2017 Prespring Rankings: No. 125 ULM Warhawks
The 2017 prespring college football rankings, taking the first look at the ULM Warhawks
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No. 125: ULM Warhawks
ULM Warhawks Prespring Status
Is this a program on the upswing? ULM might have been ripped up in the final two games, but with wins over South Alabama and Georgia State, and going 3-4 in the final seven games, the Warhawks got better as the season went on – at least when they weren’t getting run over. Now there’s hope for head coach Matt Viator to do what he did at McNeese State and start to turn this around in a hurry.
ULM Warhawks Biggest Issue
The run defense is the biggest problem that has to be fixed, but in terms of personnel, the Warhawks need more receivers. The top three guys are back, and there’s a little bit of explosion, but the offense loses steady veteran Ajalen Holley and Tre Perrier, Jared Mapps and tight end Alec Osborne. Perrier, Mapps and Osborne only combined for 30 catches, but at the very least – especially considering the defense isn’t going to be a rock, and ULM will get in to several shootouts – the receiver depth isn’t quite there.
ULM Warhawks Biggest Positive
As bad as things were last year, it was a learning experience. This was supposed to be a rebuilding year in Viator’s first season, and it was just that with more than 15 underclassmen playing key roles/being thrown to the wolves. All six starters are back on the defensive front, there are several options to play around with this spring at quarterback before Garrett Smith returns from a torn ACL, and overall, the depth is better and stronger. Getting Alabama transfer Derrick Gore at running back should help the cause.
Really, Why Are The ULM Warhawks Ranked Here?
There’s a chance this becomes one of the biggest surprises of the Sun Belt season, but the Warhawks have to find stars to build around. There might be some options to play around with, and the coaching staff knows what it has now, but it’s still going to take a little while before ULM becomes more of a Sun Belt player. For a D that gave up 39 points a game, and with three starters gone from the secondary, don’t expect miracles.