Coming off an 8-5 season which included a win in the ConAgra Foods Hawai'i Bowl, the Tulane Green Wave signed 21 football players to National Letters of Intent Wednesday, Head Coach Chris Scelfo announced.
The 2003 signing class includes 11 players from the state of Louisiana and 12 players on the defensive side of the ball. The Green Wave loses eight defensive starters from last year. Tulane signed six defensive linemen, three cornerbacks and three linebackers. The Wave's offensive signees include a trio of wide receivers, two offensive linemen and two running backs. The Green Wave also inked kicker Barrett Pepper from Bastrop, La. to replace Lou Groza Award winner and All-American Seth Marler.
"We're excited about all of them," Scelfo said. "Time will tell how well they pan out,
and some will be successful earlier than others. But I feel all of them have a chance to be successful both on the field and in the classroom at Tulane."
The first two NLI's off the fax machine at the Tulane offices Wednesday morning came from Camden, N.J. where teammates Elijah Robinson,
a 6-3, 260-pound defensive end, and Preston Brown, a 6-4, 210-pound wide receiver, excelled for Woodrow Wilson High School. The Wave also signed a trio of players from Georgia, including cornerback Israel Route, a high school teammate of 2002 Tulane signees Anthony Cannon, a Freshman All-American last season, and Sean Lucas. A pair of Floridians and a pair of Texans also selected the Green Wave, while two members of the signing class -- California quarterback Richard Irvin and Mansfield, La. defensive lineman C.J. Davis – enrolled at the school in January and will participate in 2003 spring drills beginning Thursday.
"Obviously we lost a lot of defensive players (off the 2002 team) and there is a generation
gap there that will require some of these players to step in and contribute right away," Scelfo said. "Offensively, we don't need as much immediate help. Overall, it is a good class and I'm looking forward to getting them here and seeing how they develop over the next two to three years."
Tulane's Louisiana signees include several from the New Orleans metro area. Alvin Johnson, a defensive end from West Jefferson High, Carlis Jackson, a cornerback from Salmen High School in Slidell, Higgins linebacker Craig Morris and Destrehan's Fred Smith, a wide receiver and return specialist, were the local products to sign with the Green Wave Wednesday.
Tulane opens 2003 spring drills Thursday, Feb. 6th at the Westfeldt Practice Facility. Workouts continue through Feb. 28th.
2003 Tulane Football Signees Bios
Aryan Barto, OL, 6-4, 285, Houston, Tex. (Stratford HS)
Team captain who was named to the first team All-District squad his senior season. A three-year letterman and two-year starter at Stratford. Won the 2002 Fighting Spartan Award as voted on by his peers. Second team 5A All-District as a junior. Possesses 5.2 speed in the 40-yard dash. Also competed in the shot put and discus for the track and field teams in 2000 and 2001. Made the Who's Who of Academics in 2001 for his scholastic efforts.
Patrick Benford, LB, 6-0, 210, Decatur, Ga. (Southwest DeKalb HS)
A first team Class 5A All-State player in 2002. Named DeKalb/Rockdale Defensive Player of the Year by the Atlanta Journal-Constitution. Led DeKalb County with 77 solo tackles and 104 assists for 181 total tackles as a senior. He also had four sacks, 23 tackles for loss and an interception, caused three fumbles and recovered two fumbles in 11 games. Also played on offense as a tight end, catching 11 passes for 166 yards and two touchdowns. Named Player of the Week in DeKalb County and received All-Atlanta Metro team honors. In his junior season, recorded 180 tackles with 14 tackles for losses, four fumbles caused and one interception. His tackle total was second highest in the county in 2001. Also named to the All-County team as a junior.
Chris Bordelon, OL, 6-3, 295, Alexandria, La. (Bolton HS)
An honorable mention All-District player in 2002. Also served as team captain. Recorded 38 pancake blocks on the line and earned highest defensive ranking on the team. First team All-District and first team All-CenLa in junior season after recording 47 pancake blocks on the line. Also earned honorable mention All-District as a sophomore. In his career, he made 113 pancake blocks, leading the team each year. Also played baseball and threw the shot put and discus. Member of Honor Roll each year and made the Who's Who of Academics for his scholastic efforts.
Ray Boudreaux, RB, 5-10, 190, Abbeville, La. (Abbeville HS)
An honorable mention All-State choice in 2002. Named to 6-AAA All-District team as an offensive first teamer and made second team All-Acadiana as well. Gained 1,219 yards on 188 carries for an average of 6.5 yards per carry as a senior and scored 146 points to rank fifth in the state. As a junior, he rushed for 1,343 yards on 220 carries and 23 touchdowns for the Class 3A state quarterfinalists. Also earned honorable mention All-State honors. In his sophomore season, he gained 1,447 yards on 234 carries and scored 19 touchdowns. A three-year starter for the Wildcats.
Preston Brown, WR, 6-4, 210, Camden, N.J. (Woodrow Wilson HS)
Earned second team All-South Jersey honors as a senior. Caught 27 passes for 484 yards with five touchdowns, giving him a 17.9 yards per reception average. Also played linebacker and made 75 tackles, nine sacks, seven forced fumbles and three interceptions in 2002. In his junior season, he caught 35 passes for 500 yards and two touchdowns on offense while recording 60 tackles, 10 sacks and two interceptions at outside linebacker. Lettered three years at Woodrow Wilson.
C.J., Davis, DL, 6-1, 300, Mansfield, La. (Mansfield HS)
First team Class 3A All-State defense lineman in 2002 who is already enrolled at Tulane and will participate in 2003 spring drills. Three-time first-team all-district defensive end and offensive tackle in 2000, 2001 and 2002. Named to the District All-Academic Team after each of his four seasons. In his four years at Mansfield, he compiled 157 tackles with 21 tackles for a loss, 45 sacks, and four fumble recoveries. Twice earned All-Shreveport honors. Earned all-district recognitions as a center for the basketball team in 2002 and threw the shot put for the track team.
Kenneth Guidroz, WR, 6-3, 210, Port Sulphur, La. (Port Sulphur HS)
A two-time Class A All-State team member, as well as an All-District choice. Also an All-Metro selection in 2002. Caught 87 passes for 1,700 yards for a 19.5 yards-per-catch average in 14-game 2002 season. Caught 28 touchdown passes for the Class A State champs. Totaled 183 points in the 10-game regular season. Averaged 137.9 receiving yards per game and nearly three receiving touchdowns per game. Also grabbed four interceptions on defense. Gained 2,700 receiving yards in his first three years at Port Sulphur. Four-year starter and letterman for the Bronchos. Also competed in the long and triple jumps, finishing in the top five in the state as a junior.
Billy Harrison, DE, 6-4, 220, Pensacola, Fla. (Catholic High)
Named first team All-Northwest Florida and second team All-State for the second straight season in 2002. Listed among the Top 50 players in Florida as a senior. Recorded 155 tackles and seven sacks in his senior season. Also played tight end for the 2002 District champs, who finished 9-2. In his junior year, made 85 tackles and eight sacks. In his career, he recorded 310 tackles and 22 sacks as a four-year letterman and three-year starter. Won Challenger Award for Good Works in Northwest Florida at 2002 Fellowship of Christian Athletes Banquet. He made 70 tackles and seven sacks in his sophomore season. Also played basketball and ran track.
Richard Irvin, QB, 6-2, 185, Pasadena, Calif. (John Muir HS)
Early high school graduate who will participate in 2003 spring drills. Ranked the no. 16 nominee for the 2002 Cal-Hi Sports Mr. Football State Player of the Year. Leading quarterback prospect in the West by PacWestFootball.com. Also named MVP of the California-Florida All-Star game for his 220-yard performance. Completed 12-of-21 passes with two touchdowns. Spent first three years of high school at Harvard-Westlake School. Started at quarterback his freshman season and went to the state quarterfinals. Completed 282-of-435 passes for 4,061 yards, the seventh-highest total in California high school history, in 2002. Threw for 36 touchdowns and seven interceptions while averaging 369 yards passing per game during the season. Sister, Marissa, is a professional tennis player.
Tremell Jack, DL, 6-3, 265, Jeanerette, La. (Jeanerette HS)
All-State selection in 2002. Member of the Times-Picayune Top 25 Blue Chip list. A four-year starter who earned District 5-2A MVP honors in 2002. First team All-District defensive lineman in 2002. Placed on the Iberia Parish All-Star team. Named to The Daily Iberian's Best of the Teche football team. Recorded 73 tackles, including 58 solo and 15 assists, and three sacks. Also caused two fumbles and recovered three. In his junior season, he made 50 solo tackles and eight sacks. Also named to the All-District 5-2A team.
Carlis Jackson, CB, 6-0, 175, Slidell, La. (Salmen HS)
Selected to the All-St. Tammany Parish team and All-District 8-4A team in 2002. As a senior, he recorded 56 tackles, 48 solo and eight assists, with four interceptions, including one returned for a touchdown. He also broke up 11 passes with his 4.5 speed. Also has a 36-inch vertical jump. Experienced season-ending injuries which cut short both his sophomore and junior seasons.
Alvin Johnson, DE, 6-3, 240, Harvey, La. (West Jefferson HS)
Member of the Times-Picayune Top 25 Blue Chip list. Also named All-State, All-District and
All-West Bank in 2002. Recorded 62 tackles, 21 for losses, with 34 solo stops. Scored three safeties and totaled seven sacks during his senior season. Selected to the New Orleans All-Metro team in 2002. During his junior season, made 49 tackles. Credited with 14 tackles for a loss and five sacks. Named to the All-District and All-Westbank teams. Also played basketball for West Jeff.
Jordy Johnson, RB, 6-2, 195, Baton Rouge, La. (Parkview Baptist)
Underwent surgery to repair torn knee ligament
in November. A first team All-District selection in 2002. Averaged 7.8 yards on 94 carries for
a total of 732 rushing yards, and scored 14 touchdowns on the ground, in his senior season. Also caught 10 passes for 250 yards, four of which went for touchdowns. Nominated for the Wendy's High School Heisman award in his senior season. In junior season, selected to second team All-District and All-State teams. Averaged 11.0 yards per carry for 1,300 total yards and
30 touchdowns. Also participated in track and field where he earned All-District honors. Made the Honor Roll all four years.
Kelvin Johnson, LB, 6-2, 245, Florida City, Fla. (Homestead HS)
Selected to Florida's 6A All-State first team by the Florida Sportswriters Association in 2001. First team All-Dade County choice as a senior. Also earned All-Dade County recognition in 1999 and 2000. One of the Orlando Sentinel's Dandy Dozen linebackers a year ago. As a senior, totaled 175 tackles, four fumbles caused, eight fumble recoveries and 10 quarterback sacks. His junior season, credited with 114 tackles and eight sacks. Picked off two passes, recovered four fumbles and forced four. Career totals include 337 tackles, 24 sacks, 14 fumbles recovered and five interceptions. Team went 9-3 his senior year and advanced to the second round of the playoffs under Coach Andrew Brown. Also played basketball and ran track. Named MVP of the basketball team as a junior. Earned Most Improved Award in Track. Member of the school's Honor Roll.
Craig Morris, OLB, 6-3, 215, Marrero, La. (Higgins HS)
Second team All-State selection and an All-Metro honoree in 2002. Named Defensive MVP of District 7-5 as well as an All-District choice his senior season. Recorded 15 sacks to go with his 53 tackles, six for a loss in 2002. Forced three fumbles and returned one for a touchdown. Earned All-District recognition his junior year after collecting 62 tackles with 10 sacks, six tackles for loss and three fumble recoveries. Three-year letterwinner in football and lettered one season in track. Helped team to a pair of playoff appearances, including a 10-2 season his junior year. Also played middle linebacker and defensive end as a senior. Possesses 4.5 40 speed.
Barrett Pepper, K, 5-10, 165 Bastrop, La. (Bastrop HS)
First team All-State kicker who was an All-District selection as a punter and as a kicker following his junior and senior seasons. Two-time All-Southeast kicker as well who earned All-Southeast Region recognition from coaches and sportswriters in 2002. Made 10-of-16 field goal attempts, including a 49-yarder. Also made 43-of-46 extra points on the season. As a senior, placed 94 percent of his kickoffs into the end zone for touchbacks. Team went undefeated in 2002 regular season. In his junior season, made six-of-eight field goal attempts, including one from 45 yards. Placed all but one of his 28 kickoffs in the end zone for touchbacks. Averaged 38.5 yards per punt in 2001. Also played baseball and track for Bastrop HS.
Elijah Robinson, DE, 6-3, 260, Camden, N.J. (Woodrow Wilson HS)
A second-team All-South Jersey linebacker by The Philadelphia Inquirer. Also named to the PrepStar All-Region team. Recorded 68 tackles, 37 for a loss, and 13.5 sacks his senior season. Recovered three fumbles while forcing five. Team went 15-0 and won state title his junior year. During that season, he made 63 tackles, 34 for a loss, and
12 sacks. He also played fullback and rushed for 56 yards on 12 carries with one touchdown. Ranked in the Top 10 of his class academically.
Israel Route, CB, 5-9, 175, Stone Mountain, Ga. (Stephenson HS)
Named first team kick returner for DeKalb/
Rockdale area by The Atlanta Constitution. An honorable mention 5A All-State choice at wide receiver. Recorded 43 receptions for 708 yards and seven touchdowns in 12 games in 2002. His team reached 5A state quarterfinals. Made four interceptions as a cornerback, three of which were returned for touchdowns. Returned one kickoff and four punts for touchdowns. Uses his 4.5 speed on both defense and special teams. Comes to Tulane from same high school that produced 2002 freshmen Anthony Cannon and Sean Lucas.
Fred Smith, WR/RS, 5-8, 175, Destrehan, La. (Destrehan HS)
Member of the Times-Picayune Top 25 Blue Chip list. Named St. Charles Parish offensive MVP by the St. Charles Herald-Guide. All-Metro offensive player of the year his senior year. Caught 64 passes for 1,202 yards to average 18.8 yards per catch in 2002. Grabbed 15 touchdown passes. In his junior season, he was named the District Co-MVP after catching 34 passes for 806 yards and 11 touchdowns. Also received an honorable mention to the All-State team in his junior season.
Justin Wade, DL, 6-3, 290, Ellenwood, Ga. (Cedar Grove HS)
Ranked the #69 prospect in Georgia by BorderWars.com.Made 40 tackles, including 13 for a loss and eight sacks. On offense, he recorded 15 pancake blocks and earned Cedar Grove's Offensive Lineman of the Year honors. Possesses 4.89 speed in the 40-yard dash and has a vertical jump of nearly 28 inches.
Alton Widemon, DB, 5-10, 160, Lindale, Tex. (Lindale HS)
Named to 3A All-District first team in 2002. As
a cornerback, recorded 66 tackles, tallied 45 solo stops and 21 assists with three tackles for loss. Also picked off four passes and broke up seven passes. Recovered two fumbles, one of which he returned for a touchdown. Speedster with 3.91 speed in the 20-yard shuttle run and a 36-inch vertical jump.
TWENTY-ONE PLAYERS SIGN WITH TULANE FOOTBALL
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