In-state rivalries need not apply when it comes to LSU and Tulane football, at least not in the summer.
Third-year Tulane coach Willie Fritz said he and his program enjoys a good relationship with Ed Orgeron and the rest of the Tigers staff, speaking to T-Bob Hebert and Jordy Culotta on their ESPN 104.5 program "Off The Bench."
“I didn’t really know Coach O very well before I got here. A couple of my coaches knew him pretty well. What an awesome guy," Fritz said. "This is a compliment -- some people don’t think it’s a compliment when I say it -- but he’s a regular guy. Sometimes you get some of these Division-1 coaches and they think they’re splitting the atom or something. But he’s really a neat guy. Good to have around."
Fritz, who has led Tulane football to a record of 9-15 over two seasons, agreed to a contract extension through 2023 earlier this year.
The Green Wave was an inch away from going to its second bowl game in 15 years this past fall, then had its best recruiting class since Katrina in Fritz' second season.
The Green Wave coach also discussed in-state recruiting, which he said is often aided by joint camps Tulane holds with LSU. He said one held earlier this year provided a chance to scout several possible recruits for the Green Wave, even if he knows they might be there with their eyes on different colors.
"I’m sure [a lot of players] are thinking 'hey, I’ll see if I can get myself looked at by the LSU staff,' and that doesn’t bother me a bit," Fritz said. "Because that’s a quality football player there that we get a chance to evaluate."
Tulane enters the season with something of a bitter taste, missing out on a bowl game last season by -- literally -- inches after quarterback Jonathan Banks' last-second attempt to cross the goal line was deemed to have fallen just short. Tulane lost 41-38 to SMU, finishing the season 5-7 and missing out on bowl eligibility by one game.
DALLAS — Tulane quarterback Jonathan Banks sat on the stairs next to a Gerald Ford Stadium exit, looking at the floor with his hands on his ch…
That was a tough loss. It took a little while to get over it," Fritz said. " ... The thing that was toughest is they have the big jumbotron there and they were just showing the replay, and boy it looked like he got in."
Fritz continued to talk about his team's prospects for the coming season, which lean heavily on Banks, whom he described as a potential NFL talent.
For the full interview, click here.
The only thing on Jonathan Banks’ mind regarding Tulane’s upcoming season is taking care of Wake Forest at Yulman Stadium on Aug. 30.