QB James Kilian

2002 Statistics

Coach: Steve Kragthorpe
1st year
2002 Record: 1-11
at Arkansas State LOST 19-21
at Louisiana Tech LOST 9-53
at Baylor LOST 25-37
at Hawaii LOST 14-37
at Fresno State LOST 12-31
at SMU LOST 21-24

2002 Final Rankings
AP-UR, Coaches-UR, BCS-UR

2003 Outlook

Let's be frank- this team was utterly depressing last year. Tulsa fans watched their Golden Hurricanes play as well as you could against 3rd-ranked Oklahoma in the first game of the year. They eventually lost 37-0, and things went downhill immediately (won only one game).

The positive, urgent attitude of Kragthorpe has instilled boundless optimism in the Oil City though. He came in and has promised starting roles to no one, thus making competition intense and bringing out the best of abilities in everyone. He vows to combine hard work and fun into a winning combination that proved so successful for his mentor, LaVell Edwards. If he can produce anything close to what ole LaVell did in Provo, the people in love with Tulsa are going to be smiling once again.

Offensively, they must control the ball and the clock. The Hurricane did a pretty good job of hanging on to the football, evidenced by their +6 TO margin, but were only on the field for roughly 27 minutes per game. As mentioned earlier, that puts unwanted stress on their defense and gives opposing coaches room to gamble. Ball control is especially crucial until the new QB has shown he can comfortably swim and can take off his "floaties" and make his way to the deep end. For this reason, Eric Richardson and the running game are going to have to carry an accentuated amount of weight this season to get the ball rolling. With a troubled offensive line, we throw in the red flag here.

Defensively, focus lies on the pass rush and stopping the run. Amazingly, even with the best pass defense in the WAC, Tulsa had the second worst defense. Why? Because they could not stop anyone from running the football. Accordingly, emphasis will go toward thwarting the ground attack and (again) creating turnovers. To do this, the line must stiffen so the linebackers and secondary can zoom in and plunder.

The schedule gives Tulsa a swift kick in the groin right off the bat with road trips to Minnesota and Arkansas. They will recover after that with home games vs. SW Texas State and Arkansas State, then they dip into the WAC schedule. Tough break for them, playing Hawaii and Boise State back-to-back, but they miss Fresno State this year. We see them competing in every WAC game, and, although they probably lose games to the aforementioned WAC teams, expect the Golden Hurricane to compete and win as opposed to last season's version. We see this as the start of something good at Tulsa.

Projected 2003 record: 4-8
WR Romby Bryant
RB Eric Richardson
LB Jorma Bailey
OL Jesse Stoneham
QB - 2 DL - 2
RB - 2.5 LB - 1.5
WR - 2 DB - 3
OL - 1.5 ..

Passing: James Kilian, 52-22-2, 208 yds., 1 TD

Rushing: Eric Richardson, 182 att., 957 yds., 6 TD

Receiving: Romby Bryant, 49 rec., 593 yds., 7 TD

Scoring: Romby Bryant, 7 TD, 42 pts.

Punting: Cort Moffitt, 75 punts, 40.2 avg.

Kicking: Brad DeVault, 7-12 FG, 11-17 PAT, 32 pts.

Tackles: Jorma Bailey, 71 tot., 46 solo

Sacks: Josh Walker, 2 sacks

Interceptions: Darrell Wimberly, 3 for 28 yds.; Jeff Thibodeaux, 3 for 28 yds.

Kickoff returns: Sherman Steptoe, 22 ret., 18.5 avg.

Punt returns: Jermaine Landrum, 16 ret., 7.0 avg.


FS Jeff Thibodeaux


OFFENSE: Tony Katic-OT, Anthony Taylor-C, Tyler Gooch-QB (transferred)
DEFENSE: Michael Dulaney-LB, Keithan McCorry-ROV, Sam Raybum-DT, Chad Smith-BAN

written by Tim Chapman

The Tulsa offense will be much improved this year, simply because they were downright dreadful - anything is an improvement. New head coach Steve Kragthorpe is an offensive-minded coach who specializes in turning ordinary QBs into optimal cogs of an offense.

Ole' Kraggy will have to work with a new starter, as last year's man Tyler Gooch left to pursue baseball at Oklahoma. This leaves the QB race up for grabs among three guys- junior James Killian, redshirt frosh Shane Davison, and incoming recruit Paul Smith. All three have little or no game experience and will be need to earn their stripes. The good news is that they will be working with a great coach and an offense that favors the pass.

WR Romby Bryant is the best playmaker this offense has, using incredible athleticism to stretch a defense, and then make tacklers miss. He and junior TE Caleb Blankenship will make this offense go. Blankenship fits the mold of today's taller, pass-catching tight ends and gives the Golden Hurricane a solid #2 threat. Soph. TE Garret Mills and senior WR Montiese Culton will also be part of the mix.

Senior RB Eric Richardson provides the motor for this machine. "E-Rich" (5.3 yards per carry) will burst on the 2003 scene as one of the best-kept secrets in the game. He gives 110 percent effort every down and makes many-a-tackler miss. He has great speed and is very elusive, patterning himself after childhood hero Barry Sanders. Best of all, he is a breakaway back with the capacity to find the endzone.

As excited as Kragthorpe is about his offense, they won't muster anything if their offensive line does not produce. As a squad, the 2002 O-line gave up 35 sacks. With a new QB standing in, similar numbers will do nothing but deprive them of any confidence and directly affect the efficiency of this offense. The good part is that they return four starters on the line. Junior Derek Warehime has moved from guard to center to provide better security for his new QB's precious behind. Three seniors (Katic, Black, and Chadwick) team with him as well as soph OG Jesse Stoneham, who had an impressive spring.


RB Eric Richardson


Returning Starters in bold
QB James Kilian-Jr (6-4, 214) Paul Smith-Fr (6-2, 175)
FB James Clancy-Fr (6-1, 253) Mark Holata-Jr (6-1, 243)
RB Eric Richardson-Sr (5-10, 175) Uril Parrish-So (5-9, 192)
WR Romby Bryant-Sr (6-2, 180) Sean Yoder-So (5-10, 177)
WR Montiese Culton-Jr (6-2, 174) Jermaine Landrum-Jr (5-9, 158)
TE Caleb Blankenship-Jr (6-3, 227) Garrett Mills-So (6-2, 214)
OT Austin Chadwick-Sr (6-4, 283) Dustin Kline-So (6-6, 279)
OG Jesse Stoneham-So (6-4, 316) Victor Mercado-So (6-3, 312)
C Derek Warehime-Jr (6-1, 283) Aaron Danenhauer-Fr (6-5, 286)
OG Matt Black-Sr (6-3, 300) Ashcon Madjid-Sr (6-4, 303)
OT Jeff Perrett-Fr (6-7, 312) Tony Guined-Jr (6-7, 291)
K Brad DeVault-So (6-0, 179) ..



written by Tim Chapman

The defense wasn't as horrible as numbers might suggest a year ago. When you consider that they were on the field an average of 33 minutes a game, they were really working against everything, including the elements. That statistic should change with the improvements of the offense and the addition of new defensive coordinator Todd Graham. Graham held the same position at West Virginia last season, where his Mountaineer defense finished in the Top 40 in scoring, total, rush, and pass defense.

The strongest area of the D looks to be the secondary. They bring back three starters from a group that was tops in the WAC in pass defense (202 ypg, 13 INTs). Senior CB Darrell Wimberly is the top cover man of the bunch. Wimberly made a smooth transition from WR last season (3 INTs, 48 tackles), providing a big, physical corner whose prior experience helps him to read opposing receiver's. Returning with him are juniors FS Jeff Thibodeaux and CB Jermaine Hope. Thibodeaux is an aggressive safety, and may actually be their best overall defender. He flies to the ball and has a knack for making plays. Hope brings speed and versatility, but needs to be a bit stronger in his run support roles.

Senior BANDIT Jorma Bailey fits the role perfectly, accentuating why Kragthorpe moved him from LB. The position requires someone who can float, and is sturdy enough in run support while maintaining a physical presence in pass defense. Bailey possesses all those qualities, and does so with eye-popping athletic ability. He will be relied on to give this defense a serious shot in the arm.

The defensive front must get better. They accounted for only 16 sacks and gave opposing QBs entirely too much time to throw the ball. Senior DT Tse Ogisi is the lone returning starter on the line. When you consider that the three projected starters for 2003 combined for just ten TFLs, there is much work to be done. Graham also hopes that the return of senior Brandon Lohr will boost this unit as well.

Discipline and attitude were a big problem on this defense a year ago. They gave up 458 yards a game and allowed 53 TDs. It will take time for noticeable improvements, but how long is directly proportional to how many wins they will have.


LB Jorma Bailey


Returning Starters in bold
DE Jeremy Davis-Sr (6-2, 255) Sammy Umobong-Sr (6-2, 262)
NG Tse Ogisi-Sr (6-2, 288) Brandon Lohr-Jr (6-0, 239)
DE Josh Walker-Jr (6-4, 249) Lui Saafi-Fr (6-3, 288)
OLB Jorma Bailey-Sr (5-11, 199) Jason Wiltshire-Sr (6-3, 229)
MLB Brendon Swisher-Jr (6-1, 211) Robert Latu-Fr (6-2, 250)
OLB Josh DuPree-Jr (5-11, 201) Brandon Fuqua-Jr (6-1, 214)
SPUR Kedrick Alexander-So (6-1, 197) Clint Rountree-Jr (6-0, 193)
BAN Max Kraus-Sr (6-1, 175) Jarred Brejcha-Fr (6-2, 189)
CB Sherman Steptoe-Sr (5-9, 180) C.J. Scott-Sr (5-7, 160)
CB Jermaine Hope-Jr (5-7, 154) Darrell Wimberly-Sr (6-1, 196)
FS Jeff Thibodeaux-Jr (6-0, 174) Michael LeDet-Jr (6-2, 215)
P Cort Moffitt-Sr (6-3, 256) Josh Reed-Jr (6-6, 243)




Placekicking was virtually non-existent. Soph Brad DeVault won the job because his competitor couldn't hit anything. At any rate, it is critical that the kicking game improve on its 2002 marks of 8-of-16 FGAs and 15-of-22 PATs!

Punter Cort Moffitt contributed 41 yards per kick in a gross amount of attempts. He is especially adept at dropping it inside the 20. The return game should be exciting this year with junior Jerome Janet and soph Uril Parrish running back kicks.


The loss of Gooch at QB greatly diminishes any hopes of the Golden Hurricane making waves this season. His departure leaves the QB race wide open in the fall. My assertion is that Kragthorpe will insert true frosh Paul Smith, assuming he develops/adjusts accordingly. Smith comes in as the state of Oklahoma's all-time leading passer. He has a good arm and with a few years of tutelage from a great QB coach in Kragthorpe, he will be a star… The running game will be highlighted a little more with Gooch's loss, but they received reliable spring outings from Larry Lane and Uril Parrish and give them depth behind Richardson. Also helping on offense will be the versatile Jerome Janet- if he is on the team. He is currently serving a suspension and will not rejoin until his conditions are met. Janet is a former Parade AA and initially enrolled at Kansas State before deciding (last minute) that Tulsa was the place for him. He can provide a major spark to this team, if used properly.

Sherman Steptoe was striding on the heels of Tulsa receivers all spring and made his way into the starting lineup. He is an unbelievable athlete with great acceleration and adherent tackling skills. He will be a steady provider for this defense. It would not surprise us to see the Golden Hurricane play some young/new talent on defense this fall. One of them is Kinny Spotwood. Spotwood was the Texas 5A Defensive Player of the Year and is very quick and agile. He could step in at OLB this fall if things work out that way. Other contributors this year will be JUCO transfers LB Shane Graham (son of DC Todd Graham), DE Brandon Jones, and FS Michael LeDet, as well as true frosh FS Bobby Blackshire… CB C.J. Scott spent most of the spring rehabbing an injury that kept him out last season. His recovery will radiate experienced leadership among the DBs.