Montgomery says TU quarterback Evans will start

Tulsa Coach Philip Montgomery said that junior Dane Evans will be the starting quarterback for the Golden Hurricane.

“Dane’s earned the right to start. He’s been the most consistent through camp and really through the spring. He’s done a great job of understanding what we want to do offensively. He’s still got a lot of things to work on and he’s still got to grow, but I think he’s done a better job of taking care of the football and executing and trying to be a leader. We’re going to open up with him, and he’s going to lead our football team,” said Montgomery.

In 12 games last year, Evans completed 55-percent of his passes for 3,102 yards and 23 touchdowns. He ranked second in the American Athletic Conference for completions per game (21.3), passing yards per game (258.5) and total offense (263.3), while ranking third for passing yards and passing TDs.

Tulsa receivers Keyarris Garrett and Keevan Lucas and  Evans were each named to the preseason watch list for the 2015 Earl Campbell Tyler Rose Award, it was announced by the Tyler Area Chamber of Commerce. This is the third year of the Earl Campbell Tyler Rose Award, which recognizes the top offensive player in the Football Bowl Subdivision from the state of Texas.

A total of 39 players from 10 different conferences and one independent have been named to the Earl Campbell Tyler Rose Award Preseason Watch List. Garrett and Lucas are two of 11 receivers named to the list.

To be eligible for the award the nominee must meet one or more of the following criteria: (1) Born in Texas; (2) Graduated from a Texas high school; or (3) played at a Texas-based junior college or a four-year college.

Lucas, a junior from Abilene High School in Abilene, Texas, has 1,661 career receiving yards and 12 touchdowns on 133 receptions for a 12.5 average per reception in his first two seasons. A year ago, Lucas was named as one of 16 semifinalists for the Earl Campbell Tyler Rose Award. He led the Hurricane with 101 receptions for 1,219 yards and 11 TDs in 2014, while ranking among the nation’s leaders for receptions per game (5th), receiving yards per game (11th), receiving yards (12th) and receiving TDs (12th).

The 6-4 Garrett, from Daingerfield High School in Texas, has played in 32 career games and has caught 123 passes for 1,621 yards and 14 touchdowns. A senior, Garrett entered the 2013 season as a preseason candidate for the Earl Campbell Tyler Rose Award, but was sidelined after the second game with a season-ending injury. He caught 47 passes for 698 yards and five touchdowns in 10 games last year.

In 2014, Evans ranked second in the American Athletic Conference for completions per game, passing yards per game and total offense, while his passing TDs and total passing yards ranked third in the league.

Classes started this week at TU as Tulsa finishes two-a-days

“We’re just trying to get as many things done as we can get done before school starts,” Montgomery said. “We have a lot of good time right now and we’re using it. It will be nice, honestly, when school starts back to get our guys on a routine and get them used to that before we get into game week.”

Montgomery has been pleased with the energy of the Hurricane team.

“It’s good to see the excitement from both sides of the ball. We try to treat everything as much as we can as game-like situation. Anytime the other side of the ball makes a big play, you have to do something to grab the momentum back. It was good to see the offense respond, and the defense responds back,” said Montgomery. “That’s what is making our practices so competitive. Guys are out here working against each other, trying to get better, working on their own craft and improving every day.”

Montgomery was asked about his special teams following the two-hour workout.

“When you talk about the special teams units, they’re kind of the forgotten ones,” he said. “Special teams can change the landscape of a game. It can factor in more than anything. It can flip the field for you and provide so many different advantages. We’re going to spend time on it, work on it and our guys are going to take pride on being on those teams.

“We’re rotating a few guys in there as return guys. On punt returns, Connor (Sherwood) and Bishop (Louie) are both taking reps, and from a kickoff return standpoint you have both those guys, and we’ll look at some different guys depending upon the week and probably throughout the course of the year,” said Montgomery.

Tulsa opens the 2015 season against the Florida Atlantic  Owls on September 5, at H.A. Chapman Stadium with game time set for 2:30 p.m. The season opener has been billed as a White-Out Game, where all fans are encouraged to wear white to the game.

Official White-Out T-shirts can be purchased at the stadium gates on game day. Cost for the T-shirt is $5.

In addition, the first 5,000 fans will receive a Hurricane Flag to help support Tulsa’s ‘Wave the Flag’ Tradition that began a year ago.