4 Warhawks On Pre Season Poll; ULM Picked 7th

Scott Love

Safety Greg James, linebacker Cardia Jackson, punter Scott Love and defensive end Aaron Morgan were the Warhawks' representatives on the all-Sun Belt team. ULM picked 7th in preseason poll by coaches.

Four ULM football players were named to the annual Preseason All-Sun Belt Conference Football Team, the league office announced Monday morning to kick off its annual Football Media Days. The team was voted on by the league's nine head coaches and members of the media.

Safety Greg James, linebacker Cardia Jackson, punter Scott Love and defensive end Aaron Morgan were the Warhawks' representatives on the all-Sun Belt team – the conference only announces a first team. ULM's three defensive selections were tied for the second most by an offensive or defensive unit behind Troy's five defensive selections.

James and Love were both repeat selections to the preseason team after being twp of three Warhawks selected last year.

The league also announced the Preseason Coaches Poll which tabbed ULM seventh. Troy was picked to repeat as conference champion followed by Arkansas State and Florida Atlantic.

"Where you start the race really doesn't matter it is where you finish the race," ULM head coach Charlie Weatherbie said. "I think that we have a heck of a team coming back with a lot of seniors and a lot of starters returning. This gives the guys something to shoot for. It's going to be an interesting season in the league and anybody can beat anybody on any given Saturday."

James enters the 2009 season as the NCAA's active leader in career interceptions with 13 over three seasons. The product of Monroe, La., is just one interception shy of tying former Warhawk Chris Harris for the Sun Belt record and two shy of tying Vic Minor for the ULM record. The senior was an all-Louisiana selection last year and an all-Sun Belt honoree following his sophomore season.

Jackson returns as the leading tackler in the conference after finishing eighth in the NCAA last year averaging 10.6 stops per game and fourth averaging 6.3 solo tackles per game. The senior from Monroe finished the year with 127 total tackles whice were the most at ULM since Chris Harris had the same number in 2002 -- nobody had more since 1998.

This is Love's third straight season to be on an all-Sun Belt team. The senior from West Monroe, La., was a first team all-conference selection following his sophomore season after breaking the school record for punts inside the 20-yard line with 23 and leading the conference with his 42.1 yard per kick average. He enters this season ranked fourth all-time in ULM history averaging 40.7 yards per punt.

Morgan had a breakout season last year earning second team all-league honors after garnering an honorable mention distinction as a sophomore. He led all ULM defensive linemen last season with 45 tackles. The senior from Amite, La., ranked third in the Sun Belt with six sacks and sixth with 13 tackles for loss. Morgan's sack total was the most by a Warhawk player since 2005 and the second most in nine seasons.

ULM players report to campus on Aug. 5 and begin practice for the 2009 season on Aug. 6. Season tickets for ULM's five home games at Malone Stadium and away game tickets are available by calling the ULM ticket office at 318-342-3ULM. The Warhawks open the season on Sept. 5 at Texas.

2009 Sun Belt Conference Preseason Poll –

Voted on by Head Coaches

First Place Votes in Parenthesis

1. Troy 72 (5)

2. Arkansas State 69

3. Florida Atlantic 61 (1)

4. Middle Tennessee 52

5. Florida International 43 (1)

6. Louisiana-Lafayette 39 (1)

7. ULM 34 (1)

8. North Texas 18

9. Western Kentucky 17

Offense

Corey Leonard (Arkansas State, QB, Sr.)

Rusty Smith (Florida Atlantic, Sr, QB)

Reggie Arnold (Arkansas State, RB, Sr.)

DuJuan Harris (Troy, Jr., RB)

T.Y. Hilton (FIU, WR, So.)

Jerrel Jernigan (Troy, Jr., WR)

Jamari Grant (Florida Atlantic, Sr, TE)

Drew Hilton (Arkansas State, OL, Jr.)

Brad Serini (FIU, OL, Jr.)

Brad Bustle (Louisiana-Lafayette, Sr., OL)

Chris Fisher (Louisiana-Lafayette, Sr., OL)

Danny Franks (Troy, Sr., C)

Defense

Alex Carrington (Arkansas State, DL, Sr.)

Aaron Morgan (ULM, DL, Sr.)

Brandon Lang (Troy, DL, Sr.)

Cameron Sheffield (Troy, DL, Sr.)

Cardia Jackson (ULM, LB, Sr.)

Boris Lee (Troy, LB Sr.)

Bear Woods (Troy, LB Sr.)

Anthony Gaitor (FIU, DB, Jr.)

Jeremy Kellem (Middle Tennessee, DB, Sr.)

Greg James (ULM, DB, Sr.)

Jorrick Calvin (Troy, DB Sr.)

Special Teams

Scott Love (ULM, P, Sr.)

Josh Arauco (Arkansas State, K, Sr.)

T.Y. Hilton (FIU, WR, So.)

Co - Preseason Offensive Players of the Year

Rusty Smith (Florida Atlantic, Sr, QB)

Corey Leonard (Arkansas State, QB, Sr.)

Preseason Defensive Player of the Year

Alex Carrington (Arkansas State, Sr., DE)

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