Just a few weeks ago Willie Fritz and Tulane tried dipping their toes into the P5 transfer portal and it almost worked. Their exciting addition of Texas Tech QB Jett Duffey was all but signed, sealed and delivered but a last-second denial by Tulane’s academic admission’s office kept it from being a reality. Props to the university’s commitment to education.
The refusal of Duffey, however, ensures that the Wave’s hunt for a quarterback (if they choose not to go with senior Keon Howard) will go on in light of Justin McMillan’s departure. As of Monday, though, whoever is Tulane’s signal caller just got some big time help on the outside.
It was announced via Twitter that the Green Wave landed grad-transfer wide receiver Mykel Jones from Oklahoma and if you know anything about Fritz, this move shouldn’t surprise you in the slightest.
Not only is Tulane’s fourth-year head coach no stranger to adding graduate transfers (e.g. McMillan), he also seems to gravitate heavily toward the Big 12 when looking for new talent. Running back Corey Dauphine came over from Texas Tech a couple years ago and last season the Green Wave offense was helped mightily by the addition of former Oklahoma State WR Jalen McCleskey. This time Fritz and company looked to the Norman, OK to snag Jones from the Sooners.
Entering his fifth and final year of eligibility, Jones will be able to play next season for Tulane. That, of course, is excellent news for the Wave faithful because the young man brings a much-needed receiver presence with him to a team that is losing two standouts in Darnell Mooney and McCleskey.
Jones has seen time in 37 games over his four years with the Sooners and, in those games, has racked up a total of 495 receiving yards and a touchdown. Those numbers don’t exactly jump off the page but, it’s important to remember with these sorts of transfers, that guys like Jones are often in the shadows of superstar type guys. That was indeed the case for an Oklahoma team that went to the Playoff three times in Jone’s four years there. Guys like CeeDee Lamb and Marquise Brown stole much of the spotlight.
That’s not to say that Jones doesn’t have the talent because he certainly does, especially for a G5 program like Tulane. When he was recruited back in 2016 Jones was a four-star prospect and widely considered to be the No. 45 receiver in the country. While his time with the Sooners was largely limited to a secondary role on offense, you should not expect the same thing in New Orleans.
Fritz will have a plan to use Jones often just as he did with McCleskey., another guy who didn’t exactly break into the limelight of a P5 offense. McCleskey, of course, wound up as the Wave’s second leading receiver last season. Barring injury, I would be shocked if we don’t see something similar with Jones.
This addition could be huge in more ways than one. Not only does Jones have the ability to help replace Mooney and McCleskey on the outside, he may also become a huge source of relief for whomever is thrust into the starting role of quarterback. No matter how you cut it, it certainly seems that Tulane patched up a big hole on offense with this one and Wave fans should be excited.