confidence entering preseason camp.
"I think [the positive attitude] is a combination of returning players with experience who know what it is to start and play, and the fact that this group knows it can be pretty good," he said. "They have been in games before and have played and they're a confident group."
Following Tuesday's practice, Tulane strength and conditioning coach Russell Barbarino announced the 2005 conditioning awards for those players who participated in the summer workout program, with a trio of linebackers taking top honors as the top three overall conditioned athletes. Senior Anthony Cannon was named the top conditioned athlete while redshirt freshman Ryan Bewley, who was moved to linebacker following the spring, ranked second and senior Antonio Mason was third. The rating used to determine the top-conditioned athletes is a point system that measures several factors including agility, strength and vertical leap, among other factors.
Overall, Green Wave players broke or tied 14 school strength and conditioning records during the offseason. Eight players bench pressed 400 or more pounds, while 22 reached that mark in the squat. Seven players power-cleaned 300 pounds or more and 10 players were able to bench press 225 pounds 20 times. Fifteen Tulane players had a vertical jump of 30 inches or more, including Carlis Jackson's team-leading 37.5-inch mark, while offensive lineman Troy Kropog, a 6-6, 295-pound redshirt freshman, had a vertical leap of 35 inches to tie for second on the team.
"Conditioning-wise, we're in pretty good shape," Scelfo said. "It was good to see some familiar names, as well as some new names, on top of the lists of the top conditioned athletes. We had a lot of players here during the summer and you hope that pays off now."
Tulane's top two conditioned athletes at each position:
Troy Kropog (6-6, 295, Fr.-R)
Matt Traina (6-3, 280, Sr.-R)
Offensive Skill (QB, K, RB)
Matt Forté (6-2, 220, Soph.)
Anthony Scelfo (5-9, 180, Fr.)
Damarcus Davis (5-11, 183, Jr.-R)
Preston Brown (6-3, 221, Jr.)
"Big" Skill (TE, LB)
Anthony Cannon (6-0, 230, Sr.)
Ryan Bewley (5-11, 205, Fr.-R)
Louis Thomas (5-11, 180, Soph.-R)
David Skehan (6-0, 195, Soph.)
Michael Purcell (6-2, 273, Jr.-R)
Will Fairburn (6-4, 260, Soph.)
Tulane returns to the practice field Thursday morning with another practice in shorts. The Green Wave add shoulder pads Friday and Saturday before donning full pads for Sunday's workout.
Tulane opens the 2005 season on Sunday, Sept. 4 in a nationally-televised (ESPN2) game versus Conference USA foe Southern Miss in Hattiesburg, Miss. The Green Wave open its 2005 home schedule on Saturday, Sept. 17 in the Louisiana Superdome versus Mississippi State. Season tickets for the entire 2005 home schedule are on sale now at the Tulane Athletics Ticket Office in the James W. Wilson Center, on-line at www.TulaneGreenWave.com and by calling 504-861-WAVE.
– Roll Wave –
Green Wave Varsity Hits Field For First Practice
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