The ULM Warhawks got a big boost to their 2008 recruiting class when Troy Giddens dropped off his National Letter of Intent at the University of Louisiana-Monroe.
"I just dropped my papers off to quarterback coach Jonas Weatherbie", said Giddens. I struggled a little bit between ULM and Marshall but in the end I felt I would have a better chance to show off my skills at ULM. I have family in the Louisiana area also".
Coach Ron Dickerson was recruiting me but when he left I have to admit I had second thoughts about ULM. Head Coach Weatherbie and his son started recruiting me and the really did a good job of making feel like I could be part of something special at ULM".
Something special was Giddens when he came out of high school is south Louisiana. Ranked as one of the top safeties in the nation, he was recruited and signed by BCS power LSU. Several off the field incidents led to his dismissal at LSU and he found a new home at Copiah-Lincoln. "I made some mistakes in my past and you learn from those. Looking back I think to myself what was I thinking but its something you have to cope with I have moved past those times. I have found a new road, grown up, and am ready to start a new career at ULM".
Giddens was a sout after prospect this fall being recruited by the likes of Arkansas, Ole Miss, Marshall, ULM, and several Division 1-AA schools. "ULM and Marshall were on me the hardest. I was getting a lot of looks from Arkansas and Ole Miss but when they had coaching changes, things died down".
I took a visit to ULM when they hosted Grambling and really had a good time. Great crowd, good atmosphere, and the campus was much more than I expected. I definitely felt like ULM could be a place for me.
How does Giddens think he will fit in at ULM? "I fell like I can step and be a leader, and earn some playing time. I will get to participate in spring drills so hopefully I can get out there and show the coaches what I can do.
What does Giddens bring to the table? "I have real good awareness, I am good in coverage, and I tackle really well. Some guys are good at one or the other but I can come up and lay the big hit or wrap up when I need to. I have great speed so I can cover the long routes as well".
In the end what made the difference to sign with ULM? "I just felt more at home here at ULM. Also Knowing that ULM has had some real good safeties come out and go into the NFL was a big plus as well. Giddens is referring to current safeties Kevin Payne(Chicago) and Chris Harris(Carolina).
So what did Coach Weatherbie say when you committed? "He just gave me a big hand shake and a big hug and told me welcome to the family".