By Ralph Lauro, Associate College Football Editor
2009 SEASON IN REVIEW: For the second time in three seasons, the ULM Warhawks finished .500 overall, sporting a 6-6 record at the end of the 2009. The
Warhawks featured a veteran lineup last season, but came up just short of a
postseason bid in what turned out to be Charlie Weatherbie's last run as head
coach of the program.
The Warhawks couldn't have asked for a better start in 2009, as they won four
of their initial six games. The team's two losses were expected against the
likes of Texas and Arizona State, while, three of the wins came versus Sun
After a setback at Kentucky, ULM was met with its biggest game of the
campaign, which resulted in a 42-21 loss to eventual league champion Troy. The
Warhawks would bounce back with consecutive wins over North Texas and Western
Kentucky, giving them a 6-4 record with two games remaining. Unfortunately,
ULM was unable to capture a seventh or eighth win, which could have landed it
a bowl game, as the team fell narrowly to UL-Lafayette (21-17) before being
handled by Middle Tennessee (38-19) in the finale.
In December, ULM announced Todd Berry as the program's 14th head coach. Berry,
who was ULM's offensive coordinator from 2004-05, spent the last three
seasons calling plays at UNLV and he inherits a club that is in a rebuilding
OFFENSE: Berry brought back some familiar faces to help him run the program
and that includes offensive coordinator Steve Farmer, who once spent five
seasons on the ULM staff. The Warhawks are expected to keep running the spread
offense, but with a few more twists.
"This is pretty much a quarterback driven offense and it puts a tremendous
amount of pressure on those guys intellectually in what we are asking the
quarterback to do, in relation to what they have done in the past," said
ULM however, enters the campaign unsettled at quarterback, although Trey
Revell was the starter last season and ranked third in the Sun Belt in passing
efficiency. The 6-4, 222-pound Revell is a dual threat, throwing for 1,739
yards and rushing for 311 more last year, but a late-season slump and thumb
injury has opened the door for sophomore Cody Wells and redshirt freshman
Kolton Browning. The 5-11, 192-pound Wells started two games last year and
completed better than 55 percent of his tosses, meanwhile, the 6-4, 222-pound
Browning showed enough in the spring to be considered the lead candidate.
The wide receiver corps is deep and experienced, but lacks a standout
performer. Luther Ambrose (5-9, 173) is the best of the returnees, as the
burner had 34 catches for 455 yards and four scores in 2009. He showed his
versatility by adding 311 yards and a score on the ground as well.
The key player for the ULM offense is tailback Frank Goodin, who is less than
900 yards shy of becoming the program's all-time leading rusher. The 5-9, 211-
pound Goodin earned second-team all-league honors a season ago, rushing for
1,126 yards and 13 touchdowns.
Goodin though, may have a tough time finding room to run, as the offensive
line returns just two starters along with little depth and experience.
DEFENSE: Using a 3-3-5 scheme, ULM boasted one of the best defensive units in
the Sun Belt last season and ranked 44th nationally in total defense (347.0
ypg). Seven starters are now gone, leaving the Warhawks with a major
"We don't care who plays, we are going to put the best players out on the
field based on what fits our system," stated Berry.
The Warhawks welcome back only a single starter along the line, but he is a
good one in Troy Evans. The 6-2, 263-pound end is a true playmaker that came
up with 6.5 sacks and 8.5 TFLs as a sophomore in 2009.
Only one starter returns to the linebacking corps as well, as Theo Smith
(5-11, 215) is set to lead a new group of faces after turning in 57 stops and
3.5 sacks last season.
The secondary is a little more settled with two starters and some experienced
depth welcomed back. Safety Darius Prelow has all-league potential and he
started to emerge as a force last season, posting 12 PBUs to go with 62
tackles. Nate Brown (5-9, 178) also returns and the former running back
started every game at corner last season and is only getting better.
SPECIAL TEAMS: Radi Jabour went just 12-of-20 on field goals last season, but
returns as the starter due to a lack of competition. The Warhawks though, are
unsettled at the punter position, as no clear cut favorite seems to exist.
Redshirt freshmen Thomas Giddens and Aaron Munoz are the top candidates for
the starting gig.
OUTLOOK: Berry is taking over a squad that has way too many new faces to be
successful in his first year. The offensive and defensive lines were strengths
of ULM last season, but neither remains intact. It is certainly a rebuilding
year, so expect the Warhawks to endure many struggles.