2013 ULM Preview – Offense

CollegeFootballNews.com
Posted Jun 19, 2013


CollegeFootballNews.com 2013 Preview - ULM Warhawk Offense


ULM Warhawks

Preview 2013 - Offense

- 2013 ULM Preview | 2013 ULM Offense
- 2013 ULM Defense | 2013 ULM Depth Chart

What You Need To Know: Offensive coordinator Steve Farmer’s attack blew up. It wasn’t bad in 2011, but the passing game was woefully inefficient. Last year, because of quarterback Kolton Browning, ULM’s attack bombed away for 291 passing yards per game and scored 23 points or more in every game until the bowl clunker. The receiving corps loses Brent Leonard’s 104 catches, but it gets back everyone else to make the passing game shine. Running back Jyruss Edwards is back and healthy after missing the second half of last season, and while he doesn’t have an elite line to work behind, four starters are back up front to give the offense more cohesion.

Returning Leaders
Passing: Kolton Browning
273-428, 3,049 yds, 29 TD, 10 INT
Rushing: Kolton Browning
146 carries, 488 yds, 7 TD
Receiving: Je’Ron Hamm
62 catches, 915 yds, 6 TD

Star of the offense: Senior QB Kolton Browning
Player who has to step up and be a star: Junior OG Ben Risenhoover
Unsung star on the rise: Sophomore TE Harley Scioneaux
Best pro prospect: Senior C Josh Allen
Top three all-star candidates: 1) Browning, 2) Allen, 3) WR Je’Ron Hamm
Strength of the offense: Experience, Passing Game
Weakness of the offense: Physical Play, Interceptions

Quarterbacks

Senior Kolton Browning came up with a magical season earning Sun Belt Offensive Player of the Year honors after competing 64% of his passes for 3,049 yards and 29 touchdowns with ten picks, and leading the team with 488 yards and seven scores. The 6-1, 211-pound veteran has always been a smart, accurate passer and a great playmaker on the move, but he turned into something more in the win over Arkansas in the opener and with big performances in close losses to Auburn and Baylor. Unfortunately, he missed the key showdown against Arkansas State after getting knocked out of the huge game against Louisiana-Lafayette with a foot injury, but he bounced back to throw for 324 yards and three touchdowns in the win over North Texas. While he’ll never be a pure pocket passer and he’s not going to push the ball deep on a regular basis, but he’ll keep play after play alive with his feet and he’ll always keep looking to make something happen.

6-2, 195-pound sophomore Brayle Brown is the main man for the near future. A tremendous athlete who can make big things happen with his feet as well as his arm, and he has the smart, accurate passing touch to be another Browning. In his limited action h completing 2-of-5 passes for 12 yards with a pick, and he ran for 21 yards. Also pushing for backup action is junior Ian McCoig, a 6-2, 225-pound big thrower and scout teamer with good pure passing skills.

Watch Out For … Bivins Caraway III, the team’s top quarterback recruit with decent running ability and a strong, live passing arm. The problem is health, missing all of last year hurt, but the 6-0, 200-pounder will get time to heal up to 100% to compete for the starting job next year.
Strength: Mobility. Browning and Brown can each move and add a dangerous element to the backfield. They’re looking to pass first, and they’re not going to tear off 80 yard dashes, but they’ll keep defenses on their toes.
Weakness: Interceptions. Browning wasn’t too bad with the ball, but he and the other quarterbacks combined for 15 picks on the year with a meltdown in the loss to Ohio with three interceptions.
Outlook: Be extremely disappointed if Browning doesn’t take his game up another notch and earns Sun Belt Player of the Year honors. As long as he’s alive and healthy, he should often be the best player on the field, but Brown has to be at the ready to step in and shine when needed.
Unit Rating: 8

Running Backs

The offense needs more out of the running backs and less rushing production from the quarterbacks, and that means senior Jyruss Edwards has to stay healthy after being knocked out for the year in October. He carried the workload over the first part of the year with 129 yards against Baylor and two touchdowns in back-to-back weeks against Tulane and Middle Tennessee, but he went three straight games with fewer than ten carries as he wore down. The 5-11, 206-pounder was heavily recruited by everyone in Louisiana but LSU, and he has the athleticism and quickness to be a dangerous runner, receiver and kick returner. While he won’t bring the power, he moves well.

Senior Monterrell Washington helped pick up the slack when Edwards went down and did a decent job finishing with 354 yards and six scores including 62 yards and a touchdown against Arkansas State. 5-10 and 206 pounds, he has decent size and good quickness and punch with the ability to be used more as a receiver.

Sophomore DeVontae McNeal showed off a little bit of what he can do against Tulane with ten carries for 114 yards and a score. The 5-10, 209-pounder has home run hitting potential – tearing off a 54-yard scoring run against North Texas – and now he’ll be a bigger part of the equation.

Watch Out For … Tevin Horton, a 5-10, 205-pound freshman who averaged 10.5 yards per pop as a key part of two Louisiana state championship teams. Very, very fast, he has sprinter’s speed and could become a third down specialist early on.
Strength: Quickness. ULM has a specific running back type with everyone around 5-10 and 205 pounds. They’re all like pinballs with the ability to bounce around inside or out. McNeal has great wheels and can crank out big plays when given the chance, however …
Weakness: Consistent production. Outside of a few big runs here and there, the rushing production just wasn’t there with Edwards and Washington each averaging 4.4 yards per pop. Over the second half of the season – mostly because Edwards went down – the Warhawks ran for fewer than 100 yards five of the last seven games.
Outlook: ULM needs the running backs to carry more of the weight. The offense is geared around the quarterbacks and the passing game, but the lanes and openings are there for the backs who have to take advantage of the opportunities. Edwards has all-star potential, but Washington and McNeal have to become bigger producers on a regular basis.
Unit Rating: 5

Receivers

ULM loses leading receiver Brent Leonard, who came up with a huge 104-catch, 1,118-yard, ten score season, but the other top targets are back led by senior Je’Ron Hamm, a massive 6-4, 233-pound matchup nightmare who blasts away for the running game and is physical enough to outmuscle most defensive backs. Steady, he came up with 62 catches for 915 yards and six touchdowns on a team-leading 14.8 yards per grab, shining brightest late in the season with a three game stretch with 23 catches for 299 yards and two scores.

Junior Tavarese Maye finished third on the team with 56 catches for 612 yards and four scores with an 81-yard touchdown against Louisiana-Lafayette. The 6-0, 183-pound veteran is a flier who can stretch the field, and while he can be pushed around a bit, he’s excellent on the move and can be used as a runner. 5-10, 185-pound junior Kenzee Jackson will step in as a backup after transferring over from Texas A&M-Commerce. A deep threat, he tore it up as a scout teamer in practices and now will be a part of the rotation.

6-0, 188-pound junior Colby Harper turned into a reliable part of the rotation over the first half of the year before getting hurt. He finished fourth on the team with 29 catches for 303 yards and two scores, highlighted by the late game-tying scoring grab against Auburn. He’s a good route runner who takes advantage of single coverage. He’ll be backed up by sophomore Rashon Ceaser, who stepped in when Harper went down finishing with 20 catches for 262 yards and two scores. A great athlete, he’s smooth.

Taking over the full-time tight end gig is sophomore Harley Scioneaux, a spot starter who caught four passes for 16 yards, but he made the plays count with three touchdowns. At 6-5 and 257 pounds he’s a tall, talented target who’ll work his way to get open. 6-3, 242-pound senior Kevin Steed is a nice receiving prospect with six catches for 14 yards and three scores, working well around the goal line.

Watch Out For … De’Vonte Haggerty, the 6-0, 178-pound freshman who’ll be given every shot to play right away. Very fast and very quick, he’s a sprinter who makes big things happen with the ball in his hands in the open field.
Strength: Veteran pass catchers. Losing Leonard stinks, but with Hamm, Maye, Harper and Ceaser back, almost all the other key parts return to form a nice base that should blow up with Kolton Browning going into his senior year.
Weakness: A true No. 1. One should emerge from the pack, but Leonard was a special producer last season. Hamm is more of a deep threat who thrived off the attention paid to Leonard, while Maye and Harper will need to do more to pick up the slack.
Outlook: This could be the team’s biggest strength. The tight ends need to be used more in the middle of the field and not just around the goal line, but they’re reliable veterans who can work their way open. There’s a chance this could be the Sun Belt’s best receiving corps if a go-to guy emerges.
Unit Rating: 6.5

Offensive Line

The line wasn’t anything special last season, but that could all change with all the experience returning starting with center Josh Allen, a Second-Team All-Sun Belt anchor who beefed up in a big, big way going from around 270 pounds as a sophomore to 315 pounds on his 6-3 frame. A good technician, he batters his man and is decent on the move.

6-5, 316-pound junior Joseph Treadwell, a 25-game starter who has found his home at left tackle, isn’t a top pass protector, but he’s tough to get around and has just enough athleticism to get by. With his time logged in, he should be even stronger and better on one side, while 6-2, 315-pound junior Demiere Burkett is back on the right side after starting every game. Built more like a guard than a tackle, he gets good leverage and can be moved inside if needed.

Senior Jon Fisher got the call in every game at left guard and settled in. Versatile, he did a little of everything across the offensive front in a backup role two years ago, but the 6-3, 306-pounder should be one of the keys to the running game in his final year. He works well with Allen in the interior. The big problem is finding a replacement for all-star right guard Jonathan Gill, but 6-2, 293-pound junior Ben Risenhoover will give it a try. A decent part of the rotation last season, he’s not huge, but he saw time in every game and got a start at right guard in 2011. While he’s not a blaster, he moves well.

Junior Jeremy Burton spent last season as a backup left tackle, but now he’ll battle with Risenhoover for the right guard job. At 6-2 and 310 pounds he brings more size to the position. Also looking to see time in the inside is sophomore Colby Mitchell, the heir apparent to Allen at center. He’s short and squatty at 6-1 and 283 pounds, but he’ll be dependable when it’s his turn.

Watch Out For … Brandon Bridgers. He’s not the best of the new offensive line prospects, but he worked his way into the backup job at left tackle behind Treadwell. The 6-4, 290-pounder has ready-made size with room to get bigger. Strong and smart, he could be a diamond in the team’s recruiting rough.
Strength: Experience. Four starters are back after a solid season. Allen is the only returning all-star, but that should quickly change.
Weakness: Run blocking. This isn’t exactly a finesse line – it’s full of decent size and strength – but it’s not going to power over anyone. It struggled to do anything in the regular season finale against FIU and did little to nothing in key games against Louisiana-Lafayette and Arkansas State.
Outlook: Consistency will be the key. The Warhawks get four good starters back, but they have to be better at giving the mobile Kolton Browning time and they need to start powering the ball a bit more. Allen will earn All-Sun Belt honors again, and Treadwell and Burkett should be on the radar for one of the league’s better lines.
Unit Rating: 5.5

- 2013 ULM Preview | 2013 ULM Offense
- 2013 ULM Defense | 2013 ULM Depth Chart