Cuiellette poised to lead Green Wave as hot streak continues

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Redshirt sophomore quarterback Glen Cuiellette will remain at the starting position after a long-fought competition for the position against fellow quarterback Johnathan Brantley. 

Colin Threlkeld, Associate Editor

After an extended period of competition for the spot, redshirt sophomore Glen Cuiellette will be the Green Wave’s starting quarterback going forward.

Freshman quarterback Johnathan Brantley began the season at the starting spot, but Cuillette’s breakout performance in Tulane’s four-overtime thriller against the University of Louisiana-Lafayette and the team’s subsequent win over UMass with Cuillette at the helm has secured his place atop the chart for now.

In the past two games, Cuiellette threw for a combined 333 yards, five touchdowns and only one interception.

While he has usually been considered a pass-first quarterback, Cuiellette showcased an ability to get outside the pocket and make defenders miss in the open field against UMass, giving him the ability to rack up 60 rushing yards.

He credits this expansion of skill to the new coaching staff, which has been much more open to his tucking and running when the play is there.

“[Cuiellette has] done well the last couple of weeks,” head coach Willie Fritz said. “We’d be foolish not to start him.”

According to Fritz, Cuiellette’s decision-making abilities have noticeably improved this season, which Fritz expected, given that Cuiellette redshirted the 2014 season and only played in one game during the 2015 season as a redshirt freshman.

As a redshirt sophomore, Cuiellette is the elder statesman, relatively speaking, among his fellow quarterbacks, both of whom are true freshmen.

“[Cuiellette] was our experienced quarterback, but he really didn’t have a lot of experience either,” Fritz said.

Though Fritz seems confident in his new signal-caller, Cuiellette is still eager to earn the spot every time he steps onto the field.

The battle for the quarterback spot was hard-fought, but Cuiellette thinks the competition has kept him on his toes and pushed him to work even harder.

As the starting quarterback, Cuiellette’s coaches and team are calling on him to step up as a leader, something he hasn’t had to do before this year. In the last two games, however, he has shown signs of being up to that task.

“[The last two games] taught me that we can come back from a deficit … and it showed me that I can lead these guys too,” Cuiellette said. “I always knew I could, but now it showed me even more.”

The Wave’s record now stands at 3-2, equaling the win totals from the 2014 and 2015 seasons already, the Green Wave has built up momentum as it moves into the meat of its conference schedule.

“I made a promise to myself and to the seniors that we would win at least eight games because I want to beat what we did in 2013 with the seven-win season they had,” Cuiellette said.

Cuiellette said he views the pressure to succeed as an opportunity.

“The coaches have been hard on me, but that’s because they knew I was capable of making plays and being a good quarterback for their system,” Cuiellette said. “They gave me a lot of chances, and that’s really all I could ask for.”