- ULL Defense
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2006 CFN UL
What you need to know: New defensive coordinator Kevin
Fouqueir won't change too much from one of the Sun Belt's better
defenses. Five starters return, along with a few others with
starting experience, to form a solid run defense that needs to
be tighter against the pass. The secondary will give up
completions, but it's not going to get beaten too often. The
front seven should be great with a nice blend of talents and
depth to form a good rotation almost everywhere. If ULL doesn't
lead the league in run defense, it'll finish second.
Rodney Hardeway, 5
Interceptions: Gerren Blount, 2
Star of the defense: Senior SS Lamar Morgan
Pass defense, stars up front
Player that has to step up and become a star: Senior CB
Unsung star on the rise: Sophomore DT LaQuincy Williams
Best pro prospect: Morgan
Top three all-star candidates: 1) Morgan, 2) LB Brenton
Burkhalter, 3) DE Rodney Hardeway
Strength of the defense: Linebacker, safety
Weakness of the defense:
Projected Starters: Two starters return to a good line
that held tough against the run in Sun Belt play. The main man up front
is 6-4, 299-pound senior DT Korey Raymond, who originally signed
with Ole Miss before going the JUCO route to ULL. He finished last
season with 35 tackles and a tackle for loss as the big anchor for the
run defense. and now he has to do more to collapse the pocket and make
plays in the backfield.
Next to Raymond will be 275-pound sophomore
LaQuincy Williams, who was decent in a limited role making nine
tackles and 2.5 sacks. He's a quick tackle who should shine in Sun Belt
253-pound senior Rodney Hardeway returns at one end after making
39 tackles and a team-leading five sacks and nine tackles for loss. He
came on in the second half of 2005, and then took over the full-time
role last year to become the team's most consistent pass rusher. While
he's not a special All-Sun Belt type of player, he'll be good enough to
make offensive coordinators worry.
On the other side will be
6-3, 245-pound senior Greg Hathorn taking over for Tony Hills.
Hathorn is a former linebacker who made himself into a defensive end in
the JUCO ranks. Last year he made 16 tackles and a sack as a backup, and
now he has to use his quickness to become more of a pass rusher.
Projected Top Reserves: Sophomores Hall Davis
and Chris Lanaux will combine for the backup end job behind
Hardeway, while promising 6-5, 237-pound redshirt freshman Terrell
Richardson will push for time behind Hathorn. Lanaux played in every
game last season making four tackles with a recovered fumble, but Davis,
the quicker of the two, should make more of an impact.
Seth Adams provides the bulk on the inside behind Raymond, but he
doesn't have much in the way of experience only seeing time in six games
last year and failing to make a tackle. He does have a blocked kick to
his credit. 6-3, 247-pound redshirt freshman Sharrick Moore is an
undersized, quick tackle option behind Williams.
Watch Out For ... the overall play of the line to be
better than the parts. This isn't the the most talented line in the Sun
Belt, but it'll be effective against the run and quick into the
Strength: Stopping the run. Raymond and Williams
form a nice tackle tandem that should clog things up against most Sun
Belt teams, while Hardeway and Hathorn have good size on the outside.
Weakness: Consistent play in the backfield. Sacks weren't a
problem, but making plays behind the line was . That was sort of by
design as the coaching staff didn't sent the house to try to be
disruptive, but now more individuals have to make plays on their own. As
a team, ULL only made 53 tackles for loss.
Outlook: Solid, if not spectacular. If the young
backups can quickly shine through to provide a rotation, and if one of
them, like Davis, becomes a good pass rushing specialist, this will be a
strong line that should hold up against anyone in the league.
Projected Starters: The linebacking corps welcomes back
leading tackler and leader, junior Brenton Burkhalter, who made
61 tackles and recovered two fumbles. He's missed a little time in each
of the last two seasons taking a pounding on his smallish 6-0, 221-pound
frame, but he's tough as nails in the middle and as consistent as they
6-0, 217-pound junior Antwyne Zanders is back on the
outside after finishing fifth on the team with 43 tackles and four
tackles for loss. He sat out all of 2005 to become academically
eligible, and then he came out roaring making nine stops in the loss to
On the other side is 227-pound senior Mark Risher to
finally start after being in and out last year with a concussion
problem. He was growing into a possible star of the defense before last
season, and now he should be one of the team's leading tacklers if he
can stay healthy.
Projected Top Reserves: Senior Tre Green
was all set to be a starter last year on the outside after starting most
of his sophomore season, but he ended up having an assortment of issues
over the last two years, was never healthy throughout last season and
finished up making just 13 tackles. He has the speed to become a major
factor if he gets time behind Zanders.
210-pound junior Jonathan
Vance is a smaller, quicker option on the outside behind Risher. He
has to be ready to step in at a moment's notice if Risher has concussion
issues again, and he should be ready after seeing a little bit of time
last year making four tackles.
6-2, 255-pound redshirt freshman Fred
Davis is the biggest player in the corps, but he's also one of the
greenest. He didn't play football until his senior year in high school
and is still learning the ins and outs. He'll start out behind
Burkhalter in the middle.
Watch Out For ... the projected backups to play a
bigger role than most reserves. Vance, Green and Davis could form a nice
starting trio and could ended up pushing hard for playing time in a good
Strength: Options. With six good linebackers, and
a seventh on the way in top freshman recruit Richard Brooks, the corps
has more than enough players to keep everyone fresh.
Weakness: Pass rushers. Don't expect the outside guys to do much
in the way of getting into the backfield. Their job will be to stop the
run first and foremost, while occasionally getting behind the line.
Outlook: It's a good corps with a nice blend of
talents. It'll have problems against the power running teams, and it's
not going to do a whole bunch against the pass, but it'll more than hold
its own in Sun Belt play.
Projected Starters: The safeties will be the strength
early on thanks to the return of 6-2, 210-pound senior strong safety
Lamar Morgan. Back fully healthy from a knee injury of a few years
ago, he's got the speed to play free safety and the hitting ability to
shine at strong safety, where he'll likely end up playing. He made 53
tackles last season highlighted by a 14-tackle day against Texas A&M, to
go along with five broken up passes. He'll play like a fourth
Sophomore Gerren Blount isn't all that big a 5-10 and
177 pounds, but he's a speedy player who can hit making 41 tackles and a
team-leading two interceptions. Expect him to be the team's top
The corners are a little more suspect, but they're not bad. 6-2,
192-pound senior Kyle Ward has the size, he has the track-star
speed, but he doesn't have top-shelf cover skills. He made 42 tackles
and three tackles last season, and now he'll battle to keep the starting
job on the left side.
5-10, 190-pound senior Jarrett Jones will
start on the right after missing all of last year. He's a good tackler,
but he has to prove he can stay healthy. He has the range to be a top
nickel back if needed.
Projected Top Reserves: Senior Torres Kingsby
isn't as big or as fast as Ward, but he's a fantastic tackler with
plenty of experience. He made 26 stops and an interception in a reserve
role. Now he might be the starter on the left side.
The fastest of the ULL defensive backs is sophomore Junior Jean with 4.45 speed.
He's still about a year away from being a starter, but he'll play a key
role behind Jones on the right side.
6-1, 170-pound redshirt freshman
Maurice Rolle is the future of the secondary at free safety, and he
might turn out to be too good to keep off the field. He's a great hitter
with the range of a corner.
Senior Derek Keyes isn't big at only
5-9 and 175 pounds, but he can pop making 17 tackles in just six games
last season having various problems with injuries. He'll combine with
speedy redshirt freshman Daylon McCoy to play behind Morgan.
Watch Out For ... Morgan to take his game to another
level and become an All-Sun Belt caliber player. He's been around long
enough to know what he's doing, and he's big enough to be an
Strength: Safeties. Morgan and Blount will be one
of the best safety pairs in the Sun Belt, while Keyes, McCoy and Rolle
can all play.
Weakness: Making big plays. ULL only came up with six
interceptions last season and got picked apart by accurate short to
midrange passers. The corners have the experience and a little bit of
speed, but they have to be more aggressive when the ball's in the air.
Outlook: The gameplan will stay the same as it has
over the last few years: give up underneath passes, don't get beaten
deep, and try to come up with the one big stop when needed. Efficient
quarterbacks will do whatever they want to against this group, but the
bombers won't find too much success.
Drew Edmiston is back after surprisingly great freshman season
hitting 11 of 14 field goal attempts while showing good range hitting a
51-yard bomb against Houston. Talk about a consistent deep leg, he
connected on all seven of his field goal attempts from 40 to 49 yards.
He'll also be the backup punter behind redshirt freshman Tyler
Albrecht, who should be an upgrade over Brit Framel. While Albrecht
doesn't have a huge leg, he should be able to average over 40 yards a
kick without a problem.
Jason Chery, who averaged just 17.2 yards
per try, and Louis Lee will be the main kick returner,
while Phillip Nevels will take over the punt return duties from
Michael Adams. Adams averaged 7.4 yards per return, while Nevels
Watch Out For ... Edmiston to be used more and more.
With his leg, consistency and range, the coaching staff will trust him
even more. He only attempted one field goal over the final five games
(and made it).
Strength: Edmiston. In what's sure to be a tight
Sun Belt race, he could be the difference between a losing season and a
Sun Belt title.
Weakness: The return game. It hasn't been a plus over the last
few years, while the coverage units have been a real problem. Someone
has to emerge as a viable, dangerous kick returner.
Outlook: The kicking game will be solid as long as
Albrecht can air it out on a regular basis, but the return game needs