Cornerback Taris Shenall was part of a resurrection at Marrero John Ehret High School last season. After committing to Tulane this week, he noted the same progression with the Green Wave.
John Ehret improved from 0-9 in 2012 to 9-3 district champion in 2013 under second-year coach Corey Lambert, reaching the Class 5A state playoffs and winning a first-round game.
Tulane rose from 2-10 in 2012 to 7-6 in 2013 under second-year coach Curtis Johnson, earning a bowl bid for the first time in 11 years.
“I like what they are doing at Tulane,” said Shenall, a 5-foot-11, 175-pound prospect who has run the 40 in 4.51. “It’s close to home, and I feel like we can build something big there.”
Shenall is Tulane’s fifth commitment for the 2015 class, joining defensive back Jeremie Francis and running back Devin Glenn of Warren Easton, offensive lineman Keeyon Smart of McKinley and defensive tackle Brian Webb of Miller-McCoy.
Shenall liked Tulane enough not to wait for other schools to amp up their pursuit. The Green Wave gave him his first scholarship offer, although he said he received interesting from Southern Miss, Louisiana Tech, Missouri, Southern and Grambling.
Tulane, which used wide receivers coach Keith Williams as his primary recruiter, felt like the perfect fit from the time it began recruiting him after his junior season ended.
“I really like the coaches,” he said. “They are cool and laid back. It makes me more comfortable where I can have fun. I talked to (Johnson) a little while ago. He asked do I think I’m ready to play, and I said yeah. He said I had to have attitude to play for Tulane.”
Shenall certainly demonstrated the aptitude at Ehret. In a 44-9 victory against Fontainbleau, he said he broke up all seven passes thrown in his direction. John Ehret held six opponents to single digits and upset No. 12 seed Mandeville 21-14 in the opening round of the state playoffs.
Despite losing star running back Darrel Williams, an LSU signee, Shenall expects Ehret to go further in the playoffs this fall.
With his coverage skills already solid, he will work on become a better leader. Quiet by nature, he can’t sit back and follow other players as a senior.
“Communicating is really the most important thing,” he said. “I feel like I can talk a little more.”