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Five players Tulane needs to step up in order to have a winning season

A few players that’ll be vital to Tulane’s success this year.

NCAA Football: Navy at Tulane Crystal LoGiudice-USA TODAY Sports

Tulane has not been to a bowl game since 2013, these are five players that need to be contributors if the Green Wave is to return to the post season.

1. Quarterback - Jonathan Banks

Playing arguably the most important position on the field is JUCO transfer Jonathan Banks. Coming out of spring practice he has already been named the starting QB. Coach Willie Fritz really likes his athletic ability, intelligence and leadership qualities. In order for Tulane to improve on the worst passing offense in the country last season, Banks needs to acclimate quickly. Providing he can do that the Tulane offense will be much better this season.

2. Placekicker - Colby Neenan

Tulane has a great history of placekickers: Eddie Murray, Brad Palazzo, Seth Marler and Cairo Santos. The last two both Groza award winners, but since the graduation of Santos the Tulane tradition of great kickers has fallen on hard times. Enter Colby Neenan, who won the placekicking job during the spring. Lackluster kicking cost Tulane a chance to win a couple of games last season, perhaps Neenan can swing the pendulum in the other direction.

3. Defensive Tackle - Eldrick Washington

Stop me if you heard this before...Tanzel Smart, Tulane’s 2 time All-AAC selection graduated. Next man up for the Green Wave is Eldrick Washington. Washington logged 1 start and 20 tackles last season and the Redshirt Senior has the size, athleticism and experience to take over for one of the Green Wave's most decorated players.

SMU v Tulane
Tulane’s Taris Shenall
Photo by Jonathan Bachman/Getty Images

4. Free Safety - Taris Shenall

Tulane's secondary returns four of its five starters from 2016, but Jarrod Franklin and Taris Shenall have switched positions, with Shenall moving to Free Safety from Nickelback. The rising Junior started 3 games last season registering 24 tackles and an interception at nickel, and if Shenall can improve on his solid performance this season opponents will have a very tough time passing the ball against the Green Wave.

5. All Purpose -Devin Glenn

Devin Glenn may very well be the fastest player on the Green Wave roster, but his career stats: 452 total yards in 18 games, does not reconcile with his 4.38 forty-yard speed. Glenn has been a contributor, especially on special teams coverage as a gunner but the quarterbacks and coaches need to find a way to get him at least 5-7 touches a game in open space. If so then the Green Wave offense will find itself with more explosive plays and easier touchdown drives.

Louisiana Lafayette v Tulane
Tulane WR Darnell Mooney
Photo by Jonathan Bachman/Getty Images

Lagniappe

Two wide receivers not named Terren Encalade need to become regular contributors. The top candidates are Darnell Mooney, who emerged as a starter during the latter half of his freshman season, and Jabril Clewis. Clewis is a JUCO transfer with the size/speed combination coach Willie Fritz desires in his wide receivers. Also Jacob Roberson, a redshirt freshman who was injured last season, is now fully healthy and has been turning heads in camp.