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Tulane harvests a bountiful recruiting crop for 2018

The Green Wave surprises many pundits with one of the top recruiting classes in the AAC.

NCAA Football: Houston at Tulane
Tulane Head Coach Willie Fritz
Stephen Lew-USA TODAY Sports

Tulane Head Coach Willie Fritz has a long history of turning around moribund programs, and he seems well on his way to rebuilding the Green Wave with the 2018 recruiting class. The Wave signed 22 players during the early signing period and augmented those numbers with three more players on February 7th. The class was unprecedented in quality as three Green Wave signees garnered a 4-star rating from major recruiting services: Safety Dorian Camel, Defensive Tackle Alfred Thomas and Defensive Tackle Jeffery Johnson. 21 of the 25 Tulane signees were rated three star or higher.

Tulane graduated a lot of players on defense and that is where the bulk of this class is focused. On the Defensive line the Wave signed the aforementioned four star prospects, Thomas and Johnson; as well as Juan Monjarres, Davon Wright, Jamarian James and Carlos Hatcher. Jeffery Johnson and Davon Wright were both early enrollees and they, along with Jamarian James will look to garner a lot of playing time early at defensive tackle. Expect one of the three to be starting the Wave’s opener versus Wake Forest.

At linebacker, a position of need, Tulane did not sign anyone during the early signing period. That was rectified as the Green Wave flipped Texan Keitha Jones from fellow AAC west foe SMU and also signed La’Dedric Jackson of Alabama’s Sidney Lanier High. Jackson had quite a few P5 offers before a knee injury forced him to miss time during his senior season, but he should be healthy by fall camp and an early contributor.

The defensive backfield also received a heavy infusion of talent in the 2018 signing class, with five defensive backs signing with the Wave in 2018. Larry Brooks, Dorian Camel, Damien Tate, Chris Joyce and Macon Clark all have the talent and athleticism to contribute early. Brooks, Tate, Camel and Clark are primarily safety/nickel prospects while the extremely quick Chris Joyce will play corner. Dorian Camel and Damien Tate, who was the New Orleans all-metro defensive player of the year, are the headliners. But Joyce, an early enrollee from Georgia, has the quickness to compete for a place on the corner sooner than later. Joyce and Tate are also candidates to return punts and kicks for the Green Wave.

Offensively the Green Wave addressed every position, signing one quarterback, three running backs, two wide receivers, a tight end and four offensive linemen. At quarterback, Tulane’s lone signee is Christian Daniels, a three-star athlete from Western Alamance High in North Carolina. The left-hander fills Willie Fritz’s need for a dangerous runner at QB with a cannon for an arm. Daniels, who made the North Carolina state finals in the 100 meters, is an early enrollee who will go through spring practice. With the transfer of three quarterbacks in the last two months, Daniels will now battle for the job of backing up senior starter Jonathan Banks.

Offensive Coordinator Doug Ruse believes in running the ball and the Green Wave signed three running backs. First, Ygenio Booker, a satellite back from Florida’s Hernando High, with 4.4 speed. Also signing was Northwest Rankin High School’s (Mississippi) Cameron Carrol, a 220lb wrecking ball, and Heritage High’s (Frisco, TX) Amare Jones, who played quarterback in high school, but will play running back for the Green Wave. Each player is dynamic in his own way but look for the 3-star Jones to be the first to crack the rotation and earn significant playing time.

Coach Willie Fritz has remarked about the size of the receivers in the AAC and his desire to have that size on his own team. With that in mind you can see why both of Tulane’s signees at wide receiver, Sorrell Brown and Jorien Vallien are at least 6’3” and can go up and get it. Tulane has a ton of depth at wide receiver, but the Louisiana native Vallien has talent and may be too good to redshirt. The Green Wave also signed 3-star tight end Tyrick James out of Texas, a flex-Y receiving tight end; James possesses the ability to stretch the seam for the Green Wave.

The Tulane offensive line has improved each year of Willie Fritz’s tenure and he added some building blocks in the four offensive linemen of this class. Stephen Lewerenz, Jason Swann, Michael Remondet and Nik Hogan are the future of the offensive line. Hogan, an athletic 6’5” 250lb tackle from Mississippi with terrific footwork is the most ready to contribute.

Fritz also addressed the special teams by signing punter Ryan Wright from California, Wright a large punter at 6’3” 220lbs was also San Ramon High School’s starting quarterback.

The recruiting class was ranked #65 by Rivals, #67 by 247sports and #72 by are all the highest ranked Tulane recruiting classes of the rankings era. The Green Wave signed the 3rd ranked class in the American; and with this level of recruiting Willie Fritz is well on his way to building upon the improvement of his 1st two seasons in New Orleans and could have the Green Wave competing for the AAC title in the near future.

2018 Tulane Recruiting Class

Name Pos. Ht. Wt. Cl. Hometown/High School

Ygenio Booker RB 5-11 190 Fr. Brooksville, Fla./Hernando HS

Larry Brooks DB 6-0 190 Fr. Kennedale, Texas/Kennedale HS

Sorrell Brown WR 6-3 190 Fr. Arlington, Texas/Martin HS

Dorian Camel DB 6-1 180 Fr. Baton Rouge, La./Scotlandville Magnet HS

Cameron Carroll RB 6-0 220 Fr. Flowood, Miss./Northwest Rankin HS

Macon Clark DB 6-0 185 Fr. Destrehan, La./Destrehan HS

Christian Daniels QB 6-2 205 Fr. Elon, N.C./Western Alamance HS

Carlos Hatcher DE 6-3 230 Fr. Carrollton, Texas/Hebron HS

Nik Hogan OL 6-5 265 Fr. Flowood, Miss./Northwest Rankin HS

La’Dedric Jackson LB 6-2 210 Fr. Montgomery, Ala./Sidney Lanier HS

Jamiran James DL 6-2 275 Fr. New Orleans, La./De La Salle HS

Tyrick James TE 6-2 232 Fr. China Spring, Texas/China Spring HS

Jeffery Johnson DL 6-3 312 Fr. Brookhaven, Miss./Brookhaven HS

Amare Jones RB 5-10 185 Fr. Frisco, Texas/Frisco Heritage HS

Keitha Jones Jr. LB 6-2 190 Fr. Port Arthur, Texas/Memorial HS

Chris Joyce DB 5-11 175 Fr. Hampton, Ga./Dutchtown HS

Stephen Lewerenz OL 6-4 270 Fr. Gainesville, Fla./Buchholz HS

Juan Monjarres DE 6-1 215 Fr. New Orleans, La./St. Augustine HS

Michael Remondet OL 6-4 265 Fr. Youngsville, La./Ascension Episcopal

Jason Swann OL 6-3 270 Fr. Pembroke Pines, Fla./St. Thomas Aquinas

Damien Tate DB 5-10 175 Fr. New Orleans, La./Warren Easton HS

Alfred Thomas DL 6-1 268 Fr. Montgomery, Ala./Sidney Lanier HS

Jorien Vallien WR 6-4 178 Fr. Alexandria, La./Alexandria Senior HS

Davon Wright DL 6-1 287 Fr. Donaldsonville, La./Donaldsonville HS

Ryan Wright P 6-3 225 Fr. San Ramon, Calif./California HS