Lee Brecheen’s Recruiting Recap: Tulane University
by Lee Brecheen and Jace LeJeune
As all 12 Louisiana college teams are currently participating in spring practices, that could mean only one thing and that is the upcoming college football season is approaching near. As we continue to wait the days before fall practice, for the next three weeks, we will recap the National Signing Classes for all 12 Louisiana collegiate football teams. Today, we will recap the National Signing Class for the Tulane University Green Wave. The Green Wave are continuing to get better and better each season under Head Coach Willie Fritz. After posting a 4-8 and 5-7 record respectively in his first two seasons, the team broke through not only becoming bowl eligible for the first time since 2013, but also defeating the Louisiana Lafayette Ragin’ Cajuns in the Cure Bowl. It was the first bowl victory for the program since 2002 as the team posted a final 7-6 record in 2018. Now, that the Green Wave has gotten some momentum heading into next season, we will look on how they carried that momentum in recruiting the 2019 class. Louisiana Football Magazine’s recruiting expert Lee Brecheen has watched all of the Louisiana high school signees featured below at one point. Whether it is watching full game film or seeing them in person, Brecheen has gotten the chance to see a lot of these signees play. In today’s college recruiting recap, Brecheen takes a dive in the Tulane football program as he gives out his top four talented high school signees, top college transfers, sleeper players to keep an eye on, and also, his final thoughts on the entire signing class in general!
Lee’s Overall Thoughts on Tulane’s Signing Class:
“I really admire the staff of Tulane. It shows why they were hired. There is a lot of pressure to sign a lot of kids right away, and they chose to go out of state in order to get the best players that they could get. They could get better players out of state than in state, and they have done that the last two years. In year four, they have done that again. The philosophy, that I could tell talking to other coaches, is that with another winning season, they can start getting better players from Louisiana. It’s a smart move by the Tulane coaching staff. They went out of state and got some great players. Tulane has always been able to recruit some great out of state players like QB Shaun King (Tampa Bay Buccaneers) out of Florida, and they were also to sign some sleeper, under the radar players like QB Patrick Ramsey (Ruston High School/Washington Redskins). They also went out of their way to find some good out of state linemen like DT Tanzel Smart (Los Angeles Rams) out of Scotlandville High School, who I thought was LSU good. They do a really good job of out of state recruiting especially in the Texas area. Jackson Fort (6-4, 285) is a really good looking offensive tackle from The Woodlands, Texas. In Georgia, they also showed that they can go in there too and get some good players. Eric Hicks (6-3, 270) is a SEC caliber lineman and can play either defensive end or defensive tackle. They also got WR Tyrek Presley (6-2, 185), who can really run from Riverdale, Georgia. Then, you look at what they did in Florida, which has also been a good area for Tulane over the years, and they got FS Kanyon Walker (6-0, 190), who is a big hitter with good speed, out of Leesburg, Florida. Also, in Florida, they were able to pickup CB Levi Williams (5-11, 165) out of Valrico, Florida. In Tennessee, they stole one in Jacquez Norman (6-0, 185), who can play corner or safety, and they also went in Tennessee to steal a tight end in Conner Richardson, who is 6-6, 240 pounds. In Mississippi, they got a junior college transfer in Nick Anderson (5-11, 235), who can come in and start right away at middle linebacker. Even though they got the majority of players out of state, they were able to pickup some talented in state players as well.”
Lee’s Top Four Talented Louisiana High School Signees In Tulane’s Class (In No Particular Order):
RB Tyjae Spears
Ponchatoula High School
Bio: As junior 6-6, 240 pound QB TJ Finley was getting a lot of the nationwide attention at Ponchatoula High School, his backfield sidekick Tahj Spears was the engine of the offense. As a senior, Spears showed his ability as an all-purpose back totaling over 1,800 all purpose yards with 920 of those yards coming on the ground and the other 880 yards coming as a receiver. The three star running back chose the Green Wave over Southeastern, McNeese State, Texas State, Southern Miss, and Northwestern State.
Lee’s Scouting Report: “In state, Tulane picked up a really good sleeper in Tyjae Spears, who I saw play at Ponchatoula. Ponchatoula was not very good last year, but he was the team along with the talented QB TJ Finley, who is coming back next season for Ponchatoula. Tyjae was the one who made the offense go. I think Tyjae is going to letter, and play a lot as a freshman.”
WR Jha’Quan Jackson
Hahnville High School
Bio: There were few athletes in Louisiana that were more elusive and more versatile in than Hahnville High School’s Jha’Quan Jackson. Jackson played a majority of positions during his time with the Tigers including some running back and receiver, but he also made his mark as a quarterback. In his junior season, fellow teammate Anthony “Pooka” Williams (Kansas) was making headlines and posting eye popping numbers, but it was Jackson that was the starting quarterback that season and helped lead the Tigers all the way to the Class 5A state championship game with 1,200 yards of total offense and 25 touchdowns. The three star athlete, who was on the front cover of our South Louisiana preview edition, received offers from West Virginia, Kentucky, Memphis, SMU, Navy, and Houston. In fact, Jackson once committed to Tulane’s conference rival SMU before de-committing and re-committing to the Tulane Green Wave.
Lee’s Scouting Report: “Jha’Quan Jackson played quarterback at Hahnville before moving back to receiver. He also played cornerback and he can also become a punt or kick returner. The key is he can run 4.4/40 speed at around 5-10, 180 pounds.”
OG Colby Orgeron
John Curtis High School
Bio: The Tulane Green Wave signed local product Colby Orgeron out of John Curtis High School in New Orleans. Orgeron helped lead the Patriots to their 27th state championship, but first since 2013 as a senior. He also helped to lead the Patriots to the Division IV semifinals the year prior. In those two seasons, Orgeron had a combined 87 tackles and seven sacks. Like Jackson, who was mentioned earlier, Orgeron chose Tulane in the end over conference rival SMU.
Lee’s Scouting Report: “Colby Orgeron is another Louisiana guy that Tulane has signed. I think that he is going to move to play on the offensive line after playing on the defensive line at John Curtis. In my opinion, he is an offensive guard. He is a developmental guy that is going to need another year in order to get stronger.”
SS Tyler Judson
Zachary High School
Bio: In speaking of Louisiana high school championship caliber programs, the Tulane Green Wave picked up another one this time from Zachary High School in Baton Rouge. His name is Tyler Judson. Judson was a star defensive back for the Broncos that helped lead the team to back to back Class 5A state championships. Judson’s talent has great ability and it showed as he broke out on the scene as a junior with 79 tackles, eight interceptions, and 15 pass breakups. Then, soon after, Judson received offers from Ole Miss, Baylor, Houston, and Virginia. Judson once committed to the Rebels from the SEC, but then, decided to de-commit, and then re-committed with the Tulane Green Wave.
Lee’s Scouting Report: “Tyler Judson turned down Ole Miss to sign with Tulane as he once committed to Ole Miss. Tyler is a guy who can read and react to plays really well with good size to go along with it. He is going to be a strong safety and will play as a freshman. I don’t know if he will start as a freshman, but he will definitely play.”
Lee’s Top College Transfer (Including DI and Junior College transfers):
WR Jalen McCleskey
St. Paul’s High School/Oklahoma State University
Bio: Jalen McCleskey is one of those rare DI transfers that you will find that has had great success at the college he attended, but decided to transfer anyway. Originally out of St. Paul’s High School in Covington, Louisiana, where he had 100 catches for 1,472 receiving yards and 18 touchdowns during his prep career, McCleskey has decided to transfer near home to Tulane University after spending four seasons at Oklahoma State University. During that four year span, McCleskey proved to be one of the Cowboys’ best receivers in their pass heavy offense. Actually, when looking at the OSU record books, McCleskey is sixth all time in receptions and ninth all time in touchdown receptions in program history. McCleskey left the Big 12 Conference with 167 career receptions for 1,865 receiving yards and 17 touchdowns. This is a huge pickup for the Green Wave as McCleskey will be an immediate number one receiving target for QB Justin McMillan this upcoming fall.
Lee’s Scouting Report: “The best player in the class is the transfer Jalen McCleskey from Oklahoma State. He played at St. Paul’s and actually started at Oklahoma State where he caught a lot of passes. He sat out last year and is a graduate student that could fly. His father JJ McCleskey (New Orleans Saints/Arizona Cardinals) played college football as well and is actually the secondary coach on Tulane’s coaching staff, but I think Jalen is going to come in and immediately supply a slot receiver role. He absolutely can fly and is experienced. He will probably get a shot in the NFL.”
Lee’s Top Out of State Sleepers of the Class:
“A guy I like is DT Eric Hicks out of Georgia. He looks the part at 6-3, 270 pounds, and can come in and play a lot. I also think WR Tyrek Presley can be phenomenal as well. The biggest sleeper in this class has to Conner Richardson, who is a 6-6, 240 pound tight end from Tennessee.”
Lee’s Other College Transfer That Can Make An Impact:
“The best transfer, other than McCleskey, in this year’s class is offensive lineman Christian Montano (6-4, 300). Montano is from Connecticut and came from Brown University. He is a got to have type of guy for Tulane because they lost a lot of offensive lineman last year, and he will have to come in and start as an offensive guard.”
*(Make sure to check our website when we will discuss the recruiting classes of four more in-state colleges later this week!)
Hey football fans. Like our recruiting interviews, stories, and other content on our website? Click on our website daily to view articles on recruits, coaches, and so much more at our website: http://www.lafootballmagazine.com/. Also, we have exciting news that for the second straight year, we will have our North and South LA issues and both are now out! Both issues will continue to cover all the Louisiana colleges as well as all the high schools in state, but there will be 16 pages that will focus on North Louisiana as well as South Louisiana. For more information, please check the following link to where you can find the magazine in a store near you. Also, below are the two covers as well as where you can order both magazines on our website.
North Cover: South Cover:
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South Link: http://www.lafootballmagazine.com/product/la-football-magazine-2018-annual-preview-south-edition/