Courtesy of Tulane Athletics
NEW ORLEANS â€“Twelve defensive players, 10 offensive standouts and a pair of special teamers highlight the Tulane University football teamâ€™s rookie class for the 2010 season, Green Wave Bob Toledo announced Wednesday on National Signing Day.
A total of 24 high school seniors signed National Letters-of-Intent to suit up for the Green Wave next season â€“ six linebackers, five offensive linemen, four defensive backs, two running backs, two defensive linemen and one quarterback, tight end, wide receiver, punter and kicker each. In addition, nine of Tulaneâ€™s signees are from the state of Louisiana: defensive lineman Wendell Beckwith (Clinton, La./Clinton HS), quarterback Taylor Bullock (New Iberia, La./Catholic HS), defensive back Cameron DeJean (Lafayette, La./St. Thomas More HS), punter Jonathan Ginsburgh (Alexandria, La./Holy Saviour Menard Central HS), linebacker Logan Hamilton (Lake Charles, La./Barbe HS), defensive back L.J. Parker (Port Allen, La./Port Allen HS), offensive lineman Ben Stone (Natchitoches, La./St. Maryâ€™s HS), running back Jamar Thomas (Baton Rouge, La./University Lab) and Kenny Welcome (New Orleans, La./McDonogh 35).
â€œWe are extremely pleased with the results of the class,â€ Toledo said. â€œWe signed 24 players from nine different states. Nine from Louisiana and that gives is 35 players from the state over the last three years. Our goal with this class was to create quality depth at every position and we were able to sign players at each spot. Then we wanted to improve our special teams and we did that with the addition of both a punter and a kicker. We also signed 10 linebacker/defensive back players types which should really help us with special teams.
â€œOverall, Iâ€™m happy with everyone we recruited. We feel that we finished strong and we are excited about this group of players.â€
Toledoâ€™s fourth recruiting class also includes several nationally prominent players as Ginsburgh is rated the No. 7 punter in the nation by Scout.com, Cairo Santos (St. Augustine, Fla./St. Josephâ€™s Academy) is rated the No. 57 kicker nationally by ESPN.com, Orleans Darkwa (Nashville, Tenn./The Ensworth School) is rated the No. 64 running back in the country and No. 16 prospect in Tennessee by Rivals.com, Steven Funderburk (Port St. Lucie, Fla./Treasure Coast HS) is rated the No.89 safety in the nation by ESPN.com, Ben Stone and Kerchal Byrd (Palmetto, Fla./Palmetto HS) are the No. 93 offensive guard and outside linebacker according to Scout.com and ESPN.com, respectively, and Ray Oppman (Sugar Land, Texas/Clements HS) is the No. 100 outside linebacker in the nation by ESPN.com
The Green Wave also signed seven incoming freshman who were rated â€œthree-starâ€ by the various recruiting websites: Byrd, Darkwa, Kyle Davis (San Antonio, Texas/Ronald Reagan HS), DeJean, Funderburk, Ginsburgh and Oppman.
On defense, the Green Wave added defensive linemen Beckwith and Welcome as well as linebackers Byrd, Zach Davis (Lawrenceville, Ga.), Hamilton, Oppman, Dominique Robertson (Cypress, Texas) and Andre Robinson (Longwood, Fla./Lyman HS). In the secondary, Tulane welcomes Kyle Davis, DeJean, Funderburk and Parker.
Offensively, Tulane added a quarterback in Bullock, who claimed first-team All-Acadiana and Offensive MVP honors at Catholic High in New Iberia after throwing for 3,113 yards and 36 touchdowns while adding 650 rushing yards and more 12 scores on the ground.
Providing targets for Bullock and the returning Tulane quarterbacks are Darkwa and Thomas at running back, Brent Comardelle (League City, Texas/Clear Creek HS) at wide receiver and Matt Marfisi (Tomball, Texas/Tomball HS) at tight end. Helping pave the way up front will be Sean Donnelly (Pelham, N.Y./Trinity Pawling School), Pat Husain (Evanston, Ill./Evanston Township HS), Adam Skidmore (Bayville, N.J./Central Regional HS), Stone and Ian Wiggins (Terryville, Conn.).
Santos and Ginsburgh were added to the special teams to handle kicking and punting duties, respectively.
â€œYou never really know how many players will be able to come in right away and play,â€ Toledo said. â€œI think it is better just to wait and see what happens when they report to campus. Generally speaking, the linebackers and defensive backs have a better chance to play right away than say an offensive lineman became it takes those guys a little bit longer to adapt to our system.â€
The 2010 Tulane football schedule features seven exciting home games, including the home opener against Southeastern Louisiana and marquee matchups against Ole Miss on Sept. 11 and the homecoming game vs. Army on Oct. 9. Tulane will also host Conference USA foes Southern Miss, Rice, UCF and SMU. Season ticket prices are only $199 for sideline seats, $99 for adult endzone, $65 for youth endzone and $250 for the Family 4 Pack (2 adult, 2 youth). For season ticket holders, prices on a per game basis are the lowest in four years.
Tulane Athletics is also pleased to offer an early renewal program for all 2009 season ticket holders. Any renewals made prior to April 30 qualify to receive additional tickets to the football home opener (one ticket per season ticket purchased) as well as a pre-game tent party with Tulane coaches along with game tickets for the May 21 baseball game against UCF. Each renewed account will also be entered into a random drawing for the following prizes: trip for two to a road football game, four tickets/passes to the ADâ€™s suite for a home football game plus sideline passes, as well as game-worn items and autographed memorabilia.
For additional information or to order season tickets, please call the Tulane Athletics Ticket Office at (504) 861-WAVE, log onto the internet at TulaneGreenWave.com, or show up in person at the ticket office located inside the James W. Wilson Jr. Center on Ben Weiner Drive.
2010 TULANE FOOTBALL SIGNING CLASS
Name Pos. Ht. Wt. Hometown/High School
Wendell Beckwith LD 6-3 230 Clinton, La./Clinton HS
Taylor Bullock QB 6-2 210 New Iberia, La./Catholic HS
Kerchal Byrd LB 6-0 216 Palmetto, Fla./Palmetto HS
Brent Comardelle WR 6-0 186 League City, Texas/Clear Creek HS
Orleans Darkwa RB 5-11 200 Nashville, Tenn./The Ensworth School
Kyle Davis DB 5-11 204 San Antonio, Texas/Ronald Reagan HS
Zach Davis LB 6-0 207 Lawrenceville, Ga./Collins Hill HS
Cameron DeJean DB 6-2 195 Lafayette, La./St. Thomas More HS
Sean Donnelly OL 6-8 306 Pelham, N.Y./Trinity Pawling School
Steven Funderburk DB 6-2 196 Port St. Lucie, Fla./Treasure Coast HS
Jonathan Ginsburgh P 5-11 195 Alexandria, La./Holy Savior Menard Central HS
Logan Hamilton LB 5-11 215 Lake Charles, La./Barbe HS
Pat Husain OL 6-6 285 Evanston, Ill./Evanston Township HS
Matt Marfisi TE 6-5 235 Tomball, Texas/Tomball HS
Ray Oppman LB 6-1 213 Sugar Land, Texas/Clements HS
L.J. Parker DB 5-10 175 Port Allen, La./Port Allen HS
Dominique Robertson LB 6-0 190 Cypress, Texas/Cypress Woods HS
Andre Robinson LB 6-1 215 Longwood, Fla./Lyman HS
Cairo Santos K 5-8 156 St. Augustine, Fla./St. Josephâ€™s Academy
Adam Skidmore OL 6-6 290 Bayville, N.J./Central Regional HS
Ben Stone OL 6-3 282 Natchitoches, La./St. Maryâ€™s HS
Jamar Thomas RB 5-11 187 Baton Rouge, La./University Lab
Kenneth Welcome DL 6-2 281 New Orleans, La./McDonogh 35 HS
Ian Wiggins OL 6-4 285 Terryville, Conn./Cheshire Academy