Football Beefs up with New Signees

February 8, 2004

Geoffrey Shannon, <i>Hullabaloo</i> sports editor

Green Wave football announced the signing of 23 prep players at a press conference Wednesday at the Wilson Center. "This class is a good supplement to our present team," Head Coach Chris Scelfo said. "You judge a class on their careers, and it's way too early to tell anything, but on paper this class will have an opportunity to help our football program."

Size was the most significant statistic among the Green Wave's new class, specifically along both the offensive and defensive lines. Five players are listed at 290 pounds or above, adding considerable presence to Tulane's lines, both of which averaged 285 pounds in 2003. Speed was a factor in the skill positions, with signing a mix of wide receivers, running backs and defensive players averaging a 4.45 or below in the 40-yard dash.

"Getting size has been important, but we also signed guys that can run, especially on defense," Scelfo said. Defense was the deepest area recruited, with eight linemen and five defensive backs among the signees. The team placed less emphasis on offensive positions, inking only one quarterback, one tight end and one wide receiver. "I felt like we really needed to address the defensive line issue and that was evidenced by our bringing in eight players at that position," Scelfo said. "Defense was something we targeted going in."

The team continued its new emphasis recruiting in Texas by signing seven players from the Lone Star State, including four of the top 100 players in the state. Last year's recruiting class included eight players from Texas. Tulane also continued to recruit locally, signing 12 in-state prospects. In addition, offensive tackle Troy Kropoq and linebacker Jamal Johnson, both from the New Orleans area, have reportedly signed with the team, though they will not enroll until Jan. 2005.

Though Tulane announced 23 official signees, the football team still has eight weeks to fill the maximum 25 scholarships. Tulane's stringent academic requirements for its teams have been the cause of attrition over the years, which bring a necessity for extra scholarships. Women's soccer also received three National Letters of Intent from recruits Wednesday.

Soccer, which posted a school-record 11 wins last season, is deep in underclassmen and will lose only two seniors to graduation. "Even though we are only bringing in three new players, we are excited because it is a group who should have an immediate impact," Soccer Head Coach Betsy Anderson said. "We are adding a player at forward, midfield and defender, which will help add depth to our young team."

Forward Brianna Buffington and midfield Courtney Krouse hail from California, while defender Megan Weinlien heads to the Green Wave from Texas.

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