September 9, 2008
Tulane pledges encouraged by game
Tulane's season opener against Alabama may not have been televised nationally. But that couldn't keep at least one interested onlooker away.
Green Wave commitment Wilson Van Hooser made the trek from Montgomery to Tuscaloosa alongside his father and fellow recruit Kyle Shaw to take in the sights and sounds of Bryant-Denny Stadium.
And the receiver is positive that those that did get a chance to view the game were left with the same impression he enjoyed.
"Surely if anyone saw the Alabama game, that has to raise some eyebrows," Van Hooser said in reference to Tulane coach Bob Toledo's revitalization of the program.
"The defense played lights out. That was incredible. There wasn't a question who was hitting harder - especially the hit on (Javier) Arenas. They just demolished him. They got after John Parker Wilson."
Van Hooser was on the sideline prior to the game and attempted to get a wave in to Tulane assistants Doug Lichtenberger and Thomas Woods.
The receiver said he could not help but take pride in what the coaches and players had to endure in the week leading up to the game. Yet the Green Wave still managed to win nearly every statistical battle with the Crimson Tide.
"They didn't play week one. Then they have a hurricane. And then you have Bama coming off a game where they demolished Clemson," Van Hooser said. "I am sure that might have had the Tulane guys wondering. I am sure their minds were all scattered. I was just really impressed with how well they did."
And he couldn't keep it quiet. Offensive lineman Zach Morgan may have been at a school retreat, but that didn't keep him from getting a call from Van Hooser so he could hear how their future team performed.
"I heard all about it from Wilson," Morgan said. "He texted me and told me how well they played."
Tallahassee linebacker Cody Ledford did not need his friend to fill him in on the performance. The Tulane commitment was glued to his computer checking for updates the entire night.
"I was planning on watching on pay per view," Ledford said. "It was on the menu. We paid for it, but there was a mix-up. I was checking on the score constantly."
"I had my fingers crossed for the game. I know this year's team is a lot better than last year's. But I wasn't expecting them to limit the Alabama offense like they did. That's Coach (O'Neill) Gilbert. I sat down for about 30 minutes with him and I knew right then he was going to help that defense turn it round."
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