NEW ORLEANS, LA — When Green Wave head football coach Curtis Johnson was hired last January, he announced during his introductory press conference that he would establish “The State of Tulane” when it came to recruiting. That statement proved to be prophetic with his second signing class as Tulane inked 18 local products among the 24 student-athletes joining the program for the 2013 season.
In addition to quarterback Nick Montana (San Francisco, Calif./Mt. San Antonio College), defensive lineman Chris Davenport (Mansfield, La./LSU) and deep snapper Michael Lizanich (Scottsdale, Ariz./Pinnacle HS) – who are already enrolled for the spring semester – Tulane signed six offensive players (4 linemen, 1 quarterback, 1 running back) and 16 defensive players (7 linemen, 4 defensive backs, 3 cornerbacks, 2 linebackers) to National Letters of Intent during on the NCAA’s National Signing Day.
“This is a special class, a dream class for us,” Johnson said. “This class is very impressive with the skill, the speed and the size as a whole. We really focused on the defensive side this year and increasing our numbers on that side of the ball. We’ve added some big defensive lineman, some talented linebackers and added several standout players in the secondary.
“It was our goal to fill our immediate needs with this class and we were able to accomplish this. If you look at any position on the team we had needs and these newcomers not only filled many of these needs, but they bring an impressive amount of athleticism to our program.”
Headlining the list of signees is a quartet from the 2012 prep national championship team of John Curtis Christian High in nearby River Ridge – cornerback Richard Allen, running back Sherman Badie, center Brandon Godfrey and linebacker Eric Thomas. In addition, Tulane signed local defensive ends Quinlan Carroll (Belle Chasse, La./Belle Chasse HS) and Luke Jackson (LaPlace, La./St. Charles Catholic HS), defensive tackles Eric Bell (Harvey, La./West St. John HS), Tanzel Smart (Baton Rouge, La./Scotlandville Magnet HS) and Eldrick Washington (Harvey, La./Helen Cox HS), cornerbacks Jarrod Franklin (Baton Rouge, La./University Lab) and Parry Nickerson (Terrytown, La./West Jefferson HS), defensive backs Leonard Davis (Laplace, La./East St. John HS) and Sergio Medina (Boutte, La./Hahnville HS), offensive guards Jason Stewart (New Orleans, La./Warren Easton HS) and Chris Taylor (Baker, La./Zachary HS), offensive tackle Kenneth Santa Marina (New Orleans, La./McDonogh 35 HS) and quarterback Tanner Lee (Destrehan, La./Jesuit HS).
The Green Wave also added safety Tristan Cooper (Tampa, Fla./Plant HS) – who played as a junior at University Lab in Baton Rouge – along with defensive end Ade Aruna (La Porte, Ind./La Lumiere School), linebacker Nico Marley (Weston, Fla./Cypress Bay HS) and cornerback William Townsend (Miami, Fla./Norland HS).
Among the 24 newcomers feature are a pair of five-star recruits (Davenport as a prepster at Mansfield High in 2009 and Lizanich) and two four-star prospects (Montana as a prepster at Oaks Christian in 2010) and Taylor. Allen, Aruna, Badie, Carroll, Davis, Godfrey, Lee, Marley, Nickerson, Santa Marina, Smart, Stewart and Washington are all three-star prospects while Bell, Cooper, Franklin, Jackson, Medina, Thomas and Townsend earned two-star status.
Of Tulane’s freshmen signees, 12 rank among the Top-100 at their respective positions by national recruiting services: Lizanich (2 by ESPN.com, 5 by Scout.com, 7 by ChrisSailerKicking.com, 14 by 247Sports.com), Taylor (8 by ESPN.com, 38 by Rivals.com, 73 by 247Sports.com), Badie (17 by 247Sports.com), Santa Marina (23 by Scout.com, 30 by 247Sports.com, 34 by Rivals.com, 52 by ESPN.com), Godfrey (32 by Scout.com), Washington (47 by 247Sports.com), Aruna (48 by 247Sports.com), Lee (55 by 247Sports.com, 83 by ESPN.com), Thomas (69 by Scout.com), Bell (70 by 247Sports.com), Smart (81 by 247Sports.com) and Marley (82 by 247Sports.com, 167 by ESPN.com and Scout.com).
Nine other rank between 100-200 for their play: Davis (100 by 247Sports.com, 170 by Scout.com), Stewart (104 by ESPN.com, 108 by 247Sports.com, 124 by Scout.com), Nickerson (114 by 247Sports.com), Allen (116 by ESPN.com, 132 by 247Sports.com), Franklin (128 by 247Sports.com, 172 by Scout.com), Jackson (133 by ESPN.com, 156 by 247Sports.com), Carroll (138 by ESPN.com, 181 by 247Sports.com), Medina (143 by 247Sports.com) and Cooper (149 athlete by 247Sports.com).
“This is class is an all hands on deck group and I can see anywhere from 18-20 players playing in some capacity. Each player is big, strong, fast and physical and I’ve said this before and I will be saying it next year, this is not a redshirt program. I can see many of these kids playing right away for us.”
Season ticket packages will be available for purchase and renewal by calling the Tulane Team Shop Ticket Office at 504-861-WAVE (9283) or visit www.TulaneGreenWave.com . Fans will also be receiving information in the mail on the renewal process in the coming weeks. All 2013 Tulane Football season ticket holders in the Mercedes-Benz Superdome will have priority access to purchase season tickets in the Yulman Stadium (those with a history of supporting both TAF and buying season tickets will receive enhanced priority).
Further information on the new football stadium, ticket packages, parking and tailgating will be released later this spring. For the most up to date information, please visit www.TulaneStadium.com .
2013 TULANE FOOTBALL SIGNING CLASS
Name Pos. Ht. Wt. Hometown/High School/Previous School
Richard Allen CB 5-9 167 Metairie, La./John Curtis Christian HS
Ade Aruna DE 6-6 230 La Porte, Ind./La Lumiere School
Sherman Badie RB 5-10 190 Metairie, La./John Curtis Christian HS
Eric Bell DT 6-2 245 Harvey, La./West St. John HS
Quinlan Carroll DE 6-1 216 Belle Chasse, La./Belle Chasse HS
Tristan Cooper DB 6-0 175 Tampa, Fla./Plant HS
Chris Davenport DT 6-5 330 Mansfield, La./Mansfield HS/LSU
Leonard Davis DB 6-0 186 Laplace, La./East St. John HS
Jarrod Franklin CB 5-11 194 Baton Rouge, La./University Laboratory School
Brandon Godfrey C 6-4 255 Kenner, La./John Curtis Christian HS
Luke Jackson DE 6-2 210 Laplace, La./St. Charles Catholic HS
Tanner Lee QB 6-4 192 Destrehan, La./Jesuit HS
Michael Lizanich DS 6-0 220 Scottsdale, Ariz./Pinnacle HS
Nico Marley LB 5-8 180 Weston, Fla./Cypress Bay HS
Sergio Medina DB 6-0 210 Boutte, La./Hahnville HS
Nick Montana QB 6-3 200 San Francisco, Calif./Oaks Christian HS/Mt. San Antonio College
Kenneth Santa Marina OT 6-5 320 New Orleans, La./McDonogh 35 HS
Parry Nickerson CB 5-11 170 Terrytown, La./West Jefferson HS
Tanzel Smart DT 6-2 290 Baton Rouge, La./Scotlandville Magnet HS
Jason Stewart OG 6-4 315 New Orleans, La./Warren Easton HS
Chris Taylor OG 6-1 315 Baker, La./Zachary HS
Eric Thomas LB 5-9 225 Meraux, La./John Curtis Christian HS
William Townsend CB 6-0 190 Miami, Fla./Miami Northland HS
Eldrick Washington DT 6-1 240 Harvey, La./Helen Cox HS