Q&A: Catching up with Tulane football
This week, The Daily Cougar spoke with David Holden of Tulane’s Hullabaloo student publication to catch up with Green Wave football under their first-year head coach.
The Daily Cougar: With having such a young team and starting off the season 0-5, how much did the comeback win over SMU mean for the future of the program?
David Holden: I think that was an extremely important win for the team. It gave those young guys a taste of winning and many of them their first win. To come back against that SMU team was impressive and it bodes well for the future of Tulane football.
TDC: First-year head coach Curtis Johnson has a long history of being around a winning culture at Miami before coming over to Tulane. In what ways has he worked to help change the culture of football at Tulane?
DH: He has done a lot to try and change the culture. The first thing he did was get better recruits and especially getting Darion Monroe to commit was an important step for this program. Johnson brought his experience of winning the (Bowl Championship Series) National Championship and the Super Bowl. That alone greatly benefits a program that has struggled for wins that last few years.
TDC: What is the latest on Tulane’s plan for a new stadium and how has the new stadium helped grow excitement around the program?
DH: Excitement for the stadium is growing. Athletic director Rick Dickinson and President Scott Cowen just announced the donors for the new stadium. They also unveiled a new video for the stadium design, which looks fantastic. With a new stadium on campus, I feel that people, particularly students, are becoming more interested in Tulane football.
TDC: What or who has been the biggest surprise this season thus far within the Tulane football program?
DH: It has got to be Cairo Santos. Here’s a guy who last year only made 11 out of 18 kicks. Now he might be Tulane’s most prominent offensive weapon. This year he is perfect; connecting on 17 field goals, 3 of those field goals were 50-yarders and he might win the Lou Groza Award. He is definitely one of the MVPs for Tulane.
TDC: In what ways has junior wide receiver Ryan Grant impacted this year’s squad?
DH: Grant has been an important weapon to Tulane and Ryan Griffin this year. He is a leader on the field and leads by example — an example he sets for the other wide receivers who are mostly underclassmen. He also has clearly become a favorite target for the quarterbacks. Grant has been one of the most consistent players on an fairly inconsistent offense.