CB Sean Lucas

2003 Statistics

Coach: Chris Scelfo
26-34, 5 years
2003 Record: 5-7
TCU LOST 35-38
at Army WON 50-33
at Texas LOST 18-63
at Louisville LOST 28-47
at Navy LOST 17-35
at UAB WON 38-24
at Southern Miss LOST 14-28

2003 Final Rankings
AP-UR, Coaches-UR, BCS-UR

2004 Outlook

Tulane underachieved in 2004, finishing eighth (out of eleven) in the conference. As noted earlier, they were hamstrung by injuries and by mid-season, the Green Wave were flying at half-mast. But as Newton taught us, every action must have an equal and opposite reaction.

The Green Wave return 50 lettermen as a result of premature exposure. There were 16 total freshmen that saw action last year, twelve of which started at some point. This is a young team! In fact, there are only ten seniors (out of 50) on the depth chart, which bodes well for the future. Despite having a novice and unsteady lineup, the Green Wave still managed to rack up five wins against a schedule that featured seven teams with winning records.

The coaching staff has held many positions up for grabs, which is a good thing. This encourages continuous, healthy competition among players, thus improving the depth and character of the team. The one area where a starter will need to be found ASAP is at QB. Once an offense gets used to the throwing motions, cadence, and demeanor of one particular QB, the entire unit will become fluid. We believe Cannon will give Tulane the best chance to win because of his intelligence. You know, to go along with a solid arm and decent wheels too.

Chris Scelfo is a good coach who preaches (and gets) academic greatness. During his tenure at Tulane, his program has ranked in the top 15 in graduation rates. This type of respect and care for his student athletes garners a lot of love and admiration in return. His players want to play for him because he cares about them as young men, not just as football players. This is a program headed in the right direction, but now it needs to become static. Tulane hasn't had a coach produce consecutive winning seasons since 1982. That trend must turn. During his six years, teams have alternated winning and losing seasons. The Green Wave went 5-7 with a young, band-aided team in 2003. We can only expect brighter outputs in 2004. And with the talented youngsters surfacing now, we feel this program will soon go from "Tu-lame" to "Big Game".

Projected 2004 record: 4-7
QB - 2 DL - 1.5
RB - 2.5 LB - 1.5
WR - 3.5 DB - 3.5
OL - 2.5 ..

Passing: Nick Cannon, 2-2-0, 16 yds., 1 TD

Rushing: Jovon Jackson, 82 att., 377 yds., 2 TD

Receiving: Roydell Williams, 66 rec., 1006 yds., 9 TD

Scoring: Roydell Williams, 9 TD, 54 pts.

Punting: Chris Beckman, 65 punts, 43.5 avg.

Kicking: Barrett Pepper, 3-7 FG, 40-43 PAT, 49 pts.

Tackles: Tra Boger, 133 tot., 74 solo

Sacks: Billy Harrison, 3 sacks

Interceptions: Sean Lucas, 5 for 51 yds.

Kickoff returns: Fred Smith, 38 ret., 21.8 avg., 1 TD

Punt returns: Fred Smith, 10 ret., 10.5 avg., 0 TD


OT Chris McGee


OFFENSE: J.P. Losman-QB, Mewelde Moore-RB, Kris Coleman-FB, Nick Narcisse-WR
DEFENSE: Terrence Tarver-DT, Brandt Quick-MLB, Alton Widemore-CB

Nick Cannon currently stands as the most accurate QB in Tulane history. Okay, so he's only attempted two passes, but at least he has that going for him. No other QB on Tulane's roster has even taken a snap! Cannon may not be as polished as his backup, LSU transfer Lester Ricard, but he is a more intelligent passer than his competitor. He has sound pocket presence, which helps him see where a play is developing, and a good arm to deliver the goods. A starter won't be determined until late fall, though, and Coach Scelfo has even discussed rotating QBs until a proven one arises. We don't agree with this and our bet is on Cannon. Whoever gets the job will be under great guidance. Coach Scelfo has bred two NFL first-rounders (Patrick Ramsey and J.P. Losman), so the winner of this derby will be primed for future success.

Running Back
With Mewelde Moore gone, the Green Wave won't be able to use their back(s) as proficiently as they have the past four seasons. Jovon Jackson proved a worthy backup, but now he must step into the full-time role. He showed a light of good things to come against UAB last season when he rushed for 185 yards, including an 85-yard game-sealing TD. Fullbacks and tight ends are interchangeable on this team, so when Tulane does use a fullback, it will be Navy transfer Adam Wood. As soon as this group elevates to a threatening level (call it Code Green), this offense will really be dangerous.

What is the deal with the abundance of talented college receivers named Williams lately? Roydell Williams is every bit as mentionable as his surname-sake over at Southern California. The 6'2" senior from LaPlace, LA racked up 66 receptions for an average of 15 yards-per-catch. He has put on some remarkable performances the past couple years despite playing through an ankle injury. When he is completely healthy - look out! Speedsters Chris Bush and Tristan Smith hope to accompany Williams on the flanks. However, Smith is currently fighting academic problems and may be forced to take a year off. Not a huge problem if lost though. The 'Wave have a good amount of depth, as five of the top six wide receivers return. In addition to these returnees, keep an eye on return specialist Fred Smith where great open-field talents make him a threat.

Tight End and Offensive Line
Bobby Hoover was the starter at TE in 2002, but an injury kept him out last year. His return helps ease the loss of Jerome Landry, who will have reconstructive surgery on his knee. It's likely that he will miss most of the season.

The good news for the inexperienced QB is the luxury of all five returning starters on the offensive line. Tackle Chris McGee headlines this front and provides astute protection for the QB's backside. The team's top lineman the last two years, McGee graded out at an 84 percent and led the team with 23 knockdowns a year ago. The Traina twins steady the middle, with Matt standing alongside McGee as the most experienced members of this group. They were also the most productive, being the only two who graded out at better than 80 percent. Where these guys ran into trouble was pass protection, especially on third down. The Green Wave yielded 27 sacks last year; that's not an easy-to-swallow number in a shotgun, spread offense. Nonetheless, things will only get better with the entire group returning as a cohesive unit after a year of experience.

Chris Scelfo and his brother Frank (who is Tulane's offensive coordinator), have groomed young quarterbacks into stars before, so there is no need to panic. This will be QB Nick Cannon's third year in the program, so he is accustomed to the offensive schemes and packages by now. He will rely on a trusty group of receivers to throw to, shielded by an experienced offensive line. The offense will continue to roll, despite the losses of Moore and Losman. The run game needs time to develop, but it does need to develop. There is nothing friendlier to a novice QB than a sturdy run game. In the end, the Green Wave will, again, put up admirable offensive numbers. As long as Coach Scelfo's here, that will never change.


WR Roydell Williams


Returning Starters in bold
QB Nick Cannon-So (6-3, 215) Lester Ricard-So (6-5, 225)
FB Adam Wood-Fr (6-1, 255) Ian Miller-So (6-0, 240)
RB Jovon Jackson-Jr (5-11, 210) Ray Boudreaux-Fr (5-11, 190)
WR Chris Bush-Sr (6-1, 205) Kenneth Guidroz-Fr (6-3, 200)
WR Tristan Smith-Sr (6-0, 188) Carl Davis-Sr (5-11, 180)
Fred Smith-So (5-8, 170)
WR Roydell Williams-Sr (6-2, 188) Bubba Terranova-Jr (6-3, 205)
TE Bobby Hoover-Jr (6-4, 255) Jerome Landry-Jr (6-4, 260)
OT Chris McGee-Jr (6-4, 285) Robert Hand-So (6-6, 270)
OG Matt Traina-Jr (6-3, 285) Joe Mitchell-Sr (6-3, 210)
C Joe Traina-Jr (6-3, 285) Aryan Barto-Fr (6-4, 285)
OG Donald Madlock-Jr (6-4, 300) Mark Burgess-So (6-5, 295)
OT Jimmy Kosienski-Sr (6-7, 290) Derek Rogers-So (6-5, 290)
K Barrett Pepper-So (5-10, 185) Nick Beucher-Fr (6-0, 190)



Defensive Line
Last year, Tulane went through (roughly) three different lines, due to injury. They might as well have been a hockey team. And while it hurt (literally), it sets up for good things to happen this year, as many young faces were groomed and began their game-day development a year early. The Green Wave got more than what they expected out of Billy Harrison, who finished the season as the sixth tackler on the team and tops in tackles for loss. He is really like a linebacker who rushes the passer, but does a fine job of sealing the corner and funneling plays to the inside. Tulane oscillated many players along the front and might find it worthwhile to do so again. A healthy rotation will keep them fresh and assist in cutting down the hefty yardage totals they gave up last year. Whoever works up front must do a better job of establishing a pass rush and keeping blockers off of the linebackers.

Anthony Cannon plays like he was shot out of one. Like a ball of ammunition, he takes out everything in his path. Although the junior's numbers went down (slightly) last year, part of that was due to the fact opponents were purposely running away from him. The other part was due to, again, injury. Former starter Wesley Heath, who missed all of last season, accompanies him. Heath will be in a win-win battle with Antonio Mason for the other outside post. The big area of focus will be in the middle, where Kelvin Johnson must take his game to the next level. Though he earned C-USA rookie honors, the sophomore needs to account for more tackles (49) and become more of a presence in the pass defense. This is another area where Tulane has beneficial depth due to injury-forced playing time.

Defensive Back
Clearly, the strength of this defense rests in the back four. They are an aggressive, antagonistic group that always seems to be disrupting one thing or another. This unit was mostly responsible for the defense's 35 forced fumbles (17 of which were recovered). What scares opponents is that all four starters are back. SS Tray Boger was the squad's leading tackler and possibly their best defender. He is extremely strong and incredibly football-savvy. He and CB Sean Lucas spearhead the secondary, while CB Bruce Youmans and FS Joey Dawson follow close behind. Nickelback, Israel Route adds a fifth dimension to this foursome, helping tie up the airways. They only picked off 14 passes a year ago, but that number will surely rise, as will the number of PBUs. They are going to have to take the ball out of the hands of their competitors one way or another. Opponents had the ball for 33 minutes a game - that's almost five (long) minutes more than the Tulane offense!

Poor defensive numbers last year resulted from the swarm of injury bugs that bit the Tulane defense. They gave up an average of 35 points a game while allowing 464 yards per in total offense. Tulane also opened the door on third down, allowing their opponents to convert 51 percent of the time. It's hard to win games giving up those kinds of numbers and the Green Wave still managed five victories! This will be a much better group, providing they stay healthy. Yeah, that sounds cliché, but Tulane was living proof of how much a unit can suffer when everyone is ailing and they have to rely on undeveloped youth. Again, if healthy, this defense will put the offense in more chances to win ballgames, while Lucas, Boger and Cannon all push for conference honors by season's end.


DB Tra Boger


Returning Starters in bold
DE Michael Roberts-Jr (6-3, 260) Craig Morris-So (6-2, 240)
DT Tremell Jack-So (6-3, 280) Justin Wade-Fr (6-3, 290)
DT Bamm Mateen-Jr (6-0, 300) Taurean Brown-So (6-6, 290)
DE Billy Harrison-So (6-4, 240) Taylor Bertin-So (6-2, 250)
SLB Antonio Mason-Jr (6-0, 200) Wesley Heath-Sr (6-0, 225)
MLB Kelvin Johnson-So (6-2, 245) Blake Baker-Sr (5-10, 220)
WLB Anthony Cannon-Jr (6-0, 232) Patrick Benford-So (6-0, 230)
CB Sean Lucas-Jr (5-11, 192) Carlis Jackson-Fr (6-1, 175)
CB Bruce Youmans-Jr (5-10, 188) Israel Route-So (5-9, 175)
SS Tra Boger-Sr (6-1, 210) Brandon Spincer-Jr (6-2, 210)
Terrence Peterson-So (5-11, 210)
FS Joey Dawson-Sr (6-2, 188) Darren Sapp-Jr (6-0, 198)
P Chris Beckman-So (6-2, 195) Nick Beucher-Fr (6-0, 190)




Coach Scelfo had little faith in the kicking game. Barrett Pepper only attempted seven field goals, making just three. But there is room to work. He is very effective on kickoffs and exhibits a rather strong leg. Improvement will come with repetition and experience. Punter, Chris Beckman was Second Team All-Conference last year, owning a 43-yard average per boot. He has a big leg and will put his defense in comfortable spots on the field. The punt coverage must improve their allowance of 12 yards per return.

Return Game
Sophomore Fred Smith made quite a debut as Tulane's return man. The very first kick he fielded (in front of a nation-wide ESPN audience), he took 100 yards to the house, setting up what would be a phenomenal year. While averaging 21 yards a clip taking back kicks, Smith also ran back punts at 10 yards per. He'll, again, be quite an eye-opener.