Willie Fritz knows the numbers — the ones from last fall and the ones from February. Both of them have to change.
There's 4-8, the Green Wave's record in Fritz's first season.
And 2, the number of local kids Tulane signed in Fritz's most recent signing class.
He knows those numbers aren't going to cut it.
"For us to accomplish the goals we want here at Tulane, we've got to up the ante in recruiting," Fritz said.
He hopes that Friday's joint camp with LSU at Yulman Stadium is a start.
More than 400 high school football players (140 in the lineman portion, 296 skill players) attended the camp, which also included LSU coach Ed Orgeron, Southern coach Dawson Odums and Nicholls State coach Tim Rebowe.
"I'm not foolish enough not to understand that some of the kids are hoping to catch LSU's eye," Fritz said. "That's all right. Last time I checked, they can only sign 25. I think it's a good draw for us."
Orgeron, Odums and Rebowe weren't allowed to speak to media during the camp, but all three probably would agree with Fritz on how important it is to try to keep Louisiana prosepects in-state.
"It's very important," Fritz said. "We'd love to be able to sign the whole recruiting class from the state of Louisiana. It's not going to happen for us. Louisiana has 4.7 million people, and it is heavily recruited. It's as much a recruited area as any place I've ever been, and I've been all over the country. The one thing we've got to do is recruit pure Division I athletes. We have to find guys that can help us win the American (Athletic Conference), not just be competitive."
Fritz said he will likely offer scholarships to some of the campers, and he expects to get some verbal commitments. That's just what he was hoping for out of these joint camps, which have been in the spotlight in recent weeks.
An article in Sports Illustrated tied LSU to the cancellation of an agreement Tulane had with Michigan and another agreement Southeastern Louisiana had with Texas. The controversy escalated this week when Hal Mumme, who coaches at Division III Belhaven in Mississippi, accused LSU and of influencing Louisiana universities to keep out of state colleges away from the joint camps. Mumme reported his concerns to the NCAA.
Fritz said that wasn't the case for Friday's camp.
Fritz said the original plan was to do the camp with LSU, but because of the hectic spring schedule, he and Orgeron were unable to work any details.
"We got an answer from Michigan but wasn't sure if coach (Jim) Harbaugh was going to come here or not," Fritz said. "I got an opportunity to talk to Coach O, and he was fired up and ready to go. It's a great pairing for us."
Players weren't allowed to talk to media either, but local high school coaches loved the concept of the combined camps.
"It is just showing our guys that you may not all get a chance to go to LSU, but you still may get chance for Tulane or Nicholls or Southern or Louisiana Tech or wherever and still stay close to home where your family can get to see you," John Ehret coach Corey Lambert said. "At the end of the day, kids are going to go where they want to go. But these coaches are doing their part by coming together."
Troy Jackson, defensive coordinator at Covenant Christian, brought three of his players from Houma to the camp. He said there are two main benefits to a joint camp.
"One, it gives them exposure to see some of these coaches and these coaches see them," Jackson said. "Two, they can see some of the other talent that is out there. It teaches them not to be complacent about where you think you are. You see all these kids and you know you have to constantly keep working to get better. Once kids see there is a big pool out there, they realize that it's not just that little bitty pond that they know about."
And there was that one more thing Jackson noticed from his players.
"The kids get excited when they see Coach O," Jackson said. "Everybody's not 'LSU talent.' There are so many other schools out there, so when they see stuff like this stadium and these facilities, they'll say I'll play here."
And that's exactly what Fritz was hoping for.
"It's a win-win for us, and hopefully coach Orgeron feels the same way," Fritz said.