With spring practice a little more than a couple of weeks away let’s begin our evaluation of the 2017 version of the Tulane Green Wave by taking a good look at the roster position by position as they prepare to begin their second spring under the tutelage of head coach Willie Fritz.
We begin our spring analysis of the Tulane Green Wave with the quarterbacks. At the QB position Tulane returns all of last year’s production, though it was not what you would call record setting. Green Wave QB’s accumulated 1,360 yards passing at only a 42 percent completion percentage with 10 touchdowns and eight interceptions.
The passing game was ranked 126th in the nation and that simply will not get it done if Tulane hopes to return to the post-season for the first time since 2013. Now to be fair, Tulane was the only school in the nation that started the 2016 campaign with no QB’s on the roster who had a collegiate pass to their name.
Redshirt Junior - Glen Cuiellette – returns after starting 10 games at QB for the Green Wave in 2016. He threw for 1,309 yards and 10 TDs with eight picks while also rushing for 216 yards and a touchdown.
Sophomore – Jonathan Brantley – The sophomore started two games as a true freshman vs. Navy and UL-Lafayette with mixed results, only completing eight of his 21 passes for 51 yards while rushing for 202 yards.
Junior - Jonathan Banks – The JUCO Transfer arrived on campus in January after passing for 1,338 yards, nine TD’s and rushing for 615 yards and seven touchdowns for Independence (KS) Community College.
Sophomore – Darius Bradwell – Bradwell took some snaps at the QB position, rushing for 33 yards on 11 carries. He has since been moved to the halfback position.
So what do Green Wave fans have to look forward to this spring? Increased competition from more experienced players. As I noted above, before last season no Tulane QB on the roster had thrown a pass since high school. Now the Wave opens spring ball in 2017 with three QB’s who have started at the collegiate level.
This experience will serve them well as they compete to run Willie Fritz’s pistol-based triple option attack. Look for Glen Cuiellette to receive the first team reps early on, as the returning starter, but by the end of spring I anticipate that he will be pushed hard by Brantley and Banks.
Both Brantley and Banks have the requisite skill set as a runner that will enable Fritz and offensive coordinator Doug Ruse to run their offense in its entirety. If either QB can show some consistency as a passer they may get a chance to unseat Cuiellette as the starter going into fall camp.