Two Tulane starting offensive linemen — guard Colton Hanson and center Nathan Shienle — are forgoing their senior seasons and will voluntarily end their Green Wave careers prematurely, sources confirmed to The New Orleans Advocate on Monday.
Hanson and Shienle will participate in senior night activities Friday and will graduate from Tulane. Both would have been eligible to play in 2016 and were expected to enter spring practice competing at top of the depth chart.
Instead, neither will be with the Green Wave (3-8) following its season finale Friday against Tulsa at 7 p.m. in Yulman Stadium.
Shienle has started 32 games, mostly at center, cracking the lineup as a redshirt freshman in 2013 and playing a pivotal role in Tulane’s first winning season since 2002, which ended in a New Orleans Bowl loss to UL-Lafayette.
This season, he injured his elbow and has rotated snaps with redshirt freshman center Junior Diaz, who started three games and likely will be the frontrunner at the position entering 2016.
Hanson started Tulane’s past 23 games, dating to opening day of 2014. He would have been a near lock to regain his starting position in 2016.
Joining the starting offensive linemen is reserve defensive tackle Calvin Thomas, who also is choosing to forego his senior season despite playing in eight games and recording eight tackles (three for loss) this season. It’s unclear whether any of the three will transfer or simply end their college football careers.
Regardless, it shines a spotlight on coach Curtis Johnson, whose record is 6-18 since receiving a lucrative contract extension in 2013 and will now be without two of his most experienced players for 2016.