The groundwork had been laid by Tulane with Catholic-New Iberia offensive tackle Wyatt Richthofen for nearly the past two years.
With annual appearances at the Green Wave’s summer camp, Richthofen not only jumped on the radar of the coaching staff, but the 6-foot-5, 305-pounder became increasingly attracted to the school and charm of New Orleans.
Halfway into his senior season, Richthofen picked up the scholarship offer he coveted from Tulane and called back 10 minutes later to issue his commitment.
“I started my recruiting process with a goal like that,” Richthofen said. “If anyone would have asked me this summer what my No. 1 (choice) was, it would have been Tulane. You couldn’t ask for much more.”
Richthofen made his pledge official on Sunday after calling all of the schools involved in recruiting him to inform them of his decision.
“He followed perfectly the standard of (Louisiana-Lafayette wide receiver) Gabe Fusilier and (Ole Miss quarterback) Jason Pellerin,” Catholic-NI coach Brent Indest said of the program’s most recent college signees. “He’s a great example of what a student-athlete is supposed to be.”
Richthofen, a 3.8 student who scored 24 on the ACT, didn’t hide his feelings when it came to recognizing the academic component Tulane played in his decision.
He chose the Green Wave over offers from McNeese State, Central Arkansas and Southeastern Louisiana, while Louisiana-Lafayette, Louisiana-Monroe and Houston all expressed interest, he said.
“When I started my recruiting process, I rated everything by academics, athletics and atmosphere, and Tulane was off the charts on all three,” Richthofen said. “I’m definitely happy about that.”
Richthofen, a first team All-District 5-2A selection, played a vital role in last year’s offensive line, which paved the way for a run-oriented offense to help Catholic reach the Division III state title game against Calvary Baptist.
After attending Tulane’s past two games, Richthofen enjoyed a change in status from prospect to commitment.
Several days after talking to Tulane offensive line coach John McDonell, Richthofen spoke with offensive coordinator Eric Price on Thursday evening when the conversation eventually lead to the news he’s been waiting to hear.
“He said they were going to offer a scholarship,” Richthofen said.
Following phone calls to his parents and Indest, Richthofen called again for Price to issue his pledge, one that provided him with a new standing amongst his future coaches and teammates during Tulane’s 45-31 victory Saturday over Central Florida.
“Everyone’s was coming up to me,” Richthofen said. “I really feel like I was a part of the family. There was no pressure when I went to the game. There were butterflies in my stomach thinking I was going to be on the field next year. It was great.”