2010 ULM Preview – Offense
CollegeFootballNews.com 2010 Preview - ULM Warhawk Offense
Preview 2010 - Offense
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What You Need To Know: Offensive coordinator Steve Farmer is going to spread out the offense and get the quarterbacks and the one-back moving. The goal is to make Kolton Browning the type of all-around playmaking quarterback who can get everyone involved, and while he might not lead a consistent attack, he has some excellent home run hitters to work with. RB Frank Goodin and WR Luther Ambrose are among the Sun Belt's fastest players, and they'll get time to work behind a big line fortified by some key JUCO transfers. The offense was balanced last year and it should remain so under the new coaching staff, but it might take a while. With good speed and quickness all across the board, ULM should be able to keep up in conference play on athleticism alone.
Star of the offense: Senior RB Frank Goodin
Passing: Trey Revell
121-210, 1,739 yds, 12 TD, 12 INT
Rushing: Frank Goodin
219 carries, 1,126 yds, 13 TD
Receiving: Luther Ambrose
34 catches, 455 yds, 4 TD
Player who has to step up and be a star: Junior OT Anthony Montgomery
Unsung star on the rise: Junior C Ryan McCaul
Best pro prospect: Junior WR Luther Ambrose
Top three all-star candidates: 1) Goodin, 2) Ambrose, 3) QB Kolton Browning
Strength of the offense: Quick Skill Players, Running Game
Weakness of the offense: Passing Efficiency, Proven Line Depth
Projected Starter: In a dogfight for the starting quarterback job in the new offense, redshirt freshman Kolton Browning might be the best fit. The 6-1, 198-pounder has a nice passing arm throwing for 3,156 yards and 28 touchdowns in the final ten games of his high school career, and he's a runner with good shiftiness and speed. With a live arm and great mobility, he could be the face of the offense for the next four years.
Projected Top Reserves: Senior Trey Revell had a nice year taking over the starting role, completing 58% of his passes for 1,739 yards and 12 touchdowns with 12 interceptions. He's a decent runner, but not a dangerous one finishing with 354 yards and five touchdowns. The 6-4, 222-pounder is more of a passer than an effective runner, but he has great open field speed and the experience to step in and shine in a rotation. He missed time in the middle of the year with a broken thumb, but he rebounded to throw for 282 yards and two scores against North Texas.
Watch Out For … Browning to be the one the coaching staff sinks or swims with. While Todd Berry and his staff want to win right away, they're going to let the redshirt freshman work through his mistakes and his rookie errors.
Strength: Great arms. Revell is a big passer who can put the ball deep and has a decent midrange accurate arm. Browning has a gun who can fire a major league fastball.
Weakness: Time in the system. While relative unknowns have been able to shine under Berry, it's not like his quarterbacks have set the world on fire. Browning will make some mistakes because of his youth, while Revell is all but starting over after all he did last year.
Outlook: The quarterback play was solid last season with Revell playing well, but Browning is the prospect to develop in the spread to make the attack shine for the next few seasons. There could be a rotation at times if needed and both players have to be at the ready.
Unit Rating: 5
Projected Starters: Senior Frank Goodin was expected to step in and blow up as the replacement for star Calvin Dawson two years ago, but he tweaked his knee and wasn't quite right even with 783 yards and five scores. Healthy last year, he didn't disappoint cranking out a 1,126-yard, 13 touchdown season. The 5-9, 211-pounder runs with power, tremendous quickness ad great speed when he gets into the open field. He ran for 94 yards or more in seven games with three 100-yard efforts in a row late in the year. Now the all-star will be the focal point of the attack again and could be used even more for the passing game after catching 18 passes for 138 yards.
Projected Top Reserves: Redshirt freshman Jyruss Edwards was heavily recruited by everyone in Louisiana (but LSU) as a runner, a receiver, or possibly a defensive back, but he chose ULM and is expected to be a speedy rushing option. The 5-11, 186-pounder doesn't have much in the way of power, but he has plenty of moves and is shifty enough to make defenders missed. He should become a great No. 2 option and can be used as a receiver from time to time.
5-9, 201-pound senior Rodney Lovett has been a decent backup rushing for 273 yards and two touchdowns in a limited role last season. The former JUCO star never got his ULM career going after suffering an ankle problem, but he has the toughness to be used as a workhorse in an emergence. He carried the ball 326 times in 2008 for Fort Scott CC, and he can more than handle as much work as he's given.
Sophomore Carl Elie was all set to go to Wisconsin before the Badgers backed out. Now the 5-8, 199-pound speedster should be an interesting backup who could find a niche if he can show good hands in the passing game after seeing just one carry for four yards last year. With his 4.45 speed, he needs to get the ball in his hands on the move.
Watch Out For … Edwards. Goodin is the No. 1 back without question, but Edwards is too fast with too much potential to not get the ball at least 150 times this year if he can handle the work.
Strength: Quickness. Goodin, Edwards, and all the ULM rushing options can cut on a dime. They're extremely speedy and should blow up in the new offense with good holes to run through.
Weakness: A pure power back. While Goodin isn't afraid to mix it up, the Warhawks don't have a blaster who can guarantee a six-inch run with everything on the line. The ULM backs are about speed.
Outlook: The backfield is loaded with excellent options who should combine with the quarterbacks and a few runs from the receiver to crank out well over 2,000 yards. There should be a good rotation, but Goodin is the star who should blow up with an All-Sun Belt season if he can stay healthy.
Unit Rating: 6.5
Projected Starters: Junior Luther Ambrose was the team's top recruit in 2008 and showed off his skills last year finishing third on the team with 311 rushing yards and a score and third in receiving with 34 catches for 455 yards and four touchdowns. A home run hitter, he's also a strong kickoff returner averaging 21.9 yards per grab. While he's only 5-9 and 173 pounds, he's a flash of lightning winning the Louisiana state high school sprint title in the 100 with a 10.59, beating former USC running back Joe McKnight, and he has been timed at 4.29 in the 40. He'll get the ball more in a variety of ways.
Junior Anthony McCall got two starts and saw time in every game, but he only caught seven passes for 71 yards and a score. The 6-1, 190-pounder came up with a team-leading six touchdown catches two years ago and earned honorable mention All-Sun Belt honors. He was a disappointment last year and was never quite 100%, but he has the size and the deep speed to be a dangerous option on the other side of Luther Ambrose.
Junior Tim Taylor isn't Luther Ambrose-fast, but he can fly. The 5-9, 177 pounder was the Louisiana state high jump champion and has the potential to be a terrific all-around playmaker if he can get the ball more. He missed most of 2008 hurt, but he was healthy for most of last year and caught five passes for 43 yards in his limited role. He'll be a No. 3 receiver and a deep threat.
Sophomore Keavon Milton came to ULM as an offensive tackle prospect and became a tight end. While he beefed up over 25 pounds to get to 267 on a 6-4 frame, he has been a terrific blocker and made the most of his two catches scoring on each of his grabs. He's extremely athletic as a tweener blocker, and while he won't stretch the field as a receiver he'll spring big running plays.
Projected Top Reserves: 6-1, 180-pound sophomore Brent Leonard could end up being moved to defensive back before his career is over, but he saw a little bit of starting time last year and made three catches for 46 yards. He's a good deep threat who'll see time in four-wide sets and will work behind Luther Ambrose.
While Keavon Milton is the main tight end because of his blocking, 6-2, 252-pound senior Alvin Jordan has more experience. The veteran started 11 times last year and finished fourth on the team with 24 catches for 250 yards and two touchdowns. The high school running back came to ULM as a linebacker and has been an athletic playmaker since getting his chance to see time last year.
5-10, 177-pound Luke Russell was the team's top recruit and could be a part of the equation right away. The speedster caught 125 passes for 2,510 yards and 30 touchdowns in his high school career, and he's also a good runner out of the backfield. The coaching staff will end up using him in a variety of ways and could count on him as a kick returner early on.
Watch Out For … the tight ends. They're big and mostly used for blocking, but Jordan is a proven receiver who could be used even more while Milton is a big hitter who creates short-range matchup nightmares.
Strength: Extreme quickness. If Ambrose isn't the fastest player in the Sun Belt, he's in the top three, while Taylor can move and McCall can get deep. The reserves have the athleticism to be game breakers when given the chance.
Weakness: A true No. 1 target. There's plenty of promise at each spot, but losing LaGregory Sapp and Darrell McNeall, who combined for 78 catches, leaves a hole. Ambrose has the potential to be a lead receiver, but he has to do it now as a marked man.
Outlook: The ULM passing game has been decent over the years, relying more on coming up with the deep play, averaging 13.5 yards per catch. With several speedsters ready to do more, the passing game should be able to get them the ball on the move and should expect even more yards after the catch. Ambrose has all-star potential, the tight end situation is great, and Taylor and McCall are veterans who should shine as full-time starters.
Unit Rating: 5
Projected Starters: The Warhawks are reloading up front from the JUCO ranks, and it starts in the middle where junior Ryan McCaul has taken to the new center job by the horns. The 6-5, 299-pounder was a junior college all-star who's great at blasting away for the ground game and should be in the hunt for all-star honors as the new leader of the ULM line.
Back is 6-4, 304-pound Justin Roberts, a veteran junior who started every game last year at right tackle and will now move over to the left side. A strong pass blocker who has proven to be strong at blasting away for the running game, too, he's great on the move and is should be the anchor after two years of starting experience.
Next to Roberts will be 6-3, 292-pound sophomore Jonathan Gill, a steady starter at right tackle who, like Roberts will move over to the left side. He came out firing in his first year as a starter proving to be a great run blocker with the strength to be a key part of the running game. Now he has to show he can be good on the move once he gets past a shoulder injury.
6-2, 285-pound senior Andrew Stout has been a key backup and spot starter throughout his career, getting the not at left guard against Texas Southern last year, and now he'll get the full-time job, at least he'll get the first look going into the fall, at right guard. The 6-2, 285-pounder can also play center, and with tremendous strength he can be moved around where needed when hard rushing yards are needed.
Junior Anthony Montgomery was a defensive tackle in high school with just enough athleticism to be considered an interesting interior pass rusher at the collegiate level. But at 6-4 and 312 pounds, he's massive with the talent and upside to be great at right tackle. A great all-around prospect, he has the long arms and the frame that's tough to get around, and he should grow into a physical run blocker with more starting time.
Projected Top Reserves: Sophomore Patrick Dvoracek started out his career at Utah State, went the JUCO route, and now will challenge for the starting right tackle job. At 6-3 and 320 pounds, the sophomore is the team's biggest offensive lineman and he might be among the most valuable as the top backup at both tackle spots. He's the cousin of former Oklahoma star and Chicago Bear, Dusty Dvoracek.
6-4, 298-pound JUCO transfer Jordan Karriman is a versatile, ready-made blocker who'll be the top reserve at both guard spots. A great run blocker who's great on the move, the junior is a mauler who'll be given a long look at a starting job this fall.
The Warhawks got a great prospect last February signing Josh Allen, one of the nation's top-ranked center recruits. The true freshman isn't huge at 6-3 and 260 pounds, but he could be thrown to the wolves right away with too much talent to keep off the field. Insanely strong, he's ready to play anywhere on the interior now, and he's a good enough athlete to see time at tackle if needed. Minnesota wanted him, and ULM got him.
Watch Out For … The JUCO transfers. The team needed linemen, and the coaching staff got them with McCaul, Karriman, and Dvoracek all brought in to see time right away. They'll all be counted on to come up with big years.
Strength: Pass protection. The line did a great job of keeping the quarterbacks upright last season, and even though there's a major turnover in some key spots, pass protection shouldn't be an issue against most Sun Belt lines. The ULM front five is big and can move.
Weakness: Sure-thing backups. There are concerns about some of the starters, much less the reserves. The Warhawks need a true freshman, Allen, to be a factor right away and all the chips are being thrown in the JUCO basket with Dvoraceck and Karriman as prime backups.
Outlook: Up and down, ULM had one of the Sun Belt's best lines in 2007, was a mess in 2008, and rebounded to have a terrific year in 2009. While the new offense will take some getting used to, and there are some key replacements needing to be made, the influx of some good JUCO transfers will help immeasurably. This won't be a great line, but it's not going to be a liability, either.
Unit Rating: 5
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