This past week hasn’t been kind to the backfield depth at Tulane.
Citing an unnamed source, the Baton Rouge Advocate has reported that Nigel Anderson has been dismissed by new head coach Willie Fritz. “Unspecified reasons” was the only trigger for the booting mentioned.
Just two members of the Green Wave’s 2015 recruiting class were rated higher than Anderson. However, an NCAA Clearinghouse issue delayed his start with the program and the back ultimately took a redshirt his true freshman season.
Anderson had also been held out of spring practice, but the Advocate wrote that he “was expected to return in the fall.”
In addition to Anderson’s forced departure, a 2016 signee has decided, apparently of his own volition, to leave as well.
According to the same newspaper, A.J. Walker has decided to reopen his recruitment after signing with the Green Wave in February. No reason was given for the three-star recruit’s abrupt change of heart.
The Fighting Frites are heading to the Horseshoe.
Ohio State and Tulane announced a one-time game to be played in Columbus on Sept. 22, 2018.
“Tulane enhances and completes a non-conference schedule in 2018 that already includes Power 5 conference teams TCU and Oregon State,” Ohio State deputy AD Martin Jarmond said in a statement. “The Green Wave is part of a fine American Athletic Conference, which produced a New Year’s Day 6 bowl winner last year [Houston over Florida State in the Chick-fil-A Peach Bowl], so its first trip to Ohio Stadium should be exciting for our students and fans.”
The two teams have never met previously. Tulane last faced a Big Ten team on Sept. 27, 2014, a 31-6 loss at Rutgers. Ohio State last faced an American Athletic Conference program in the 2014 opener, a 34-17 Buckeyes win over Navy in Annapolis, Md.
“We are excited for the opportunity to play Ohio State, one of the premier programs in the country,” Tulane executive associate athletics director Brandon Macneill said in a statement. “Our coaching staff and players, along with our fans are eager to play against the very best and this should be a great game. There will be a significant number of Tulanians from around the country joining us at the Horseshoe.”
Adding Tulane completes Ohio State’s 2018 non-conference schedule; the Buckeyes host Oregon State on Sept. 1 and visit TCU on Sept. 15. Tulane still lacks two games for 2018 but is slated to visit Georgia Tech on Sept. 8.
Back January, Devon Breaux announced that he was leaving the Tulane football team to concentrate on running track for the Green Wave. Three months later? Never mind.
Citing a university source, the Baton Rouge Advocate has confirmed that Breaux has decided to return to the Tulane football team in the fall. On his Facebook page Monday, the wide receiver confirmed to friends that he’s returning to the sport after updating his profile picture to one of him in a Green Wave football uniform.
Breaux also offered hints on his Twitter feed, which also (again) features him in helmet and shoulder pads.
The return of Breaux after a brief sabbatical will be a welcome one for first-year head coach Willie Fritz.
Breaux started 12 games during his time at Tulane, including eight this past season. He was second on the team in receiving yards (431) and third in receptions (25). His 17.2 yards per reception led the Green Wave, while his three receiving touchdowns were tied for second-most.
With Willie Fritz set to embark on his first spring practice at Tulane, the first-year head coach has officially put the finishing touches on his first FBS coaching staff.
Sunday, Tulane announced in a press release that four on-field coaches have been hired by Fritz — Slade Nagle, Jamaal Fobbs, Jeff Conway and Chris Hampton. Nagle will coach tight ends, Fobbs will be the running backs coach, Conway will oversee the wide receivers and Hampton will coach defensive backs.
Three of the four assistants come to the Green Wave from the FCS level. The fourth, Conway, was the co-offensive coordinator/running backs coach/tight ends coach at Texas State for the last four years. Fritz and Conway also have a rather extensive connection that stretches back over three decades.
From the school’s release:
Fritz and Conway have a storied history together that dates back to 1984 when both were in their first stints at Sam Houston State. Since then, the two have worked together at Blinn Junior College, Central Missouri, a second time at Sam Houston State and will reunite at Tulane for the fifth time over the last 31 years.
Fritz was the head coach at Georgia Southern the last two seasons, guiding the Eagles to a 17-7 mark in 2014-15. Those were that program’s first two seasons at the FBS level.
Shaun King has already made his mark on the Tampa Bay sports scene after serving as the Bucs’ quarterback from 1999-03, including a run to the NFC championship game as a starter in 1999 and a Super Bowl title as a back-up in 2012.
But now he’s back in the game, in an entirely different role.
King tweeted Tuesday morning he has joined Willie Taggart‘s staff at South Florida. Though the school has not yet announced the move, King’s bio lists himself as the Bulls’ quarterbacks coach.
After leaving the Bucs in 2003, King bounced spent time with the Arizona Cardinals, Detroit Lions and Indianapolis Colts before playing out his career in the CFL and Arena League.
He returned to the Tampa Bay area after his playing career was complete, working in philanthropic efforts while serving as an analyst for ESPN and Yahoo.
King inherits a quarterback room led by rising junior Quinton Flowers, who threw for 2,290 yards with 22 touchdowns while rushing for just south of 1,000 yards with a dozen scores, keying USF’s rise-from-the-dead 2015 season. King, of course, orchestrated an undefeated season while playing quarterback at Tulane.
Here’s hoping his Twitter account remains very un-coach like.