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David Quistberg

With a new coach with a new vision for the team, thereany possibility of a quarterback controversy?

Quarterback Ryan Griffin is a two-year starter who already holdsa place in the Tulane record books for highest completionpercentage in a season at 61.3 percent. New head coach CurtisJohnson’s new offensive scheme, however, calls for a mobilequarterback who can make throws on the run.

“If there was anytime in this program that there was a chancefor a quarterback to play early in his career, it is now,” Johnsonsaid.

New two-star recruit Devin Powell has the athleticism andleadership ability to contribute immediately.

“I think what Powell brings is a dimension that he can get outof a play,” Johnson said. “You have to love that athleticism thatthis kid has, and it will be hard to sit him [on the bench].”Spring practice will provide more clues as to the state of thequarterback controversy.

Can Trent Mackey repeat last year’s dominatingperformance?

Rising Senior linebacker Trent Mackey was an absolute force lastyear. He was third in the nation with 145 tackles and 12.08 tacklesper game. He was also sixth in Conference USA with 14 tackles forloss and recorded 4.5 sacks, good for 11th-best in C-USA. Histackle total last season was the most by any a Tulane player since1983. Mackey is the heart and soul of the Green Wave defense. If hehas another dominating season, Tulane’s defense could prove to be acrucial difference in close games. If he regresses and the defensefalls flat, this year will be a long one for Green Wave fans.

Which 2012 recruits will have the biggest contributionsthis year?

Four-star recruit Darion Monroe, Tulane’s first four starrecruit in 12 years, looks to see immediate playing time.

“He is a special type of athlete,” Johnson said. “He is one ofthose guys you have to put somewhere on the field.”

Monroe is penciled in at defensive back, but he can alsocontribute at wide receiver, running back, quarterback, kickreturner and punt returner. Three-star recruit Jordan Batiste, alsolisted at defensive back, adds some much needed depth to thecornerback position.

Tulane also bulked up its defensive line with the additions ofRoyce LaFrance and Calvin Thomas. Both are big, athletic playerswho will solidify Tulane’s front seven.

Johnson said he believes that the recruiting class’ biggest ison the offensive line. Tulane added five linemen to its roster onsigning day. Todd Jacquet and Alex Paul are local three-starrecruits who look to get some playing time this year. The GreenWave also added further depth for the running back position,picking up Louisiana signees Josh Rounds and LazedrickThompson.

 

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