2011 ULM Preview – Offense
ULM OG Jonathan Gill
ULM OG Jonathan Gill
Posted Jul 25, 2011

CollegeFootballNews.com 2011 Preview - ULM Warhawk Offense

ULM Warhawks

Preview 2011 - Offense

- 2011 ULM Preview | 2011 ULM Offense
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What You Need To Know: There's no excuse for offensive coordinator Steve Farmer's attack to not be better and more consistent. This isn't going to be the most balanced of offenses, but it should be extremely effective, especially through the air. QB Kolton Browning had a strong first season, and now he should be a better decision maker and should be a threat to throw for over 3,000 yards helped by a terrific receiving corps. Lightning fast Luther Ambrose leads a veteran group that gets all of the top options back. The running game is going to play second-fiddle, but it has three decent backs with separate skill sets to play around with. The key will be the improvement on the line. A disaster at times last year with injuries and inconsistency keeping the front five from finding the right combination until late, now it's a big, experienced group with six starters returning and plenty of versatility to fill in the gaps when needed.

Returning Leaders
Passing: Kolton Browning
234-378, 2,552 yds, 18 TD, 12 INT
Rushing: Kolton Browning
171 carries, 385 yds, 4 TD
Receiving: Luther Ambrose
65 catches, 752 yds, 6 TD

Star of the offense: Sophomore QB Kolton Browning
Player who has to step up and be a star: Sophomore RB Jyruss Edwards
Unsung star on the rise: Sophomore WR Tavarese Maye
Best pro prospect: Senior WR Luther Ambrose
Top three all-star candidates: 1) Ambrose, 2) Browning, 3) OG Jonathan Gill
Strength of the offense: Experience, Passing Game
Weakness of the offense: Running Game, Pass Protection


State of the Unit: It was a bit of a shocker when veteran Trey Revell was moved to a backup role, but it worked out. The passing game put up a ton of yards and was relatively efficient to go along with decent rushing production from the position. Now the situation is set.

Sophomore Kolton Browning stepped into the starting role and was solid, completing 62% of his passes for 2,552 yards and 18 scores, and he finished second on the team with 385 rushing yards with four scores. He threw too many picks, giving away 12, but he spread them out over the course of the season and his mistakes weren't a killer. The lefthander blew up for five touchdown passes against North Texas, and he chucked it for 339 yards and three scores against FIU, and now he knows what he's doing. The 6-1, 202-pounder is a good runner with shiftiness and speed, and he has a live arm and can make things happen on the move.

5-11, 195-pound junior Cody Wells has seen a little bit of time over the last two years and got a few starts. He completed 10-of-18 passes for 67 yards with two picks in his limited time last season, and now he's the clear No. 2 in the mix. He's not all that big, but he's a decent passer who knows what he's doing, while former corner and wide receiver, Aaron Munoz will work as an emergency option. The starting punter, the 5-11, 186-pound sophomore is fast and adds more flash to the equation.

Watch Out For … Browning to be a better decision maker. He had to try to force things last season, and it showed with at least one mistake in just about every game. He'll still throw picks, but he should go from 12 interceptions to around nine.
Strength: The pecking order. Browning has a live arm and is an excellent passer, and he's the unquestioned No. 1 guy, while Wells is a solid, developed No. 2.
Weakness: Interceptions. With Wells throwing two picks and now touchdown passes, ULM ended up with 14 interceptions on the year. The passing game worked but turnover margin was a problem that has to be remedied.
Outlook: Todd Berry made the right call going with Browning last year, and now the situation is set for another three years. Browning is a talented, developing option who can do a little of everything, and as long as he's not screwing up, he'll be one of the Sun Belt's best playmakers.
Unit Rating: 6

Running Backs

State of the Unit: The ground game was a major disappointment. It was supposed to be the year when Frank Goodin took things to another level, and he only ran for 438 yards. QB Kolton Browning turned out to be the second-leading rusher, and now the offense needs more pop from a ground game that finished 96th in the nation and averaged a pathetic 3.1 yards per carry. Now the Warhawks have plenty of options and the production needs to follow.

Taking over as the full-time No. 1 guy is sophomore Jyruss Edwards, a quick 5-11, 189-pounder who started four times and finished with 375 yards and four scores, and caught 14 passes for 70 yards. Heavily recruited by everyone in Louisiana but LSU, he has the athleticism to be used as a runner, receiver, or a defensive back. Now he has to use his speed to do more to make big plays with his biggest run just 33 yards. He's not going to bring any power, but he'll move well.

6-0, 211-pound sophomore Centarius Donald made a little bit of an impact in his first year with 66 yards, but he has the build and the toughness to be a workhorse from time to time. He ran for over 4,000 yards 54 touchdowns over his final two high school seasons, and while he's the No. 2 man, he could easily be the key cog in the ground game. Also looking for early time is Arkansas transfer Mitchell Bailey, a talented 6-0, 224-pound runner who played a little bit for the Hogs before leaving. Now he'll provide the power and the thump to go along with the shiftiness of the other options.

Watch Out For … Bailey. The junior walked on at Arkansas and ended up grabbing the starting fullback job. He can block, catch, and run, and he's going to be the power in the ground game.
Strength: A nice-looking rotation. Edwards is the No. 1, Donald is a veteran No. 2, and Bailey is a do-it-all type who'll be used in a variety of ways. The running game has options with each back bringing vastly different skills.
Weakness: The offense. ULM used to be devastating on the ground, but the Todd Berry attack prefers to move the ball through the air. The backs have to take advantage of their opportunities, and they have start cranking out more big plays. Edwards ran for just 4.5 yards per carry and Donald averaged a mere 3.1 yards per try.
Outlook: It's a good, deep stable of backs, but will the offense give them the chances to operate? Will the bad offensive line provide the room to move? The quarterbacks will add to the mix, but it's up to Edwards to come up with a breakout season, while Donald has to add more flash.
Unit Rating: 5


State of the Unit: All of the wide receivers of note are back from a group that started to come into its own. As QB Kolton Browning keeps on progressing, the receivers will benefit – and vice versa. This corps knows what it's doing well enough to help make Browning look good, too. It'll be a big disappointment if this isn't the best group of receivers in the Sun Belt.

The star of the show will once again be Luther Ambrose, the team's top recruit in 2008 who lived up to his billing last year. The 5-8, 181-pound senior led the team with 65 catches for 752 yards and six touchdowns, and while he only had one 100-yard game, with seven catches for 140 yards and two scores against North Texas, he was the steady target the team needed. A flash of lightning, he won the Louisiana state high school sprint title in the 100 with a 10.59, beating former USC running back Joe McKnight, and has been timed at 4.29 in the 40.

Sophomore Tavarese Maye might not have Ambrose speed, but he's a flier who finished second on the team with 43 catches for 505 yards and three touchdowns. Now big at 5-11 and 171 pounds, he can be pushed around a bit, but he's great on the move averaging 9.4 yards per carry with a score, to go along with his receiving duties. He'll get the ball in a variety of ways once again, while veteranAnthony McCall will once again be a key starter after finishing third on the team with 33 catches for 479 yards and two touchdowns. Staying healthy has been a problem throughout his career, but the 6-1, 191-pound senior knows what he's doing and he has the deep speed to average 14.5 yards per catch.

6-1, 179-pound junior Brent Leonard got several starts last season and found a niche as the No. 4 receiver tying for third on the team with 33 catches for 377 yards and three scores. There was a thought that he was going to be moved over to corner earlier in his career, but he's too valuable on the offensive side to move him around now. He's a good deep threat who knows what he's doing.

The Warhawk offense doesn't always use a tight end, but it'll have an interesting blocker to work with in Keavon Milton, a 6-4, 271-pound junior who worked at defensive end last year and now will be a big blaster of a hitter for a running game, but he can catch a little bit, too, with three catches for three touchdowns earlier in his career. 6-2, 226-pound senior Ty Kittle is more of a receiving tight end, but he only made one catch last season.

Watch Out For … Maye. Ambrose is the special speedster on the lot, but Maye has No.1 receiver potential with excellent wheels and the quickness to add pop to a mediocre ground game.
Strength: Experience. 194 of the 195 passes caught by receivers last year are back. The Warhawks have four good starters to count on, and they have four decent reserves in Je'Ron Hamm, a big 6-3, 214-pound possession receiver, Zarrell Sanders, Colby Harper, and Julian Griffin to form a nice rotation.
Weakness: Tight end production. The offense uses four wide receivers and the tight ends aren't really a part of the mix, and there won't likely be much help this year, either, with Milton being used as a blocker and short-range target.
Outlook: The ULM passing game was good last year, and now it could blow up with the receiving corps deep, fast, and talented. Ambrose is an all-star sprinter who has to be accounted for on every play, and the rest of the receiving corps will benefit. Maye, Leonard, and McCall will all have their big moments.
Unit Rating: 6

Offensive Line

State of the Unit: The line was awful last year, but there could be a night-and-day improvement if everyone can stay healthy. It took almost the entire year to settle on the right combination, and it started to come together over the final three games. Now the line is deep and potentially a strength after allowing 34 sacks and didn't do enough for the ground game that averaged just 120 yards per game.

The best battle will be at center where, sophomore Josh Allen is back after spending most of the season in the starting spot, but the 6-2, 272-pounder will have to fight for time. He was okay, but he played like a true freshman. 6-4, 293-pound senior Ryan McCaul spent time at left guard, but he's a center. The former JUCO all-star is versatile and tough, and he adds more pop for the running game when he's in the middle.

Starting quarterback Kolton Browning is a lefty, so the right tackle plays a bigger role in the offense, and Anthony Montgomery will get the call after starting every game but one. The 6-4, 309-pound senior was a defensive tackle in high school, and while he's not great in pass protection, he's a physical player who grew into the job as last year went on. The understudy is 6-1, 298-pound redshirt freshman Jeremy Burton. He's short and squatty, but he can move and can play just about anywhere up front.

Back on the left side is junior Patrick Dvoracek, a good veteran who missed time in the middle of the season banged up, but he started the first three games and the final three. At 6-3 and 311 pounds, he has good size and plenty of experience after starting out his career at Utah State before going the JUCO route. The cousin of former Oklahoma star Dusty Dvoracek will be an upgrade for the line if he can stay 100%, but if he can't, 6-1, 278-pound redshirt freshman Demiere Burkett will step in. Burkett might be small, but he's extremely quick and will be great in pass protection.

6-4, 307-pound senior Justin Roberts is a versatile veteran who saw times over the last few years at right tackle, moved over to the left side, and started most of last year at left guard after getting hurt early on. He's great on the move and he's one of the team's best all-around blockers, and if he's healthy, the line has its anchor. With 32 career starts, Roberts is the elder statesman, while 6-3, 302-pound right guard Jonathan Gill has 24 straight starts. The junior got past a shoulder injury as a mainstay since he first set foot on campus, and while he's been a decent starter at right tackle, he found a home at guard last year and is a key part of the ground game.

Watch Out For … Allen to find a spot somewhere. The team's star signing of last year, and one of the nation's top-ranked center recruits, he was thrown to the wolves right away and was decent. He's too good to keep out of the mix and he's too athletic to not to step in and see time.
Strength: Versatility and experience. Six starters are back for a line that can be shuffled around as needed. Easily one of the most versatile lines in the Sun Belt, everyone can fit in at two spots minimum.
Weakness: Blocking. Even when the starting five became settled over the final three games, it's not like the line was pounding away. The line allowed way too many sacks and wasn't close to doing anything on a regular basis for the ground attack.
Outlook: Can the ULM line rebound? The trend is pointing upwards. After being one of the best front fives in the Sun Belt in 2007, it was a mess in 2008. It had a terrific year in 2009, and was a disaster at times last year. Now it should be strong with too much size, experience, and versatility to not be a plus.
Unit Rating: 5

- 2011 ULM Preview | 2011 ULM Offense
- 2011 ULM Defense | 2011 ULM Depth Chart
- ULM Previews  2010 | 2009 | 2008 | 2007 | 2006