Of the 21 official visitors arriving on Tulane’s first recruiting weekend under new football coach Willie Fritz on Friday, two might receive extra attention.
The Green Wave needs another quarterback in the worst way after the departure of two-year starter Tanner Lee, who is visiting LSU this weekend, and both prospects who will be on campus won major awards in high school after posting prodigious numbers.
Lindsey Scott, a 6-foot, 205-pound three-star prospect from Zachary, committed to Syracuse in October, but the Orange fired the coaching staff that recruited him, and former Bowling Green coach Dino Babers replaced Scott Shafer. Scott was named the Louisiana Gatorade Player of the Year, leading Zachary to its first state championship with a 46-12 thumping of John Ehret in the Class 5A title game. Scott ran for 265 yards in a semifinal victory and threw for 229 yards and three scores against John Ehret.
Ty Pigrome, a 5-foot-11, 180-pound three-star prospect from Clay-Chalkville (Alabama), reportedly has offers from Virginia Tech, Maryland, Purdue, Indiana, Memphis and Cincinnati, among others. He was named the Gatorade Alabama Football Player of the Year after accounting for more than 4,000 yards of offense and 62 touchdowns as Clay-Chalkville reached the Class 6A state championship game before losing for the first time.
One quarterback recruit, Darius Bradwell of Tallahassee (Florida) Godby, already is enrolled at Tulane as an early signee. The only scholarship quarterbacks on the roster are fifth-year senior Devin Powell, who fell behind former walk-on Jordy Joseph by the end of 2015, and sophomore Glen Cuillette, who has played one down.
Fritz did not dismiss the possibility of a true freshman starting at quarterback. It happened in his first year at Sam Houston State in 2010, when the Bearkats went 6-5 behind Brian Bell, who threw for 138 yards per game and ran for 269 yards on the season.
“He was the best one we had, and that’s one part of your team,” Fritz said. “It’s an important part, but it’s one part. We’ll do what (the winner of the quarterback derby) can do. You have to have guys that step up, and as a coach you have to be able to hide your deficiencies and accent the things you do well.”
Scott will be one of seven Tulane visitors this weekend with a commitment to another school, joining linebacker Lawrence Graham of Delray (Florida) American Heritage (Florida Atlantic), cornerback Christian Holmes of Atlanta McNair (Missouri), cornerback Tre Jackson of University Lab (South Carolina), safety Damar’ren Mitchell of Magnolia West in Texas (UL-Lafayette), offensive guard Alex Mollette of Suwanee (Georgia) North Gwinnett (Marshall) and offensive tackle D’Ante Smith of Grovetown in Georgia (Appalachian State).
The Green Wave will bring in six uncommitted recruits — Pigrome, linebacker Eron Carter of Palatka (Florida), offensive lineman Lawrence Edwards of Port Orange (Florida) Spruce Creek, defensive tackle Jordan Jackson of Jacksonville (Florida) Bolles, offensive lineman Tyler Johnson of Stone Mountain (Georgia) Stephenson and running back D.J. Owens of Dallas (Georgia) North Paulding.
The other eight visitors already are committed to Tulane — safety P.J. Hall of Hoover (Alabama), wide receiver Chris Johnson of Scotlandville, safety Eric Lewis of St. Charles Catholic, kicker/punter Coby Neenan of Dothan (Alabama) Northview, wide receiver Jacq’co Price of Crowley, defensive end Deion Rainey of Southern Lab, defensive end DeAndre Williams of Scotlandville and defensive end Jonathan Wilson of South Plaquemines.
This is the first of three recruiting weekends before national signing day Feb. 3. Tulane, which has 11 commitments, is expecting a class of about 20 players with room for a few more if good enough prospects are interested.