New Tulane football coach Willie Fritz may have found his starting quarterback of the future — and quite possibly the near future.
Former Georgia Southern commitment Darius Bradwell on Monday confirmed on Twitter that he would follow Fritz to Tulane, giving the Green Wave a prospect who ran for more yards than he threw as a senior at Godby High in Tallahassee, Florida.
Bradwell, a 6-foot, 220-pounder, graduated in December, will enroll at Tulane for the spring semester and will participate in spring drills.
No true freshman quarterback ever has put up good numbers at Tulane, but Bradwell could get a chance. After committing to Kent State in June, he switched to Georgia Southern in November because he felt like he was a perfect fit for Fritz’s shotgun-based, run-oriented offense.
Fritz’s decision to leave for Tulane a month later forced him to change his destination again.
“I can’t imagine him not competing right away,” Godby coach Todd Lanter said of Bradwell. “He’s ready. He’s extremely intelligent. He’s very football smart. He’s 220 pounds, running a 4.5 40. I hated it when he took his last snap here for me.”
Tulane’s starting quarterback the past two years, rising redshirt junior Tanner Lee, is a pure dropback passer. Redshirt senior Devin Powell started once in 2015 because of an injury to Lee — a 42-7 loss to Houston — before falling down the depth chart. Redshirt sophomore Glen Cuiellette played in one game and did not throw a pass.
Fritz’s quarterbacks operate out of the shotgun on every snap. Lanter said Bradwell took all but about two snaps in the shotgun the past two years, leading Godby to a runner-up finish in the Class 5A playoffs as a junior.
His passing numbers were underwhelming — 98-for-196 (50.0 percent) in 2014 and 78-for-168 (46.4 percent) in 2015 — but Lanter insisted he was more than just an athlete playing quarterback.
“He’s definitely a dual-threat kid,” Lanter said. “He can do it with his arm, and he can do it with his legs. He’s the kind of guy that, if the game’s on the line, he wants the ball in his hands.”
After losing a slew of seniors and almost its entire offensive line from 2014, Godby slipped to 3-6 this season while Rivals.com lowered Bradwell’s rating to two stars from three. Still, the team scored 31 or more points seven times, and Bradwell increased his average per carry from 6.0 to 9.7, rushing for 134.8 yards per game.
“He is real hard to tackle,” Lanter said. “When Darius gets to the second level, safeties don’t want to come up and hit him.”
Bradwell replaces Oxford (Mississippi) High’s Jack Abraham as a quarterback commitment. Abraham, who pledged to former coach Curtis Johnson last April, decommitted after talking with Fritz soon after he was hired because he did not think he was a good fit for Fritz’s offense.
Georgia Southern led the nation in rushing the past two years as Fritz melded the pistol offense he used at Sam Houston State from 2010-13 into the triple-option system he inherited in Statesboro, Georgia.
In his introductory news conference at Tulane in December, he said his offense would more closely resemble the Sam Houston State system while retaining some elements of the option.