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Ryan Jones

LSU running backs coach Frank Wilson has emerged as an earlymedia favorite in the Green Wave’s head coaching search. Manybelieve Wilson, who also serves as the Tigers’ recruitingcoordinator, represents the reasonable optimist’s best hopes forthe next man to take the Tulane job. He is an up-and-comingcoaching prospect whose youth, enthusiasm and local ties couldpotentially rejuvenate the downtrodden program.

A graduate of St. Augustine (La.) High School, Wilson hasexperienced impressive amounts of success in just two years up theriver. He has engineered two straight top 10 recruiting classes,and Rivals named him 2011 Recruiter of the Year. Wilson has alsopreviously served as athletic director of the New Orleans PublicSchool System. If hired, he would be the Wave’s first black headcoach in the program’s 118-year history.

Fan reaction to the possibility of hiring Wilson has beenlukewarm at best. Critics usually point to his lack ofcollege-level coordinating or head coaching experience, and expressdoubts about his ability to translate his LSU recruiting prowessinto Tulane recruiting success.

Many draw comparisons to Memphis head coach Larry Porter. Porteralso served as the Bayou Bengals’ recruiting coordinator andrunning backs coach from 2005-09, and he was twice named RivalsRecruiter of the Year. His record at Memphis in two years, however,is an abysmal 3-17. Though it’s hard to prognosticate how Wilsonwill fare as a college head coach, Tulane could likely sign him fora cheaper price than some of the other top-flight candidates.