Neither Lorenzo Doss nor coach Curtis Johnson were ready to divulge much information on what’s next for Tulane’s standout junior cornerback.
As a preseason All-American and Tulane’s top defensive back, Doss was widely speculated as a risk to leap into the NFL after his third collegiate season. It’s a common occurrence around some programs, but one the Green Wave hasn’t dealt with since defensive back Lynaris Elpheage departed as a junior in 2002.
“I haven’t been really focused on it,” Doss said. “I haven’t really been thinking much about it.”
However, Doss mentioned there’s a possibility that Saturday’s 6:30 p.m. kickoff against Temple in Yulman Stadium may be his last game at Tulane.
He also admitted there have been ample discussions with his older brother, former Southern receiver Lee Doss, who was signed to the Cleveland Browns practice squad in September after going undrafted last year.
“He is just telling me about what’s happening in his situation, though,” Lorenzo Doss said. “He’s been giving me updates about him. It really hasn’t been much about me. We are probably going to talk about me after the game.”
After nabbing seven interceptions and nine pass breakups as a sophomore, Doss was expected to contend for the Jim Thorpe Award this year and was named to a host of preseason watch lists. However, in 11 games this season, he’s only recorded two picks and surrendered a handful of big plays downfield.
Still, Johnson said Doss has become a more complete cornerback in the past year and expects there to be plenty of interest in the St. Augustine High graduate. It’s a process with which Tulane’s third-year coach is very familiar, considering Johnson served not only as an assistant coach helping making draft evaluations with the New Orleans Saints but also as a wide receivers coach at often-poached Miami.
“I would just list the positives and the negatives,” Johnson said. “The biggest negative is that you can get hurt but there are just a lot of positives. The bottom line is that the decision is up to the family. We definitely want him back.”
Johnson announced that two fourth-year juniors, wide receiver Marc Edwards and offensive lineman Nate Skold, would partake in senior day activities Saturday.
Neither has played this season. Both will graduate in the spring and be officially off the Green Wave roster.
That allows two more open spots for the 2015 signing class, which is expected to be a small group of around 15 — compared to the 25-man brigades brought in during Johnson’s previous three offseasons.
“They are going to walk as seniors,” Johnson said. “These guys get an incredible education and it’s an incredible way to end their career. They will have opportunities when they graduate and move on and will do something special. Sometimes that’s just the best thing.”
Tulane quarterback Tanner Lee won’t be more than a few blocks away from where his heart is Friday night.
Lee’s alma mater, the Jesuit Blue Jays, will participate in their first state championship football game since 1978 at the Mercedes-Benz Superdome while Lee is preparing for his own season finale in Tulane’s downtown hotel.
Lee isn’t alone in wanting to make the trek to the Superdome, but he’s far outnumbered at the hotel. Jesuit’s opponent, state championship mainstay John Curtis, produced six current Green Wave players.
“They are acting like they’re not scared,” Lee joked. “But I can tell they’re worried their reign is going to be over.”
Lee was able to attend Jesuit’s 28-14 upset victory over Rummel last weekend during the Green Wave’s bye and said it was a monumental moment for the program he starred at in 2012.
“It was a very exciting time just to go back to the game and it was every guy I ever played with at Jesuit was there tailgating beforehand,” Lee said. “Then we got the win and were on the field after the game and I was really proud of those guys.”