Preview 2007 - Offense
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2006 CFN UL Monroe
What you need to know: The best offense in the Sun Belt gets
11 starters back led by RB Calvin Dawson working behind a
terrific line with several all-star candidates. QB Kinsmon
Lancaster has a year of starting experience under his belt, and
he has all his top targets to get the ball to including
LaGregory Sapp and tight end Zeek Zacharie. While the attack
will spread it out and allow Lancaster to use his mobility and
big-time arm to find the right receiver, it'll be Dawson who
carries the workload when things get tight.
Passing: Kinsmon Lancaster
142-250, 1,789 yds, 7 TD, 14 INT
Rushing: Calvin Dawson
213 carries, 1,210 yds, 11 TD
Receiving: LaGregory Sapp
43 catches, 796 yds, 3 TD
Star of the offense: Senior RB Calvin Dawson
Player that has to step up and become a star: Sophomore
WR Aaron Stringfellow
Unsung star on the rise: Redshirt freshman RB Frank
Best pro prospect: Senior C Adam Hill
Top three all-star candidates: 1) Dawson, 2) QB Kinsmon
Lancaster, 3) OT Kyle Cunningham
Strength of the offense: Experience, offensive line
Weakness of the offense:
Backup quarterback, backup running
Projected Starter: The former high school receiver turned
into a passer last season as junior Kinsmon Lancaster
threw for 1,789 yards and seven touchdowns and ran for 333 yards
and five scores. Yeah, he threw 14 interceptions, but five came
against Arkansas and he tossed just one over the final four
games. While he's only 5-11 and 202 pounds, he's tough, fast,
and has a good enough arm to get the passing game going.
Projected Top Reserves: It'll be up to true
freshman Trey Revell to step in if something happens to
Lancaster, and he'll make things interesting. He's not as fast
as Lancaster, but he's a good runner who tore off 1,357 yards in
high school to go along with 5,417 passing yards. Oh yeah, and
he's 6-4, 204 pounds with a cannon for an arm.
While Revell is
the number two, 5-8 walk-on Al Lewis was one of the stars
of spring ball after completing seven of nine passes for 68
yards and a score in the spring game. He can move a little bit
and showed enough to deserve consideration as the number three
in the mix.
Watch Out For ... Lancaster to be in the hunt for
All-Sun Belt honors. If he plays like he did late last year, and
is able to keep his mistakes in check, he'll be a difference
maker who can win games by himself.
Strength: Athleticism. Lancaster and Revell can
both run well enough to design plays around. They're both among
the Sun Belt's most athletic all-around quarterbacks.
Weakness: Backup experience. While Revell has the potential to
be great, everyone will be holding their breath every time
Lancaster takes a shot. Revell simply wasn't consistent in
Outlook: Lancaster had a great year even though he
was still getting comfortable with what he was doing, and having
to fill the shoes of Steven Jyles. He has the arm to push the
ball down the field more, and he should be terrific when he gets
Projected Starter: Troy QB Omar Haugabook might argue, but
there wasn't a better player in the Sun Belt last season than
senior Calvin Dawson, who ran for 100 yards or more in
six of the final seven games finishing with 1,210 yards and 11
touchdowns. He ripped up Alabama for 118 yards, Kentucky for 179
yards and three scores, and Troy for 118 yards and a touchdowns.
If that wasn't enough, he also caught 21 passes for 155 yards
and was the team's top kickoff returner. He has decent speed and
a little bit of power, but his strength is his workhorse
ability. He was the offense over the second half of last
Projected Top Reserves: While true freshman
Frank Goodin is only 5-9 and 192 pounds, he's a hard-nosed
runner who has a nose for the goal line. He's extremely quick
with good enough hands to be a regular in the passing game.
Freshman Tay Ogletree is another quick back who'll be
able to make plays in all areas if needed. While he's not the
runner Goodin is, he's strong enough to potentially get
five-to-seven carries a game.
Watch Out For ... Dawson to be a marked man from day
one. Yeah, you know he's coming, but can you stop him? Defenses
are going to put everyone but the waterboy up on the line to
Strength: Quickness. There might not be a to of
warp speed, but everyone can move through the line and everyone
zip through the holes created by the offensive design.
Weakness: Backup experience. Goodin and Ogletree are promising,
but if Dawson goes down, it'll be asking a lot to replace his
Outlook: Dawson is a special Sun Belt runner
who'll be a lock for 1,000 yards if he stays healthy. He's
carries-eater doing a great job of getting into the feel of the
game. Goodin and Ogletree need to combine for about 500 yards to
keep The Franchise fresh.
Projected Starters: The big concern going into last year
was who was going to replace Drouzon Quillen. The answer became
junior LaGregory Sapp, who turned into a surprisingly
consistent target, and the team's leading receiver, catching 43
passes for 796 yards and three touchdowns averaging 18.5 yards
per catch. He's a big 6-3 and 200 pounds with fantastic deep
speed at the X. Now he has to start scoring more.
At the inside
Z position will be sophomore Aaron Stringfellow, who
caught seven passes for 79 yards in a limited role as a true
freshman. .He's not huge at 5-11 and 186 pounds, but he'll be
tough on the short-to-midrange patterns.
McNeal will serve as the hybrid of tight end, fullback, and
big receiver at the H/Y position. The former quarterback
completed three of four passes last year for 117 yards and a
touchdown, and was third on the team with 25 catches for 276
yards and two scores. He's 210 pounds and is good at finding
ways to get open.
The team's number two receiver, behind Sapp,
was tight end Zeek Zacharie, a 6-3, 230-pound junior who
made 30 grabs for 405 yards and two touchdowns. While he was
consistent from start to finish, both his scores came against
Kansas in the second game of the year. He's more like a big wide
receiver than a bruising blocker, but he's getting stronger for
the running game.
Projected Top Reserves: While McNeal has turned
into too strong a receiver to get off the field, he'll split
time with junior Marty Humphrey, a 6-1, 187-pound
possession receiver who saw his production fall off the map with
only eight catches for 113 yards after a 20-grab 2005. He's
experienced enough to find a role in four-wide sets.
corner J.J. McCoy has turned into a strong backup
receiver making 16 catches for 216 yards and a touchdown. He's
extremely quick at the inside Z position behind Stringfellow.
6-3, 219-pound sophomore Josh Boudreaux came to ULM as a
quarterback, and now he's an outside receiver playing behind
Sapp. He's too good an athlete not get get on the field.
out Zacharie at tight end will be junior Mitch Doyle, a
6-5, 275-pound blocker who can make a few short-range catches.
He made 11 grabs for 19 yards and a touchdown, but he'll mostly
be used to help spring Dawson and the running game.
Watch Out For ... Sapp and Zacharie to continue to be
a great complement to one another. Zacharie will come up with
everything short, and Sapp will stretch the field to open things
Strength: Experience. Almost all the key receivers
from last year are back with several options to spread the field
and let Kinsmon Lancaster work.
Weakness: Scorers. For all the passing the team did last season,
there were only ten touchdown passes with Sapp leading the way
with just three. Yes, Calvin Dawson is the scoring option in the
offense, but it would be nice if Zacharie, and maybe some of the
inside receivers, were more dangerous in the red zone.
Outlook: The Sun Belt's top passing game should be
every bit as productive with everyone of note returning.
and Zeek Zacharie are all-stars who have to build on last year and
combine for more than 80 catches. The rest of the targets have
to start making more big plays and take advantage of the single
Projected Starters: The star of a very good, very strong
offensive front is senior left tackle Kyle Cunningham, a former
defensive tackle who is a terrific all-around blocker and a tremendous
Next to him on the left side is 6-3, 310-pound junior
Aaron Schutz, who was out this spring with a back problem but
should be all back full by fall. A top recruit for the program a few
years ago, he's developed into a mauler of a run blocker.
Cunningham is the team's best lineman, senior center Adam Hill is
a close second. He's 6-3, 310 pounds, and a terrific quarterback for the
front line. A rock for the last three years. he's on a string of 34
The right side is a big of a question mark needing junior Larry
Shappley and senior Patrick Avinger to come back strong.
Shappley got knocked out late last year with a knee injury, but is
expected to be all back full by the time the season starts. The 6-5,
290-pound junior is a great athlete who became terrific as last year
went on. Avinger could move to center if needed, but will be more than
fine at guard despite being a slightly undersized 275 pounds.
Projected Top Reserves: With Schultz out this
spring, 6-6, 345-pound redshirt freshman Doug Stroud saw time at
guard, but he'll likely end up at left tackle behind Cunningham after
he's back from an injury of his own.
275-pound Kyle Kersten is an
athletic junior who can play either tackle spot, and will have to be at
the ready on the right side if Shappley can't go.
Watch Out For ... the line to be the best in the Sun
Belt. There are better individual linemen out there, but the Warhawks
have a veteran front that's tremendous in all areas.
Strength: Chemistry. This group works well
together doing a great job of pounding away when it has to, while doing
a great job in pass protection allowing a mere 13 sacks last year
Weakness: Top backups. While several players saw time throughout
spring ball thanks to Shappley, Schutz and Stroud all missing time,
there's still not quite enough backup experience to be comfortable if
the starting five isn't 100% going into the year.
Outlook: ULM was third in the league in running
and first in sacks allowed (and fifth in the nation), and now the key
parts are back. Kyle Cunningham, Adam Hill and Aaron Schutz are all-star candidates
who'll do a little bit of everything right and win games with their
blocking. They're tempo setters allowing everyone time to work and
giving Calvin Dawson and the running game room.