RB Tarrion Adams

2007 Statistics

Coach: Todd Graham
10-4, 1 year
2007 Record: 10-4
at Louisiana-Monroe WON 35-17
UAB WON 38-30
at UTEP LOST 47-48
at UCF LOST 23-44
SMU WON 29-23
at Tulane WON 49-25
at Army WON 49-39
at Rice WON 48-43
at UCF LOST 25-44
Bowling Green WON 63-7

2007 Final Rankings
AP-36, Coaches-36, BCS-UR

2008 Outlook

Who’d have thunk it…after the guy who arguably invented much of the modern spread attack – ex head coach Steve Kragthorpe – left Tulsa in ballyhooed success for a BCS level school, that it would then be a defensive specialist replacing him and setting offensive records galore (nine team and 12 individual marks set in 2007). Todd Graham came back to take the reigns after spending three years here (2003-05) as DC, but he had left in 2006 to take his first head coaching job at Rice. Graham quickly proved he was the right guy by coming home to tie the school’s win record (10), the most wins since 1991.

Which numbers are most intimidating from the nation’s No.1 total offense of 2007: ex-QB Paul Smith and RB Tarrion Adams setting the all-time FBS mark for combined yardage by a QB-RB pair (6,290 beats Klingler and Weatherspoon’s 6,237 in 1990 for Houston, who are subsequently the only other members of the 5,000-1,000 club), or the trio of Trae Johnson, Brennan Marion, and Charles Clay becoming just the third set of 1,000-yard receivers to come from one school? The keys to getting things to the “next level” have been co-coordinators Gus Malzahn and Herb Hand combining Arkansas’s and West Virginia’ approaches with the no-huddle spread already in place here; that is where each came from, respectively, prior to becoming the Golden Hurricane brain-trust. Expect more of the same from the offense.

But if you let in nearly as many yards and/or points as you earn, it limits how special the campaign can become. The two Central Florida losses and the 48-47 heartbreaker against UTEP show that a bit more defense might go a long way toward getting Tulsa into the top 25. All that has to happen is for the new LBs to settle in…in the 3-3-5, the corps can get help from the extra DB(s). This defense should improve, but by how much remains the biggest factor in defining the 2008 season.

A team like this is rarely a favorite, for the Golden Hurricane’s defensive volatility makes their final weekly outcomes uncertain (but pursuing the “over” seems like a safe call). The slate of foes isn’t impressive, but the parity and competitive nature of the conference has lots of teams feeling their chances versus Tulsa are good. Five of Tulsa’s 2007 league opponents were within a single score of either winning or tying their respective games at the end.

Tulsa is college football at its best – a great group of underdog athletes coming together to prove teamwork goes farther than individual talent levels. Not bad for a school with barely 2,800 undergrad (4,100 total) and third-tier in-state status. Light that fire, Captain ‘Cane!

Projected 2008 record: 9-3
DB Roy Roberts
QB - 3 DL - 3
RB - 4 LB - 2
WR - 4.5 DB - 2.5
OL - 3.5 ..
2007 Statistical Rankings
Total Off:
Sacks Allow:
Total Def:

Passing: David Johnson, 4-8-0, 56 yds., 0 TD

Rushing: Tarrion Adams, 202 att., 1113 yds., 7 TD

Receiving: Trae Johnson, 67 rec., 1039 yds., 11 TD

Scoring: Jarod Tracy, 7-12 FG, 64-67 PAT, 85 pts.

Punting: Michael Such, 39 punts, 38.9 avg.

Jarod Tracy, 7-12 FG, 64-67 PAT, 85 pts.

Tackles: Charles Davis, 69 tot., 52 solo

Sacks: Moton Hopkins, 3 sacks

Interceptions: Roy Roberts, 3 for 69 yds., 1 TD

Kickoff Returns: Roy Roberts, 19 ret., 24.3 avg., 1 TD

Punt Returns: Trae Johnson, 11 ret., 9.9 avg., 0 TD


OFFENSE: Paul Smith-QB, Cody Madison-FB, Kyle Grooms-WR, Cameron Clemons-WR, Walter Boyd-OT, Wade Whitlow-OT
DEFENSE: Brandon Jones-NG, Alain Karatepeyan-SLB, Nelson Coleman-MLB, Chris Chamberlain-WLB, Steve Craver-BAN, Anthony Germany-SPUR, Randy Duncan-FS

This offense will remain just as balanced under quarterback David Johnson’s leadership. A senior who has to hit the ground running, Johnson has shown great promise and leadership in his few opportunities. It’s really too bad he only has one year to develop into this unique scheme. Clark Harrell, the brother of Texas Tech’s Graham, transferred recently to get more immediate playing time (FCS or Division II likely). This opens the door for Jacob Bower to really get a look. First a missionary (LDS) from 2004-06 and then a redshirt at BYU prior to playing well at Bakersfield C.C., Bower looks like a good fit once he learns the nuances. A learning year could quickly turn into trial-by-fire for the Meridian (ID) native, but he has the wheels Harrell didn’t.

The backfield uses its H-Back as a pure fullback quite often, and Charles Clay is a weapon in many ways. He was second on the team in receptions and third in rushing yards – a true “west coast” use of the position. Courtney Tennial is back after leading the team in rushing in 2006 but then tragically tearing his Achilles tendon last August. That meant nothing production-wise in ’07, and now a sophomore (Clay) is in Tennial’s way in this, his senior year. For the team, it’s a good problem. Guys like Tennial and Bower allow RB Tarrion Adams to flank out into the slot or outside receiver position. Ex-DB Williams is a good runner but has to prove more for the multi-purpose role Tulsa backs must fill. And speaking of multi-purpose, A.J. Whitmore was the wideout du jour as a ball carrier, garnering 26 carries and earning a 10-ypc average without ever losing a yard. Whitmore was too good not to field as a true frosh, so expect more on the receiving front from him.

What can you say about C-USA Newcomer of the Year Brennan Marion (first played H-Back in junior college)? Only two other guys made the NCAA FBS national receiving yards per game rankings with enough catches to have their impressive 20+ yards per catch averages officially rank them…Marion’s 31.9 yards per his 39 catches set the all-time NCAA mark for a season and should shout to opposing defensive coordinators that he will be going deep early, often and without shame. There’s nothing corporate about the Johnson & Johnson connection soon to be established. Trae was the top GH snarler as a mere true freshman, so just imagine what this All-conference receiver will do now. The explosive Dion Toliver seems to get lost in the shuffle of talent, but his five starts are something to build upon for his senior year. Meyer also seems buried in the pecking order…how doesn’t finishing tied for third on the team in receptions (34) not get him more media recognition? The first four-star recruit in the last five years, Damaris Johnson, will probably find reps, too, but we can see him red-shirting with so many guys vying for time.

Almost the entire line is made of returning starters, and all juniors at that. Tyler Holmes is the newbie at left tackle, but think of how good he must be if Rodrick Thomas won’t have to switch sides. This is an athletic group that knows how to move accordingly to optimize play fakes and lateral play development. Heaping even more superlatives on this dangerous offense seems redundant. Everything is in place for the Golden Hurricane offensive engine to keep running at its high level(s) of performance.


WR Brennan Marion


Returning Starters/
Key Players
QB David Johnson-Sr (6-3, 217) Clark Harrell-So (6-4, 197)
FB Charles Clay-So (6-3, 222) (HB) Courtney Tennial-Sr (5-10, 235)
RB Tarrion Adams-Sr (6-1, 210) Jamad Williams-So (5-9, 198)
WR Brennan Marion-Sr (6-1, 185) Trae Johnson-So (5-11, 170)
WR AJ Whitmore-So (5-9, 170) Dion Toliver-Sr (5-11, 170)
TE Jake Collums-Jr (6-4, 244) Jesse Meyer-Jr (6-4, 201) (WR)
OT Tyler Holmes-Fr (6-4, 305) Brandon Thomas-Fr (6-5, 270)
OG Curt Puckett-Jr (6-4, 308) Aaron Ringle-Fr (6-4, 250)
C Jody Whaley-Jr (6-3, 311) Nick Gates-So (6-2, 270)
OG Justin Morsey-Jr (6-2, 296) Shawn Santos-So (6-3, 304)
OT Rodrick Thomas-Jr (6-5, 354) Travis Wike-Jr (6-4, 305)
K Jarod Tracy-Sr (6-0, 165) Matthew Hulse-Fr (5-11, 192)



It wasn’t the same smooth transition on this side of the ball. There are co-coordinators – second-year guy Paul Randolph, who also oversees the DL, and Keith Patterson, a sixth-year assistant and third-year DC who also guides the DB assistant – and many talented players. Yet there were over 150 more yards and 13 more points allowed per game from 2006’s averages. Much blame can be heaped on headman Todd Graham switching back to the 3-3-5 seen here while he was the coordinator from 2003-05. That’s why Randolph was brought in with Graham when Graham came back from his one-year head coaching stint at Rice, where Randolph was his DC. But it didn’t dovetail as planned, and this year looks like another rough one in the offensive minded Conference USA.

In an alignment like this, it all starts up front; if the three linemen can’t achieve their basic group function of taking up as many hats as possible, then the domino affect on the rest of the stopping efforts will be felt. Every foe but bowl opponent Bowling Green went over the 100-yard mark for team rushing, with five going over 200 and all at a combined 4.6 ypc rate. Coach Randolph has his work well proportioned. Nemons and Garrison both out-worked departed 2007 DT starter Brandon Jones. Nemons and fellow senior Moton Hopkins have the size and proven results to have the line function at its needed level. Ex-WR (hence his wearing of the No.80) Odrick Ray looks like an improvement at end, and the outside depth has just as much promise.

It’s strongside linebacker George Clinkscale who can bump down into a three-point stance after he started at end for much of 2007. He’s the closest thing to an incumbent, which tells you of Tulsa’s lack of experience. Three new LBs is always an adjustment. Bryan has some experience, too, and looks good to be a keeper in the middle. Antle, like Bryan, just needs to put a few pounds on his frame to become the best he can be. Injuries to these three would definitely keep the defense from blossoming.

The five DBs are made of three pseudo-safeties and two pure corners. Roberts, the “Bandit” (or permanent nickel back, if you will), is the best of the coverage guys. Kenny D. Sims (not the LB, but the corner) has to improve his coverage skills. If either he or Destin can become an isolation type, this defense can possibly stop passes from being caught rather than almost always chasing opposing receivers from behind and halting their YAC. Quality JUCO product Kollin Hancock should bump one of these two out of their starting spot(s) by October. Davis is also great in coverage. Adé Manga is but another who will help immediately due to his junior college experience. The odds of the entire defense being jump-started by these new upperclassmen are good. The turnover should actually prove just what the doctor ordered.


DE Moton Hopkins


Returning Starters/
Key Players
DE Odrick Ray-So (6-3, 241) Tyler Scarbrough-So (6-3, 268)
NG Terrel Nemons-Sr (6-4, 337) Wilson Garrison-Jr (6-3, 276)
DE Moton Hopkins-Sr (6-3, 270) Rashad Robinson-Fr (6-1, 230)
SLB George Clinkscale-Jr (6-0, 251) Kaipo Sarkissian-Jr (6-1, 230)
MLB Mike Bryan-Jr (6-3, 216) Kenny R. Sims-So (6-0, 221)
WLB Tanner Antle-So (6-4, 210) Curnelius Arnick-Fr (6-1, 221)
BAN Roy Roberts-Sr (5-11, 205) Ty Page-Sr (6-2, 226)
CB John Destin-Jr (6-0, 185) Nick Henderson-Sr (6-0, 177)
CB Kenny D. Sims-Jr (5-11, 201) Josh Walker-Jr (5-10, 185)
SPUR Ade' Manga-Jr (6-2, 210) Donald Gobert-So (6-3, 192)
FS Charles Davis-Jr (5-9, 170) Genesis Cole-Fr (6-1, 184)
P Michael Such-So (6-2, 205) Paul Jurado-Sr (6-1, 206)




A good barometer for the defensive improvements are the net punting results of Mike Such. And Such is the kind of controlled kicker who needs the team’s speed to do its job. Only 39 punts, along with only 12 field goals tries, shows how Tulsa’s efficient offense limits their kicking needs. Trae Johnson, Roy Roberts and Charles Davis will continue to do their job(s) divvying up the returns.