It's been eight years since the Warhawks had a Sun Belt All-Conference quarterback in Steven Jyles. Now ULM fans are looking for Kolton Browning, 2013's preseason all-conference pick, to continue the winning ways established last season.
In 2012, the southpaw, Mabank, Texas native set new school records in passing yardage (3,049) and completions (273), helping the Warhawks to a school best 8-5 record and their first post season appearance in the FBS era. This also helped him to land the conference's offensive player of the year award, but Browning has his sights set on bigger things in 2013.
"We feel that this year is going to be a really big year, with 22 starters coming back, our goal is to go out and get the W, not just a close loss," he said. "That will show everyone that we are for real. We can't look ahead at all though. I'm excited for the season to start, especially after how the bowl game went, but we just have to take things week by week and work towards a championship."
In addition to aiming for the school's outright title, Browning is nearing Jyles' career records in several categories and whispers of a football career after ULM. For now though, the senior's focus is with his team, as he relishes a bit in his historic career.
"Putting up points on the board and the records and stats will come," he said. "I'm surrounded by guys at receiver, running back, and my linemen are the ones that really help me to get the awards and can't do any of it without them. A lot of guys on our team are really great athletes and are being recognized for that this year in the preseason picks. I want to go away with a conference championship. "The changes have been dramatic, but (Head) Coach (Todd) Berry and his staff have done a heck of a job getting things turned around and have us all prepared to compete for a championship."
Despite his drive for a championship, Browning has yet to play a complete season; missing games in each of his three years as a starter due to injury. This is something that he feels was addressed over the off season though.
"Me being on the sidelines doesn't help anyone," Browning admits. "It'll be nice to be injury free this season, but accidents can happen. I did put on quite a few pounds so I can take some more hits. I really need to learn to get down a little bit more and take better care of myself. Brayle (Brown) is going to get some snaps in games, he is someone I have confidence in."
Today marks reporting day for ULM, as fall camp begins tomorrow morning. Check back with WarhawkReport for more on Browning and the rest of the Warhawks as they countdown to kick off on August 31 against Oklahoma.