Lee tabbed starting QB as Tulane football opens week 2
As the Tulane University football team opened week two of preseason camp with a pair of practices Monday, head coach Curtis Johnson announced that redshirt-freshman quarterback Tanner Lee will be the team’s starting quarterback when the Green Wave open the 2014 season at Tulsa Aug. 28.
A native of Destrehan and 2013 graduate of nearby Jesuit High School, Lee entered camp atop the depth chart after a solid showing during spring practice. Facing stiff competition from incumbent starter Nick Montana and sophomore Devin Powell, Lee cemented his spot in the starting lineup with a solid showing in Saturday’s scrimmage at Tad Gormley Stadium.
“Tanner Lee is our starting quarterback,” Johnson said in a news release. “He’ll start this year, and I think he’ll have a great season and a great career. Devin Powell played well and so did Nick (Montana), but I think Tanner is our guy. He’s got a strong arm, command of our offense, great leadership skills and doesn’t make many mistakes.
“Right now, Devin Powell is our No. 2 and Nick is our No. 3,” Johnson said in the release. “It’s still a competition. It’ll be an ongoing competition, but that’s how our depth chart is set. When we get to our first game, that’s how it’ll be.”
Lee, who sat out the 2013 campaign as a true freshman, was a three-year letterman at Jesuit High where he helped guide the Blue Jays to a combined 30-8 overall record, a 9-3 showing in district play and three-consecutive trips to the state playoffs.
During his prep career, Lee completed 245-of-415 passes (.590) for 3,984 yards, 39 touchdowns and nine interceptions. He earned honorable-mention all-state, first-team all-metro and first-team all-district honors as a senior after completing 118-of-218 passes (.541) for 2,364 yards, 25 touchdowns and a pair of interceptions.
At the conclusion of the 2012 high school season, he was selected to play in the 2012 Lake Pontchartrain All-Star Classic where he threw for 188 yards and two touchdowns. Lee split time under center as a junior when he threw for 1,591 yards, 14 touchdowns and seven picks on 125-of-193 passing.
While Tulane has had several freshmen signal callers draw starting assignments through the years, Lee projects to become the first Green Wave rookie in program history to open a season under center.
The Tulane squad spent a large portion of Monday morning’s open practice focusing on special teams with a big part of that on punt protection.
“The quickest way to lose a game is to give up a blocked punt or get a punt returned on you,” Johnson said in the release. “We put an emphasis on that today, and I thought that went pretty good.”
The Green Wave returned to the practice field today with an open-media session starting at 8:30 a.m. at the New Orleans Saints Indoor Facility.
From there, Tulane will hold double sessions again Wednesday and Friday along with single practices Thursday and Saturday.
Tulane will kick off the 2014 season Aug. 28 when the Green Wave travel to Oklahoma to take on fellow American newcomer Tulsa at 7 p.m. on the CBS Sports Network.
The Green Wave will open the home portion of the schedule Sept. 6 against Georgia Tech at 3 p.m. in the new, on-campus Yulman Stadium in front of a national audience on ESPNews.
For season ticket information, which features packages starting at $200, contact the Tulane Athletics Ticket Office at 504-861-WAVE (9283). The Tulane Ticket Office is located on the first floor of the James W. Wilson Jr. Center and is open weekdays from 8:30 a.m. to 5 p.m. For additional information, visit www.TulaneGreenWave.com.