Gone are two of the most durable offensive lineman in ULM history in Adam Hill and Kyle Cunningham. The duo started every game of their ULM career, 46 in a row to be exact. A familiar face still remains at the right tackle position in West Monroe's Larry Shappley.
Shappley started every game in his ULM career before injuring his knee in the 2006 Kentucky game, forcing him to miss the North Texas game and the season finale against the University of Louisiana at Lafayette. Since his injury, Larry has picked up where the left off, starting all 12 games in 2007 and helping pave the way for ULM all time rusher Calvin Dawson.
Warhawk Nation caught up with the big guy to get this thoughts on his senior season, taking on a leadership role, and what it has meant to continue his college career close to home at ULM.
"When I got here I had guys ahead of me like Kyle and Adam that really helped me. Going through the program, leadership is instilled into you. Looking around out here, those guys are gone so its time for me to step up and take on that leadership role. Show some of the younger guys that you have been through the wars, the heat, the practices, and show these guys what kind of determination it takes so when I am gone, they can pick up and take over".
"We have a really strong team coming back this season. Finishing strong the way we did last year, we have to take that momentum and carry it over into this spring. Work on the things we need to improve on come out fired up and ready to go to start the season".
What about the teams confidence level after beating an Alabama team with so much tradition? "We knew we could do it, we came so close against teams like Kentucky and Kansas but were just not able to close the game out. Knowing that we have what it takes to beat a top program like that gives us all the confidence in the world".
You chose to stay close to home and attend ULM. What has that descision meant to you? "That was a big part of me coming to ULM. Staying close to home, seeing my parents and getting that support is huge. Being able to carry the ULM name all these years is something I wouldn't trade for anything".