Green Wave Opens Spring Football Practice

It may appear odd that Ricard, who has thrown for 3,813 yards and 37 touchdowns while starting 17 games over the past two seasons, is in a battle for the starting job but the Denham Springs native was supplanted as the starter by Elliott

Tulane opened it'd 2006 spring football drills with a 2 p.m. workout on the brand ew "SportExe" artificial surface on the Westfeldt Practice Facility's main field.

Flooding in the wake of Hurricane Katrina. forced the resurfacing of the Westfeld Facilty playing surfaces. Although work on the main field has been completed, resurfacing work continues on the adjacent Barney Mintz Auxiliary Practice Field.

Workouts on the first two days of the spring session are limited to shorts and contact is prohibited. During this phase, practices are closed. Practice in pads will begin Wednesday and are generally open to the public.

Eleven 2005 starters, including six on offense and five on defense, plus punter Chris Beckman, return.

Competition is expected at nearly every position this spring, including quarterback, where 5th-yearsenior Lester Ricard and redshirt sophomore Scott Elliott will contend for the starting position.

It may appear odd that Ricard, who has thrown for 3,813 yards and 37 touchdowns while starting 17 games over the past two seasons, is in a battle for the starting job but the Denham Springs native was supplanted as the starter by Elliott in the final three games of the 2005 season after throwing 7 interceptions in the three preceeding starts, including 2 in the first quarter of the Navy game.

Injury-plagued senior Nick Cannon, as well as true freshmen Anthony Scelfo and Ryan Meyers are expected to see practice time and one or another may be able to move into a position to compete with Elliott and Ricard.

In addition to selecting a starting quarterback, extensive reconstruction of the offense, in both on and off the field areas, is expected to occupy much of the time during the spring practice period.

Tulane is tentatively scheduled to hold 15 practices over the next 20 days with workouts scheduled for every afternoon this week and on Saturday, Monday through Thursday the following week (April 10-13) and Tuesday through Saturday beginning April 18th. The final practice is scheduled for Saturday, April 22nd.

In addition to holding practice on the Westfeldt Facility field, the football team was finally able Monday to move back into the refurbished football locker room on the first floor of the James W. Wilson Center. The Wilson Center's first floor, which also houses the Green Wave strength & conditioning area, athletic training room, academic services offices and computer lab, equipment room and Ticket Office/Gift Shop, received extensive flood damage but was officially "re-opened" last Thursday, even as new office equipment and weights continue to be delivered. Since returning to campus in January, the team has been working out in the Reily Student Recreation Center with limited supervision; few organized workouts have been held.

Tulane's relatively late spring practice, coupled with the addition of the 'Lagniappe Semester', which runs from May 15 to June 30, to the academic calendar, may leave the team better prepared for the upcoming season than the more typical earlier spring practices did. The Lagniappe Semester gives more opportunity to have players on campus for closely supervised strength and conditioning workouts.

Tulane opens the 2006 season on Saturday, Sept. 9 in Houston versus the Houston Cougars. The Green Wave will play three straight road games to start the season before opening its five-game home schedule "Back Home in the Dome" on Saturday, Sept. 30th versus SMU. That game has been selected for CSTV national telecast and will kick off at 6 p.m. CDT. Kickoff times for Tulane's remaining home games versus Rice (Oct. 7), Army (Oct. 28), Southern Miss (Nov. 11) and UCF (Nov. 18) have not been set.


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