DB Bobby Blackshire

2005 Statistics

Coach: Steve Kragthorpe
21-17, 3 years
2005 Record: 9-4
at Oklahoma LOST 15-31
at North Texas WON 54-2
at Southern Miss WON 34-17
at Rice WON 41-21
SMU WON 20-13
at UTEP LOST 38-41
at Tulane WON 38-14
vs. UCF WON 44-27
vs. Fresno State WON 31-24

2005 Final Rankings
AP-UR, Coaches-UR, BCS-UR

2006 Outlook

The momentum from winning the conference championship in just their first year in the C-USA should continue with the powerful offense and experienced defense they boast. Kragthorpe has one heck of a hand to play with so many returning starters on defense to compliment his juggernaut spread attack on offense, and we can see both sides improving most of their statistical rankings. Eric Clapton put it best, as opponents are usually “living on Tulsa time” via their disparaging time-of-possession numbers – on average, they held it 32:21 per game on offense which means their defense is only on the field 27:39 each week. Only marginal special teams play can really affect the potential for how far this Golden Hurricane squad can go.

Paul Smith is a smart, savvy dual-threat at the helm, and with three big, strong backs to churn yardage a full 60 minutes, opposing defenses will be worn down as they spread out to try and cover Tulsa’s three- and four-WR sets while stopping the run. The real creativity is how they often utilize two TEs for optimal effect, sometimes spreading them and the RB(s) out wide just to have Smith run it. They also send the TE(s) out as their primary deep threat. It all just gives defenses headaches and results in continuous yardage gains that make it impossible to stop Tulsa for more than one play at a time.

Their 3-3-5 defensive set is optimal for stopping others from doing the same to them – they are ready for spread attacks with a floating extra safety who reacts well to play developments. Practicing against their own offense means they have seen some weird sets and can adjust accordingly, but then foes’ more conservative two-back sets (that result in power running plays) need more attention after they struggled last season in run stopping. A newly shaped set of co-defensive coordinators should help make the needed adjustments.

The schedule holds no BCS-aligned non-cons (last year had two), but their second game at BYU should be challenging enough to give a feel for where the Golden Hurricanes sit and what needs improvement. The Southern Miss and UTEP games look like their biggest C-USA challenges, and both tilts are at Skelly Stadium. Going to Houston and Memphis could trip them up, but unlikely if they are a “category five” by then, as expected (no jokes about ending with New Orleans-based Tulane, since they are a home date, too). Kragthorpe has the potential to have an undefeated season, and at a school with only 4,100 total enrollments (2,600+ undergrad), Tulsa knocking on the BCS door would really make for a great story in the 2006 season.

Projected 2006 record: 10-2
QB - 4 DL - 2.5
RB - 3.5 LB - 4
WR - 2.5 DB - 4.5
OL - 3.5 ..

Passing: Paul Smith, 364-227-6, 2847 yds., 20 TD

Rushing: Tarrion Adams, 89 att., 574 yds., 8 TD

Receiving: Tarrion Adams, 24 rec., 273 yds., 2 TD

Scoring: Tarrion Adams, 10 TD, 60 pts.

Punting: Chris Kindred, 63 punts, 37.9 avg.

Kicking: Matt Schultz, 0-0 FG, 1-1 PAT, 1 pt.

Tackles: Nelson Coleman, 117 tot., 64 solo

Sacks: Nick Bunting, 5 sacks

Interceptions: Nick Graham, 6 for 66 yds.

Kickoff returns: Idris Moss, 6 ret., 18.8 avg., 0 TD

Punt returns: Idris Moss, 11 ret., 9.3 avg., 0 TD


QB Paul Smith
OFFENSE: Uril Parrish-RB, Ashlan Davis-WR/KR/PR, Landon Keopple-WR, Richard McQuillar-WR, Garrett Mills-TE, Jesse Stoneham-OG, Brad DeVault-K
DEFENSE: Brandon Lohr-DE, Bobby Klinck-FS

Junior Paul Smith is the best dual-threat QB you’ve likely never heard of. In his first year as a starter last campaign, he increased Tulsa’s offensive production by nearly 50 yards and five points per game from what they were averaging in 2004. The state’s prep passing yardage record holder, he is set for a breakout year after proving himself by completing 62.8% of his attempts and finishing with a 20:8 TD:INT ratio. This Owasso-native has 4.7 speed and runs it about 10 times a game, freezing LBs as he opens other offensive options up via rollouts. Sophomore backup David Johnson has similar talents, and he is a step faster and a belt-size bigger than Smith. Johnson saw limited action in ’05, but proved reliable, so little changes if/when he is inserted. Even third-stringer Drew Westing shares this dual-threat profile, meaning the offense isn’t in terrible shape even if injuries hit here. Still, ostensibly, Tulsa’s offense really needs Smith to stay healthy to go its farthest.

Running Back
Foes pick their poison with the trio of big and fast bruisers here. Senior Brandon Diles looks like the starter, and this pure runner gets yards when handed the rock (6.2 per carry; lost only two yards on 40 attempts). Sophomore Tarrion Adams was entrusted in his first year (top yardage total for any returning RB), picking up ground at an even better clip than Diles (6.4 per carry), while proving to be a major weapon with his soft hands. Both run around a 4.5 second 40, but these accolades may not be enough to hold back OU-transfer Courtney Tennial, the state’s single-season record holder (prep). This junior is a bowling ball (5’9”, 220lbs) and knocks defenders over, accordingly. With great blocking skills to go with his breakaway speed, he is expected to rotate in often, and this means we could see two-RB sets from this offense that usually only fields one TB and often spits him out wide. Add in the QBs’ running dimension(s), and we expect to see a torrential Golden Hurricane ground effort that earns around 200 yards per game while finishing better than 2005’s modest rank of 40th.

The edge of offensive creativity at Tulsa is most seen in the multi-receiver sets Charlie Stubbs and Steve Kragthorpe employ. Opponents have to be aware that anyone at a talent position can be split out wide, so the versatility of all their WRs is what gets a player reps here. Idris Moss is the senior starter returning with the most knowledge of this system. Basically an underneath go-to type, expect this ex-UCLA/JUCO-transfer’s role to expend with the loss of all-world TE Garrett Mills. Moss should open things up as a deep threat, as will ex-DB Donnie Johnson, the fastest of the WRs. At X receiver, the three-deep has former JUCO-transfer Ryan Bugg bringing size and now experience as the starter. Underclassmen Jesse Myer and Kyle Grooms round out a slot that has all six-footers, and they each could be featured field-stretchers. Six more recruits from this year’s class mean Tulsa is just lining themselves well with the position they seem to covet most.

Tight End
Losing the nation’s seventh leading receiver (Mills had 87 catches from this position) will affect production, but the TEs lined up behind him are no snarling slouches. Ted Curtis, a junior ex-DB, has speed (4.49) and ball handling credentials as a prep that make him the logical next big target coming off the line. He has size (that Mills didn’t) for ample blocking skills, as does returning starter Charles Ramsey, an ex-OT/DE who has really honed a pair of soft hands to go with his huge frame. Depth here already exists, and with this year’s only three-star recruit, Devin Adair, running a 4.45-40, the drop off without Mills won’t be nearly what many expect. Two TEs often work together in very non-traditional ways, so expect the unexpected, for this position produces deep threats as often as the WR corps does.

Offensive Line
The Golden Hurricane front force is strong, with four returning senior starters of which three are now logging two years at the top of the depth chart. The left side looks secured under the watch of guard John Hameister-Reis and tackle Mike Mengers. Jeff Perrett on the other wing (RT) is an obvious anchor with his massive size, and running plays to his side reflect his high grading. Aaron Danenhauer calls the schemes intelligently from his center spot. Danenhauer can play anywhere along the line (started at guard in ’04) and has really improved his footwork on runs for which he pulls. The lone newbie (RG) seems to be Rodrick Thomas, who (at 347lbs.) becomes their biggest pusher. His backup is Wade Whitlow, who returns from injury with starting experience (from ’04). C Justin Morsey is a JUCO-transfer from Miami (OK) who becomes their quickest member. With depth and experience, expect rushing totals to rise while sack totals decrease.

This offense and its truly efficient ways are the main reason Tulsa won the league championship in just its first year. Not much changes as coordinator Charlie Stubbs and head coach Steve Kragthorpe mastermind new ways to exploit overmatched defenses. Multi-receiver and/or two- to three-TE sets line players up anywhere and everywhere, yet they still use their huge, quick runners to set up their creative passing schemes. Foes may stop Tulsa on one play, but the next is likely to blow by misdirected LBs for a big gainer. QB Paul Smith is proven at the controls of the ever-changing Golden Hurricane offense, with feet to add even another dimension foes often miscalculate. Proof of their prowess is seen in three statistics – third-down conversions that, at 49%, ranked sixth nationally; a scoring rank (23rd) that outpaced their rank for total offense (39th); and a time-of-possession on offense (32:21) that really tires opposing defenses by the latter part of games. Rushing and passing rankings (40th and 41st, respectively) show the balance they attain in moving the ball. Losses at WR and TE could set this juggernaut back at first, but the new weapons in place are sure to have production back at or surpassing 2005’s strong numbers.


OT Jeff Perrett


Returning Starters/
Key Players
QB Paul Smith-Jr (6-2, 193) David Johnson-So (6-2, 217)
RB Brandon Diles-Sr (6-0, 215) Tarrion Adams-So (6-1, 204)
WR Ryan Bugg-Sr (6-0, 195) Jesse Meyer-Fr (6-3, 198)
WR Idris Moss-Sr (5-10, 180) Donnie Johnson-Sr (5-9, 208)
Cauvey Jackson-Jr (5-10, 188)
TE Charles Ramsey-Jr (6-4, 254) Aaron Roupoli-Sr (6-2, 244)
TE Ted Curtis-So (6-1, 242) Jacob Frank-So (6-1, 233)
OT Mike Mengers-Sr (6-4, 280) Jody Whaley-Fr (6-3, 302)
OG John Hameister-Ries-Sr (6-6, 308) Curt Puckett-Fr (6-3, 305)
C Aaron Danenhauer-Sr (6-5, 302) Justin Morsey-So (6-2, 282)
OG Rodrick Thomas-So (6-4, 347) Wade Whitlow-Jr (6-4, 310)
OT Jeff Perrett-Sr (6-7, 329) Kevin Lane-Fr (6-5, 333)
K Jarrod Tracy-Jr (6-0, 165) Matt Schultz-So (6-0, 154)


Defensive Line
The three-man DL for Tulsa is meant to occupy blockers so the LBs can make their way as needed. But that doesn’t mean these guys can’t shine, as junior end Chadd Evans proves. This Colorado-transfer impressed his first season here by leading all returning starting linemen with seven TFLs and two fumbles forced. Junior ex-TE Brandon Jones and classmate Walter Boyd occupy two hats in the middle, as does hulking sophomore NT Terrel Nemons, who started the last six games of ’05. At the other end, speedy (4.7) Moton Hopkins earned freshman all-league status with three starts in his first year, and his strong production keeps him their other top DE. Senior Robert Latu (former starter) and junior Kinny Spotwood provide great outside depth, and are often brought in to pose a four-man front if the situation warrants such. Expect more plays to be made by these bigmen to help bring down foes’ average yards per run (4.3).

The same trio that started every game in ’05 is back and all are upperclassmen. They represent three of Tulsa’s top four tacklers, combined for 28 TFLs, 13.5 sacks, and each had two forced fumbles. Top tackler Nelson Coleman is an opportunistic (three fumble recoveries) run plugger who has speed (4.7) and strength few blockers can stay with as he roams the entire field from his middle position (honorable mention all-American for us). Fellow-junior Chris Chamberlain is an ex-dual threat-QB whose nose for where/how the play will develop makes him nearly impossible to stop (11 TFLs) as he jams up the weakside. Former-WAC Freshman of the Year (Tulsa’s old conference, in case you were wondering) Nick Bunting is the senior leader of the “front six”. This local prep legend still amazes fans as he blows up plays at their inception. This is easily one of the best starting groups in the nation, and there is even an experienced trio of backups who hold their own when inserted. The overall unit will be the reason why the Golden Hurricane defense stymies opponents – they just have to get the 77th ranked run stopping to improve to fulfill their legacy.

Defensive Back
Starting five DBs helps Tulsa to keep the play in front of them for optimal results, and with the bulk of their starters and backups returning, expect last year’s rankings (17th in pass defense, 11th in efficiency) to possibly improve. Senior corner Nick Graham (honorable mention all-American, NationalChamps.net) has great recovery speed (4.4) and is a ball-hawk (eight INTs) who can be left on an island to shut his side down. Sophomore Roy Roberts got the starting nod several times in his first year of eligibility, and this corner has size to go with decent speed (he could play safety the way he hits). Senior JUCO-transfer Julian McGowan, who also started at corner in ‘05, seems to be the nickel back, but will be in for plenty of reps with his strong production. Senior free safety Bobby Blackshire earned first-team all-conference due to his nose for disruption, both in run support and passing situations. Nothing gets by the local native as he moves over from “Bandit”. Replacing him there is 2003’s Bandit, senior Kedrick Alexander, who didn’t see action (for two years!) until last year’s bowl game. Alexander also has great cover skills, so Tulsa is ready when foes show four-WR sets. Then there is floater Anthony Germany, who led the team last year in TFLs (13), pass breakups (eight), and forced fumbles (three). Germany is often found in the box, but his 4.4-speed allows him to react to whatever happens, so he is rarely out of position, even on play-action sequences. Steve Craver and Ty Page are just two of the many backups who will mean little drop off occurs if injuries hit the deep men. This group is the shizz, without a doubt giving the Golden Hurricanes one of the best secondaries in the nation.

New co-coordinator Mark Nelson (DL coach) joins Keith Patterson (safeties), and they should provide the leadership and motivation to ratchet this defense up another notch with so many returning starters (all 11 started sometime in 2005, with backups who can claim such also). The strength of the 3-3-5 is the “back eight”, and one is hard pressed to say whether the LBs or secondary will be the strongest unit. The same LB trio started every game, while the secondary is a gelled unit of five that can help in run support and rarely get exploited, even in today’s modern “spread” schemes. Run stopping has to be a primary concern after finishing 77th and allowing 4.3 yards per carry, 166 per game, and 23 TDs in ’05, but hard lessons learned will pay off as the whole team helps cut these numbers down. This defense knows how to create big plays after finishing third in the country with 36 total turnovers gained (14 fumbles, 22 INTs), so Nelson and Patterson just have to keep this D rolling the same way to have Tulsa finish with a substantially better total ranking (40th). Keep an eye on how well they stop foes on third-downs (modest 39% rate in ’05 wasn’t very strong) to see just how much better they, and the entire team, are doing.


LB Nelson Coleman


Returning Starters/
Key Players
DE Chadd Evans-Jr (6-4, 265) Robert Latu-Sr (6-2, 271)
NG Brandon Jones-Jr (6-2, 297) Walter Boyd-Jr (6-2, 317)
Terrel Nemons-So (6-4, 345)
DE Moton Hopkins-So (6-3, 275) Kinny Spotwood-Jr (6-1, 232)
SLB Nick Bunting-Sr (6-1, 230) Alain Karatepeyan-Jr (6-1, 250)
MLB Nelson Coleman-Jr (6-2, 235) Cody Madison-Jr (6-3, 239)
WLB Chris Chamberlain-Jr (6-2, 225) George Clinkscale-So (6-0, 241)
BAN Kedrick Alexander-Sr (6-2, 210) Steve Craver-Jr (6-1, 212)
CB Nick Graham-Sr (5-11, 191) Marchon Tatmon-Sr (6-1, 207)
CB Roy Roberts-So (5-11, 205) Julian McGowan-Sr (6-0, 165)
SPUR Anthony Germany-Jr (6-1, 211) Ty Page-So (6-2, 220)
FS Bobby Blackshire-Sr (6-3, 205) Randy Duncan-So (6-2, 188)
P Chris Kindred-Sr (5-11, 205) Paul Jurado-So (6-1, 195)



Jarod Tracy leads the pack to replace Brad DeVault, whose performance will not be easy to duplicate after going 7-for-7 from outside of 40 yards. But Tracy has a big leg, and if the team can again hold foes to just over 17 per KO return, the junior should replace DeVault with acceptable results.

The punting game needs marginal improvements. Chris Kindred has to make his senior year that much better than his past results (38 yard career average), for net results of finishing 69th in the nation won’t win Tulsa many field position battles.

Return Game
Idris Moss will likely inherit both return duties, but with so many speedy DBs and other incoming talent, Tulsa needs to keep an open mind so they can make the most of it those few times after they are scored upon. Nick Graham could do damage, as could Ty Page or Roland Garrett, if given the chance at either spot (PR or KOR). Coaches cannot let this area be a weak link with so much going for the team.