In recent years, ULM has been known more for its offensive prowess than its ability on defense.
That should change in 2009, as the Warhawks return a wealth of talent on the offensive side of the ball.
The Warhawks will operate out of a new 3-3-5 multiple defensive scheme under new defensive coordinator Trey Reffett.
ULM returns two outstanding linebackers in seniors Cardia Jackson and Josh Thomas, who combined for more than 200 tackles a year ago.
The secondary, led by seniors Greg James and James Truxillo, have good speed and experience, and the defensive line is a veteran group. It will be led by senior All-Conference defensive end Aaron Morgan.
Offensively, ULM has some major concerns-particularly at quarterback, where three-year starter Kinsmon Lancaster is gone.
Junior Trey Revell, who saw some action a year ago, is the heir apparent and will be pushed by junior Zach Rhodes.
The running game is in good shape with junior Frank Goodin, who rushed for almost 800 yards a year ago.
The offensive line should be solid, led by tackle Mitch Doyle and guard Doug Stroud, but it must play at a high level to take pressure off of Revell.
ULM typically has good athletes at receiver, although losing Darrell McNeal-dismissed from the team in the offseason-was a blow.
The Warhawks were picked to finish seventh in the nine-team league, but if their offense can be productive, they could be a surprise team.
• ULM will feature one of the Sun Belt's top linebacker duos in seniors Cardia Jackson and Josh Thomas, who combined for 235 tackles last season.
• Running the football will be a key for ULM this fall, and junior Frank Goodin is poised for a big season after rushing for a team-high 783 yards and five touchdowns last season.
• Troy Reffett, former defensive coordinator and linebackers coach at New Mexico, was brought in as the Warhawks' new defensive coordinator. ULM will run a new 3-3-5 scheme this season.
Key Game: at Florida Atlantic, Sept. 26-ULM will find out early if it can contend against the Sun Belt's best teams. With two home conference games to follow, a win here would be huge.
Quote To Note: "We've had a great offseason. We had a great spring. We put in a new defensive scheme, and we're excited about that. We believe that this football team probably has as good of an opportunity as we've had."-ULM coach Charlie Weatherbie, referring to the Warhawks' new 3-3-5 multiple defensive scheme.
STRATEGY AND PERSONNEL
COACH: Charlie Weatherbie, 25-45 at ULM, seventh season (70-109 overall, 17th season)
Critical Camp Focus: ULM's top question mark going into fall camp is at quarterback, where three-year starter Kinsmon Lancaster graduated. Junior Trey Revell is the only returner with experience.
TE Zeek Zacharie graduated, leaving one of ULM's two key positions in the Warhawks' offense in question. Seniors Darrell McNeal and J.J. McCoy and sophomore Anthony McCall are quality receivers, while junior Alvin Jordan came out of spring practice No. 1 at tight end.
ULM made just 8-of-17 field-goal attempts last season. Sophomore kicker Radi Jabour returns but needs to be more consistent.
Offense: Starters-QB Trey Revell, RB Frank Goodin, WR J.J. McCoy, WR Tim Taylor, WR Anthony McCall, TE Alvin Jordan, LT Mitch Doyle, LG Justin Roberts, C Brett Thompson, RG Doug Stroud, RT Ryan Dercher.
ULM operates out of a multiple offensive scheme. Running the football will be a priority this season to avoid putting too much pressure on Trey Revell, who will likely open the season as the starting quarterback.
Defense: Starters-DE Troy Evans, NG Aaron Williams, DE Aaron Morgan, LB Theo Smith, LB Cardia Jackson, LB Josh Thomas, CB Nate Brown, CB Otis Stamps, SS Darius Prelow, FS Alex Ibe, HAWK James Truxillo.
ULM has switched to a 3-3-5 defensive scheme to better use its athletes and blitz and attack more. Opponents will often see various fronts, forcing the quarterback to make quick decisions.
Special Teams: PK Radi Jabour, P Scott Love, KR Luther Ambrose, PR Luther Ambrose.
ULM struggled kicking field goals last season-an area that needs to improve. The return game should be solid, and Love is an outstanding kicker.
• WR Darrell McNeal, who led ULM with 51 receptions last season, was suspended through the spring workouts.
• Former ULM WR Marty Humphrey, who graduated last year, was recently hired as the Warhawks' WR coach.