CLEVELAND—Nine ULM players were named to the Phil Steele All-Sun Belt Football Team, the magazine announced Thursday afternoon. The Warhawk defense dominated the selections with six of the nine, including three first team selections, coming from that side of the ball.
Defensive end Aaron Morgan, linebacker Cardia Jackson and defensive back Josh Thompson were all named to the first team. Tight end Zeek Zacharie was ULM's lone second team selection. Running back Frank Goodin, wide receiver Darrell McNeal, defensive back Nate Brown, defensive tackle DeMarcus Carmouche and defensive back Greg James were named to the third team.
Morgan had a breakout season recording a team-high 6.0 sacks, which was the most by a Warhawk player since 2005 and second most in nine seasons. The Amite, La., native's sack total ranks third in the Sun Belt and his 13.0 tackles for loss ranks fifth in the league.
Jackson, a candidate for Sun Belt Defensive Player of the Year, terrorized opposing offenses to finish the season with 127 tackles. The total ranks seventh in the NCAA and second in the Sun Belt Conference. Also, it is the most tackles by a Warhawk since Chris Harris recorded the same number in 2002 and no player recorded more tackles since Brian Taylor's 144 in 1998.
The Monroe, La., native also had a pair of interceptions and recovered a pair of fumbles. Jackson finished second on the team with 4.0 sacks and 8.0 tackles for loss. He recorded 14 solo tackles at Tulane, which is the fourth most in school history. His 18 total tackles at Ole Miss are the second most in the Sun Belt this season.
Thompson joined Jackson in the century club this past season to make the pair the first Warhawk duo since Harris and Carlos Hughes in 2002 to record over 100 tackles in the same season. The Lafayette, La., native's 108 tackles are the most by a defensive back in the conference this season.
He ranks second in the Sun Belt with eight pass breakups and has the most tackles in the league with his 20 against North Texas.
Zacharie, a three-time all-conference selection, ranks first in receptions, second in yards and second in touchdowns among Sun Belt tight ends. He finishes his ULM career ranked 10th all-time in career touchdown receptions with 12 and 10th in career receptions with 112.
His 46 catches and 510 yards receiving this year were both second best on the ULM team. The Cade, La., native caught all four of his touchdown passes during Sun Belt play, while 30 of his 46 receptions came against conference foes.
Goodin followed up his standout freshman season with a solid sophomore campaign. The West Monroe, La., product gashed opponents for 783 yards and five touchdowns this season. Goodin is now only 200 yards outside of the top 10 in career rushing at ULM with 1,379. He is also on the verge of breaking into the top 10 in career touchdowns needing to add just four more to his total of nine to crack the list.
McNeal led the Warhawks in receptions (51) and receiving yards (558) for the second straight season. The Monroe native caught four touchdown passes and rushed for four more to lead the Warhawks in scoring. His four rushing touchdowns is a ULM record by a wide receiver and his 10 catches against Middle Tennessee are the sixth most in school history.
He will enter his senior season ranked sixth in career receptions with 130 needing 74 more to move past Mack Vincent for the school record. McNeal will have the opportunity to pass ULM greats Jackie Harris (147), Stepfret Williams (168), Marty Booker (178) and Cisco Richard (179) along the way to the top of the record book.
Brown started 11 of ULM's 12 games and finished third on the team with 70 tackles. The Wichita Falls, Texas, native was named Louisiana Defensive Player of the Week following the Arkansas game where he recorded 12 tackles and a sack in the Warhawks near upset of the Razorbacks.
Carmouche moved into a starting role at defensive tackle this season and led the group with 30 tackles, 6.0 tackles for loss and eight quarterback hurries. The Carencro, La., native started all 12 games in his senior campaign for the Warhawks. Carmouche recorded a career-high five tackles at Arkansas State.
James inched closer to elite status in both the ULM and Sun Belt record books with three more interceptions this season. He needs just two more to tie the Warhawk record and one more to tie the Sun Belt mark.
The Monroe native returned an interception for a touchdown against Louisiana-Lafayette. The pick-six was the second of his career tying the ULM and Sun Belt record. James ranks eighth in career interceptions per game and 12th in career interceptions returned for a touchdown among active players in the NCAA.
The all-conference team released by the Sun Belt will be announced Tuesday morning.