2007 Spring Update: Grading Defensive Backs

Last season the Louisiana Warhawks ranked # 3 in the nation with 34 takeaways. Now that Kevin Payne and Chaz Williams have moved on to the next level, who will carry the torch in 2007?

In 2007 the Louisiana Monroe Warhawks will return 7 starters from the 2006 season. Although big play makers Kevin Payne and Chaz Williams have graduated, there is no reason why ULM cannot be ball hawks on defense again.

As mentioned two of ULMs top defensive players graduated but injuries and academics seemed to have been a blessing in disguise for the Warhawks. Two big play defensive backs return the secondary this year in Darrius Battles(academics) and Quintez Secka(injury). They will join a couple of young but experienced DB's in sophomore big hitter Josh Thompson(6 int's in 2006), and sophomore Greg James(6 int's in 2006).

Strong Safety Josh Thompson

As a freshman Thompson, a Lafayette native, showed big promise for ULM fans by finishing second on the team with 83 tackles. While leading ULM in interceptions with six, Josh also forced 3 fumbles, recovered 2 and broke up 4 passes. In the spring game Josh picked up right where he left of last year with several bone crushing hits. ULM fans will see Josh at SS again this year where he excelled in 2006.

Free Safety Greg James

Sophomore Greg James might be the most athletic of all of the defensive backs standing at 6'2 200 pounds. James saved the ULM defense several times with timely end zone interceptions. Greg finished 2005 with 46 tackles, 5 interceptions, 5 pass break ups, and a touchdown. With the return of Db's Secka and Battles, the ULM coaching staff will move James to FS where Kevin Payne played last year. James is still learning the new position but has all the skills to take his game to the next level.

Defensive Back Quintez Secka

Although Quintez Secka missed all of 2006 with an injury it seems he is back and more determined than ever. A senior season can do that and it seems "Q" as his teammates call him, is out to prove it. This spring was nothing less than spectacular for Secka as he was all over the field making plays. Secka picked off 4-5 balls in practice, scrimmages, and the spring game and returned one for a touchdown. He didn't just do it playing on defense but also special teams as Secka blocked 2 fg's and returned one for another touchdown.

Defensive Back Darrius Battles

Getting teammate Darrius Battles back will also solidify the ULM secondary. Battles missed the 2006 season with academic issues but those are now long gone. Battles is an athletic 6'1 defensive back that has the ability to close quickly on receivers and break passes up. Darrius picked a ball off in the spring game and was in on several tackles. Also seeing plenty of time in the secondary will be senior James Wright and Sophomore James Truxillo. Truxillo will take the roll of bandit like Austin Willis did for the Warhawks in 2006. Look for his name to be called a lot on defense this year.

The Warhawks are definitely not low on high quality defensive backs and will again look to play takeaway will opposing offenses this fall. Stayed tuned to WarhawkNation as we continue to break down the 2007 Louisiana Warhawks.

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