Tulane football signs promising recruiting class

Mark Keplinger, Sports Editor

tulane recruiting
Head coach Willie Fritz recruited 24 new players this cycle with many players being Louisiana natives. (Courtesy of Parker Waters)

Tulane football officially signed 24 new players as part of their 2023 recruiting class. The class contains five transfer athletes and 19 incoming freshmen.

Position-wise, the Green Wave is getting one quarterback, one wide receiver, two running backs, one tight end, five offensive linemen, three edge rushers, four linebackers, five defensive backs and one safety. One player, Hunter Summers out of Prosper High School in Texas, is a two-way player who played both wide receiver and defensive back in high school. 

There are exciting players in this class and a few names are worth highlighting.

Although he was a two-way player in high school, Summers will most likely play receiver at Tulane. In his senior season, he hauled in 56 catches for 1,001 yards and 17 touchdowns. The Prosper Eagles competed in the highest level of Texas high school football, Class 6-A Division I, finished the season 13-2 and made the state semifinals before losing to the eventual state champion Duncanville Panthers in a 41-0 drubbing.

Tulane is adding two highly talented running backs — Arnold “Duda” Barnes and Trey Cornist. Barnes, out of Booker T. Washington High School in New Orleans, ran for 1,722 yards and 22 touchdowns in his senior year. Barnes has impressive speed and ran on the high school track team, where he ran the 100 meter dash in 11.2 seconds. Cornist, from Winton Woods High School in Cincinnati, rushed for 1,650 yards and 27 touchdowns while averaging nine yards a carry. Cornist won the Ohio Division II state championship in 2021 when his Warriors bested the Akron Hoban Knights 21-10. 

Transferring in from LSU is Cameron Wire — an imposing 6 feet, 6 inches, 295 pound offensive lineman who can play both at the guard and tackle positions. He started 11 games for the Tigers and totaled 28 appearances. In this past season, Wire played in four games and started one for the Bayou Bengals.

An All-Big 10 honorable mention at cornerback in 2021, AJ Hampton is transferring in from Northwestern University. In 2021, Hampton had an incredible year with 12 passes defended, 40 tackles and a forced fumble. Hampton took a step back in 2022, in large part due to an ankle injury suffered in week zero against Nebraska that kept him out for half of the season. He will be looking to bounce back with the Green Wave, but his 2021 season proves that he can be a shutdown cornerback.

With both Dorian Williams and Nick Anderson potentially leaving for the NFL Draft after this season, Louisiana Tech transfer Tyler Grubbs should bolster the linebackers corp next season. In his three years with the Bulldogs, he made the All-Conference USA second team twice, the All-Louisiana first team twice and the ESPN freshman All-American team. In his first two seasons with Louisiana Tech, Grubbs had 99 and 97 tackles respectively, but injury limited him this season to just five games. Nevertheless, Grubbs managed 48 tackles on the year, including a 15 tackle performance in a loss to the No. 5 Clemson Tigers.

The Wave is adding a trio of exciting Louisianan edge rushers. Matthew Fobbs-White out of Neville High School collected an astounding 19 sacks his senior season and 25 quarterback hurries. Jah’rie Garner of St. Augustine High School had six sacks and 10 tackles for loss his senior year. AJ Thomas out of Zachary High School had his best season his junior year, where he made first team all-state after picking up 5 sacks, 18 tackles for loss and 12 quarterback hurries. Despite having one of the best defenses in the NCAA, Tulane struggled last season with sacking the quarterback. The Wave managed just 24 sacks, which is good enough for 96th in the country. Tulane is hoping that these three can strengthen the pass rush next season.

Tulane football is setting itself up well for the future. Despite losing a flurry of defensive starters, head coach Willie Fritz and the rest of the coaching staff has done a good job in both his recruiting and player development in finding replacements for those players. Both offensive captains, quarterback Michael Pratt and center Sincere Haynesworth, have announced they will return in 2023, which bolstered Fritz.

Tulane will finish the season on Jan. 2 in the Cotton Bowl against the Southern California Trojans, which will be the final time to watch this current group of Green Wave players. This recruiting class will be added into the fold during spring camp and preseason fall camp and will open the 2023 season at home against the South Alabama Jaguars.

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