Tulane

2017 Prespring Rankings: No. 116 Tulane Green Wave

2017 Prespring Rankings: No. 116 Tulane Green Wave


The 2017 prespring college football rankings, taking the first look at the Tulane Green Wave


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No. 116: Tulane Green Wave

Tulane Green Wave Prespring Status

A one-win improvement might not have seemed like much, and it wasn’t in the first year under head coach Willie Fritz. It’s going to take a little while to get the running game going like it did under Fritz at Georgia Southern, and the passing game was abysmal. The O was never going to bomb away, but it at least needed to take advantage of the opportunities to move the chains – Tulane was the worst in the nation in third downs. This year, the close wins have to come and getting to a bowl game is a must. A two-win improvement isn’t asking for the world.

Tulane Green Wave Biggest Issue

The linebacking corps needs new playmakers. Leading tackler Nico Marley is gone, along with star tackle Tanzel Smart on the interior. Eric Thomas is finished on the weakside, and solid-hitting nickel defender Richard Allen has to be replaced. The defense did a nice job at times throughout the season, but Smart and Marley were the main disruptive forces in the backfield.

Tulane Green Wave Biggest Positive

The secondary turned into one of the biggest strengths last season, allowing just 205 yards per game with an okay 12 picks. Allen might be gone from the nickel spot, but the other four starting defensive backs return. Parry Nickerson returns to one corner spot after leading the way with four interceptions, while second-leading tackler Jarrod Franklin is back at his free safety position. If the pass rush is okay, the Green Wave secondary should be among Conference USA’s most productive.

Really, Why Are The Tulane Green Wave Ranked Here?

It’s a good, promising team with way too many concerns to take that next step up. Two starters are gone off the O line, the passing game needs to show it can do something, and the defensive losses up front are going to matter. However, change this up in a hurry if the Fritz rushing attack starts to kick in. There’s a chance Tulane becomes an American Athletic X factor – but there has to be a downfield pass here and there.