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John Owens

On Jan. 14, Tulane had a recruiting class that was in line withthe mediocre standards fans have come to expect. It featured somethree-star athletes, some two-star types and some local talent.Now, not even a month later, it features a four-star prospect forthe first time in a decade, as well as a host of other talentedplayers. This accomplishment is no small feat.

This class, however, is both remarkable and unremarkable. Whatfootball head coach Curtis Johnson has done so far seems trulymiraculous, and in some respects, it is. To have pulled indefensive back Darion Monroe, a four-star recruit who had committedto Texas A&M, is a development that can only mean good thingsfor Tulane football. Luring Jordan Batiste, a three-star defensiveback, away from Ole Miss is impressive as well.

But in the grand scheme of things, this class is still veryaverage. It’s ranked seventh in Conference USA by Rivals. Itsaverage star level is still one of the lowest in the conference.While the talent looks good on top, it will take a fair amount ofdevelopment by Johnson and his staff to turn this into a greatclass. The season will be a true test of his ability as a coach. Hehas already proven that he is a great recruiter, while at Miami(Fla.), and he has proved it again by signing some very talentedplayers in his brief tenure at Tulane.

Just don’t christen them yet.

Tulane has been so bad for so long that any sign of improvementsends the fan base into a tizzy, which ultimately leads todisappointment. Fans need to remember that this class is still notremarkable to the outside world. When contextualized, it’s middleof the pack. For Tulane, it’s an improvement and something thatfans and students alike did not expect this year.

Don’t fall for the hype, though. Tulane will be better thisseason; it would be very hard for them not to be. But it will takemore talent for Tulane to compete at the top of the conference, anda full recruiting class from Johnson to prove that he’s actuallybringing change to Tulane. Tulane has many times seen a fast start,followed by a slow, mid-season petering out by players and coachesalike.

Be proud of Johnson for doing some very good things thus far.Remember, though, this team is not there yet, and this class is notthe greatest class in the history of Tulane. Take it for what it is- a good start and hopefully the beginning of a new era.