Fiu, Cirminiello, Mitchell on TV - Campus Insiders | Buy College Football Tickets

Sun Belt Preview 2006 - Unit Rankings

CollegeFootballNews.com
Posted Aug 9, 2006


2006 Sun Belt Preview CollegeFootballNews.com Sun Belt Unit Rankings

Offenses
1. UL Lafayette
Expect more of the same from the nation's seventh best rushing team with running, running and more running. The passing attack will produce a bit more if QB Jerry Babb doesn't miss time like last year, but there won't be too much fun 'n' gun with Tyrell Fenroy leading a loaded backfield that gets to run behind Brandon Cox and one of the Sun Belt's best lines. The passing game is a question mark with the top two receivers gone from an attack that cranked out a mere three touchdown passes. Depth on the offensive line will be a concern early on.
2. MTSU
3. North Texas
4. FIU
5. UL Monroe
6. Troy
7. Arkansas State
8. Florida Atlantic

Quarterbacks  
1. UL Lafayette
It's a fantastic situation with Jerry Babb returning for another season as the unquestioned leader of the team. He's able to do it all with an accurate arm and great running skills, and now he has to add more pizzazz to the passing game while cutting down on his interceptions. While Babb has Sun Belt Player of the Year potential, Michael Desormeaux is the one who'll keep defensive coordinators up at night because of his running skills. The team can win with either one under center.
2. FIU
3. MTSU
4. UL Monroe
5. North Texas
6. Arkansas State
7. Troy
8. Florida Atlantic


Running Backs
1. UL Lafayette
ULL finished with the nation's seventh best rushing attack thanks to the mobile quarterbacks, but the running backs also had some say in the matter with Tyrell Fenroy having a terrific freshman season. He leads a deep group of backs with several different options from the power of Chester Johnson, who's back from a shoulder injury, to the quickness of Josh Harrison and Abdule Levier. Deon Wallace was a top recruit a few years ago and will also play a big role. The fullback situation is solid with 240-pound Chancellor Roberson and true freshman Matt Desormeaux, brother of quarterback Michael, to pave the way.
2. North Texas
3. MTSU
4. Arkansas State
5. Troy
6. UL Monroe
7. FIU
8. Florida Atlantic


Receivers
1. MTSU
This should be a decent corps as long as Bobby Williams can become the type of number one target who can replace last year's leading man Cleannord Saintil. Taron Henry is experienced enough to turn into a solid number two man on the inside, but the key to the unit will be the emergence of Pierre Ingram, Jay Robinson and Jonathan Grigsby. Stephen Chicola is one of the Sun Belt's best tight ends.
2. Troy
3. North Texas
4. Arkansas State
5. FIU
6. Florida Atlantic
7. UL Lafayette
8. UL Monroe


Offensive Lines
1. UL Lafayette
This should be the league's best line if JUCO transfer Junior Ramos turns into a force at center. The guards will be fine with Tim Falter and Will Chance ready to grow into stars, and Brandon Cox and Jesse Newman certain All-Sun Belt performers at tackle. This group will dominate in the ground game and will have nice stats in pass protection because the team doesn't throw all that much. The question is depth needing to get several inexperienced players meaningful time.
2. UL Monroe
3. North Texas
4. MTSU
5. Arkansas State
6. Troy
7. FIU
8. Florida Atlantic


Defenses
1. Arkansas State
The ASU D will be tremendous thanks to a tremendous back seven led by All-Sun Belt safeties Tyrell Johnson and Khyyam Burns. The linebacking corps goes from being experienced and decent to experienced and tremendous with the return of star Josh Williams in the middle after being suspended last year. The run defense has to be far more effective, and that'll start up front where the tackles have to be more consistent. A pass rush has to be found from the ends with starters Brian Flagg and Jonathan Najm nursing knee injuries.
2. Troy
3. UL Lafayette
4. MTSU
5. FIU
6. UL Monroe
7. North Texas
8. Florida Atlantic

Defensive Lines
1. Troy
Troy will be sensational up front again despite losing three starters. Expect the new front four to be far better at getting to the quarterback with Kenny Mainor a seasoned sophomore and the ridiculously strong Shawn Todd appearing to be ready for a big season. Junior Tagovailoa and former Florida State starter Chris Bradwell will each find starting time somewhere. The tackles aren't huge, but they're promising with Steve McLendon, Franklin Lloyd and Baron Lemar all good enough to hold their own while the ends do their thing.
2. Arkansas State
3. FIU
4. MTSU
5. UL Lafayette
6. UL Monroe
7. North Texas
8. Florida Atlantic

Linebackers
1. Arkansas State
There were problems last year with inexperience and even bigger problems handling good running teams, but that won't be a problem this year thanks to the return of certain All-Sun Belt selection Josh Williams in the middle after he was kicked off the team last season. His return allows big, fast Devrett Wade to move to a more natural outside position. Now the hope is for Koby McKinnon to grow into the strongside role after a rocky freshman season. Ben Owens and Elias Ellis could both start at some point.
2. FIU
3. North Texas
4. Troy
5. MTSU
6. UL Lafayette
7. UL Monroe
8. Florida Atlantic


Defensive Backs
1. Arkansas State
The secondary only allowed 192 yards per game last year finishing 27th in the nation, and now it welcomes back the league's best safety tandem in Khyyam Burns and Tyrell Johnson. The concern is at corner needing Montis Harrison's shoulder to heal and for Dominique Williams to be more consistent after a good, but occasionally rough freshman season. There's decent depth and great competition for the corner jobs.
2. UL Monroe
3. Troy
4. MTSU
5. Florida Atlantic
6. UL Lafayette
7. FIU
8. North Texas

Special Teams
1. Troy
The Trojan special teams will be among the best in the Sun Belt if new starting punter Jason Wright can be above average. Greg Whibbs is an excellent field goal kicker inside 40 yards. Leodis McKelvin averaged 12.6 yards per punt return and and 25.8 yards per kick return and will see time doing both again. JUCO transfer Elbert Mack will start out returning kicks.
2. North Texas
3. MTSU
4. Arkansas State
5. UL Lafayette
6. UL Monroe
7. FIU
8. Florida Atlantic