Chip Long and the Tulane staff have made major moves in recruiting players from the South Florida area.
The recently hired offensive coordinator with over 15 years of coaching experience has come into the recruiting hotbed of the world and has so far outdone many of the local schools.
Prior to the dead period ending and in-person recruiting beginning on June 1 after over a year, the Green Wave had already received commitments from three top-rated 2022 offensive players: tight end De’Carlo Donaldson, quarterback Carson Haggard, and wide receiver Jalen Rogers.
Donaldson, a three-star, per 247 Sports Composite, out of Gulliver Prep (Miami, FL) was the first to announce his pledge on May 2. One day later, Haggard, his high school quarterback, publicly posted his commitment. The two have connected for 772 yards and 11 touchdowns throughout the past two seasons, and have dominated the 7-on-7 scene this spring and summer. Teaming up in college looks to be the icing on top of a duo that can make noise at the next level.
“I’m going to school with my quarterback, so it’s not like I’m going into a system where I don’t know the quarterback,” Donaldson said. “It’s just like riding a bike again.”
The 6-foot-3, 215-pound tight end has P5 offers from Miami, Florida State, Louisville and Indiana, but what Tulane has to offer both on and off the field was too much to pass on. Donaldson looks to double-major in computer science and sports medicine, and assures he’ll walk the aisle on college graduation day.
“My commitment was based on what fits me the best,” said Donaldson, who’s in constant contact with head coach Willie Fritz. “Every kid’s dream is to make it to the NFL, but my first goal is to make sure that when I leave college, that I leave with my degree.”
Haggard was the first of the bunch to receive an offer from the Green Wave, and has primarily been in touch with Long and head coach Willie Fritz. He’s just as excited about teaming up with his tight end in college.
“When they offered him, I was super pumped for him because it’s just a chance for us to both play at the same school,” Haggard said. “When he did make the commitment, I was talking to him for about two weeks about the things we could do in that conference and the connection we could have there.”
The three-star quarterback, along with Donaldson and Ro
Rogers, took a two-day unofficial visit earlier this month. Haggard’s sister attends Tulane, so he’s visited the campus before. After a second in-depth look at the school grounds and facilities, his commitment is set in stone.
“My experience on my visit at Tulane was probably the best I ever felt visiting a school. Just seeing the football side and even the academic side of the campus, I just really fell in love with it. I’ve already seen the campus before when I dropped off my sister, but I never really got a tour of it.
“The coaching staff was really welcoming and just really intelligent. When I got to sit down and talk football with coach Long, it was probably on of the best conversations that I’ve ever had football wise.”
Haggard spent the spring training with former University of Miami and Heisman Trophy winning quarterback Gino Torretta. This summer, the 6-foot, 165-pounder looks to add more speed to his package so he can develop into a dual-threat.
“I’ve become a lot more accurate, my knowledge of the game has gotten a lot better, especially with coach Torretta,” Haggard said. “I think just being able to work on these kinds of throws every day in practice have been really helpful with him.”
Rogers’ relationship with the two other commits dates back to playing youth football together. The three-star receiver recently transferred from powerhouse Miami Northwestern (Miami, FL) to star-studded St. Thomas Aquinas (Fort Lauderdale, FL). Rogers, who visited Western Kentucky this month, looks at the decision as nothing more than an opportunity to better prepare for the next level, both on and off the field.
On another end, he teams up with three-star receiver Camden Brown, who holds an offer from Tulane and has been raved about by the three commits as a must get target.
“We are really trying to get Camden Brown,” Rogers said.
Along with Brown, Haggard says he’s trying to convince four-star linebacker Travious Lathan, his teammate at Gulliver, and St. Thomas Aquinas three-star tight end Mason Taylor.
Tulane’s three 2022 commits from the South Florida area are more than Miami (0), Florida (1), Florida State (2), UCF (1), FAU (0), and FIU (0).
If Donaldson, Haggard, and Rogers put pen to paper come signing day, they’ll join former Miami Killian receiver TJ Huggins and Deerfield Beach quarterback Michael Pratt. Huggins, a 2021 recruit, just recently enrolled, and Pratt started as a true freshman and was named to the 247 Sports Freshman All-America team.