This upcoming weekend Tulane's coaching staff will be hosting numerous recruits on their official visits as signing day rapidly approaches. A large contingent of current commitments are taking their visits this weekend as well as a few highly desired local prospects. According to our sources this is the list of recruits visiting this weekend (note: this is not official, just what we have been told by sources):
Current Commits: Richard Allen, Sherman Badie, Brandon Godfrey, Lyn Clark, Corey Smith, Kenneth Santa Marina, Eric Bell, Tanner Lee, Nico Marley, Parry Nickerson, Jason Stewart, Chris Taylor, William Townsend.
Other Visitors: Duke Riley, Tanzel Smart, and Eugene Brazley.
- It was reported that Riley cancelled his visit this weekend, but he has changed his mind and will take his official visit uptown. Brazley is a bit of a surprise as he has been committed to Ole Miss since last February. The G.W. Carver running back is a Scout 3 star and the #77 back in the nation.
- In terms of early enrollees, long snapper Mike Lizanich, and transfers Chris Davenport and Nick Montana are all on campus for the spring semester.
On a separate note, we lobbed a call in to TU assistant Jason Rollins to discuss how the staff is working around all the upcoming events in the city at the height of recruiting season. He offered some insights on that as well as some comments on this staff's approach to recruiting.
When recruiting locally, Rollins said that having a high number of local products already committed has been extremely helpful. He pointed to last year citing Kedrick Banks out of McDonough 35 as someone who helped convince more local guys to give Tulane a serious look. Banks skills were well known and respected across the city, and Rollins added that "peer pressure is the best pressure". He also described how New Orleans recruits think they do not need to visit Tulane due to familiarity, but Rollins disagrees - "they see the things about Tulane they think they know but don't. They don't really have a sense of what it is like being a student here." Having these recruits taking one official visit in addition to their unofficial visits allows the staff to really display what Tulane has to offer athletically and academically.
In terms of philosophy, Rollins reinforced the same mantras that Curtis Johnson has been touting since the day he was hired. He discussed the formulation of the State of Tulane and keeping New Orleans recruits in the city. "When you look around other team's rosters, there's a lot of New Orleans kids on there". The staff wants those kids to all end up on their roster and have them asking "why not Tulane?" Rollins has a firm belief that these kids can bring multiple bowl wins and even a championship to Tulane.
As for the challenges that arise as signing day looms, Rollins talked about how the Super Bowl and Mardi Gras have forced the staff to make this weekend the big recruiting weekend in terms of official visits. With the swaths of people visiting the city it is harder to facilitate lodging due to cost and availability. Despite that, Rollins said it will not have a huge effect on their efforts and it can only reinforce that New Orleans is a great city to play in. What may be more concerning for the staff is current commits being swayed by other programs late in the process - "those schools from up north start coming in late". This weekend becomes even more important as Tulane will need to maintain the belief that Tulane is school and program for them.
Recruiting is non-stop, highly competitive part of college coaching but Rollins still enjoys it. "It's like a kid playing little league baseball". The TU staff hopes to solidify all of its commitments by bringing the bulk of the class in on one weekend to create even more momentum and have the group reaffirm its intent to play for the Green Wave.