Tulane isn’t even a week into their offseason and they’ve already made some big news. There was a daunting questioned that loomed over the Green Wave like a dark, distant cloud during the 2019 season as standout quarterback Justin McMillan played through his final campaign: who would replace him when it was all over? As of Thursday night, it appears the Wave has found an answer.
Jett Duffey, a former Texas Tech QB with plenty of in-game experience, confirmed via Twitter that reports of him heading to Tulane were indeed true. Duffey is expected to officially enroll in classes at the university on Monday and, being a grad-transfer, can play in 2020 and will have one year of eligibility with the Wave.
The grad-transfer route isn’t new to Green Wave head coach Willie Fritz. After all it’s how Tulane landed McMillan in the first place. And going through the Red Raider pipeline isn’t unheard of either. Wave fans may know of a guy named Corey Dauphine that came over from Texas Tech a couple years ago. And as far as Duffey is concerned, he may just be the remedy to Tulane’s fears of life without McMillan.
Duffey, standing at 6-1 and 195 pounds, brings an impressive resume with him. After redshirting in 2016 and barely seeing any time in 2017, he made some serious ripples for Texas Tech over the last two seasons. As a sophomore in 2018, Duffey saw action in seven games and finished with 1,221 passing yards. This last fall he more than doubled that total with 2,840. Over those two seasons he accounted for 31 total touchdowns and only had 11 interceptions.
What Tulane fans should be most excited about, however, is not those numbers but more so the fact that Duffey is a dual-threat quarterback just like McMillan. Over the last two seasons, he rushed for well over 500 yards and scored five TDs with his legs.
Those stats should hardly come as a shock though if you followed Duffey in high school. Coming out of Mansfield (TX) Lake Ridge HS, he was regarded as a three-star recruit and ranked as the No. 74 overall recruit from the state according to 247sports. He led Lake Ridge to a state second-place finish his senior season.
There’s no question that Duffey has the right pedigree to replace McMillan, but stats and the actual gridiron are two very different things. It’s important to remember that Tulane also has a number of quarterbacks currently on their roster including Southern Miss transfer Keon Howard who is also a proven playmaker. Let’s also remember, even if Duffley does work out he will only be able to play one season before the Wave finds themselves with the same conundrum this time next year.
Having a guy like Duffey though, could be perfect if Fritz wants to groom one of his younger QBs a little longer. Barring an injury, he gives Tulane a cushion year in which the guys waiting in the wings can develop a while longer without needing to be immediately thrust into a starting role.
Tulane is undoubtedly losing one of the best quarterbacks they’ve had in a while but give Duffey an entire offseason to become acquainted with Fritz’s system and who knows? The Wave may hardly miss a beat.