Local Rivals Join Forces At ULM

Local Rivals Join Forces At ULM

Ouachita wide receiver Justin Ginyard and West Monroe running back Tyler Cain don't need to read each other's ULM National Signing Day bios. The offensive playmakers from rival Class 5A powerhouses in northeastern Louisiana know each well through years of competition.

Ouachita wide receiver Justin Ginyard and West Monroe running back Tyler Cain don't need to read each other's ULM National Signing Day bios.

The offensive playmakers from rival Class 5A powerhouses in northeastern Louisiana know each well through years of competition. They've kept in touch off the field too, especially during the recruiting process that eventually brought them together as part of ULM's 2011 signing class.

"The day I committed, I talked to (Ginyard)," Cain said. "We went and worked out. He was excited that he was going to get to play with me."

Ginyard said, "We talked about it already. The good thing and big thing is becoming teammates now. We have to do what we need to do to help ULM get where it needs to be."

ULM coach Todd Berry cast a wide net in recruiting but was glad to land two local stars that most Warhawk fans already know.

"We're extremely excited about both of them, first of all because they're good players and great human beings," Berry said. Ginyard was one of ULM's early pledges and stayed true until the end.

"There were a lot of schools interested in me – pretty much everywhere," Ginyard said. "I stayed committed to my commitment. That's where I wanted to be."

Cain waited later to commit to ULM after his season ended but is equally happy in his choice.

"The future is bright at ULM," Cain said. "Coach Todd Berry has high expectations for the program and I just want to go there and be a part of it. I feel like ULM is going to make big changes in the coming years."

Cain looks up to former West Monroe and ULM running back Frank Goodin, who finished his collegiate career in 2010. He relied on Goodin for insight into the hometown program.

"He had a great experience at ULM," Cain said. "He thinks I can have the same experience. He told me not to knock ULM and help it become an upcoming program."

Ginyard leaned on a former and future Ouachita teammate Cameron Blakes for his peek behind the curtain. "I like the idea that I'm going to play with my former teammate Cameron Blakes," Ginyard said. "That feels good."

Added Ouachita coach John Carr: "Cameron was probably the main recruiter in this. Cameron and Justin are friends. They talk all the time. Cameron was even his host on his trip. When you've got someone like Cameron at their place, it speaks highly of the direction they're going, the program, the coaching staff and how they believe in getting things done. It pours over to our local high schools. It's a great reflection on Coach Berry and his staff and what they've been able to do at ULM."

Cain and Ginyard both bring high praise from their prep coaches.

"When you talk about student-athletes, that's what he is," West Monroe coach Don Shows said. "He's a student first and an athlete second. He's got a high 20-something on his ACT score and he's an honor roll student here at West Monroe. Of course, I think he's A-plus student out there on the football field. I think ULM got them an outstanding young man in character, athletically and as a student. They really came out on top on this one."

ULM made their interest in Ginyard known early on.

"He was offered last summer, he committed last summer and really stayed true to his commitment the whole time," Carr said. "That's a reflection on him. They made a commitment, he made a commitment and that's the type of player that he is. He will work in the weight room and work in the classroom. He wanted to stay here locally where his mom and his friends could watch him play. Of course, he believes in Coach Berry, the system and what they're doing over at ULM. He's excited about being there."

Both players are already anticipating their roles in college.

"I like that it's a totally spread offense," Ginyard said. "It's fast-paced 100 percent of the time. I love working hard. That's my big thing. I like the fact that we have that spread and throw the ball a lot."

A decorated prep star, Ginyard caught 23 passes for 314 yards and eight touchdowns for a Ouachita team that finished 10-2 and went 6-1 in district with the loss to West Monroe. As a junior, the 6-0 200-pounder caught 26 passes for 544 yards and six touchdowns.

A multi-sport athlete who lettered in basketball, baseball and track, Ginyard looks forward to playing much of his career with rising redshirt sophomore quarterback Kolton Browning.

"I feel real good about Kolton," Ginyard said. "He's a really good quarterback. I watched him play all last year and saw him grow up. He did some great things. I'm trying to be on that level."

Cain's versatility should make him an intriguing Warhawk weapon.

"Berry said I'm like a Luther Ambrose type," said Cain, whose cousin Michael Thomas plays for the NFL's Jacksonville Jaguars "I'll be playing more running too. Just slot and running back too, the same way I've been used this year."

Cain gained 1,602 yards and scored 23 touchdowns rushing as a senior, along with 23 catches for 193 yards and three receiving touchdowns as his Rebels returned to the 5A championship in New Orleans. As a junior, Cain rushed for 1,232 yards and 16 touchdowns, caught 20 passes for 403 yards and four touchdowns and helped West Monroe win the Class 5A State title. The 5-8, 180-pounder played basketball and ran track for the Rebels.

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