ULM Preseason Football Camp Update: Defense Dominates First Scrimmage

Local Sports

MONROE, La. – While the quarterback derby remains the hot topic during ULM’s fall camp, a swarming defense stole the show during the team’s first scrimmage on Saturday morning at Malone Stadium.

Warhawk defenders limited the offense to one touchdown and a pair of field goals while registering four sacks and numerous pass break-ups during the live session.

“I thought we ran really good and rallied to the ball,” ULM coach Matt Viator said. “That’s a positive, nothing but a positive for me. Anytime we go out and play good defensively like that or anywhere. Hats off to that.”

Freshman linebacker Ja’Korian Newsome registered 1 1/2 sacks while safety Keilos Swinney and linebacker Hunter Smith also had a sack. Cornerbacks Kevric Wiggins (3 PBUs) and Kenderick Marbles (two PBUs) were consistently contesting passes in the secondary.

“We held them for the most part,” Swinney said. “I think the threes gave up a touchdown after a penalty (pass interference), but we’ll correct all that on film.”

Five different quarterbacks saw action in the scrimmage (about 80 plays), starting with Colby Suits, who completed 9-of-15 attempts for 65 yards and a 9-yard touchdown toss Malik Jackson pass.

Jeremy Hunt came second in the rotation and completed 8-of-13 attempts for 61 yards. Freshman Garrett Kahmann completed 6-of-10 attempts for 87 yards. Hayden Crockett (1-3, 4 yards) and Garrett Hable (2-for-3, 1 yard) finished up the final snaps.

“Offensively, we still missed a bunch of assignments, especially against the blitzing and stuff,” Viator said. “We missed way too many assignments, but I think it’s stuff that’s correctable.”

Viator said he’d like to narrow the scope and see more of fewer quarterbacks going forward.

“It’s an everyday thing,” Viator said. “We try to grade them every day and grade each position every day. It’s never predicated off one practice or one scrimmage. It’s the whole body of work in terms of being able to do what we want in the passing game, be able to help us out running and provide the leadership that we want. That’s what we’re looking for. It’s a process and we’ve got a long ways to go.”

Receiver Jevin Frett, a product of Manchester, Connecticut, who transferred  from Monroe College, was the top offensive playmaker with four catches for 70 yards.

“I just had to execute and run with the offense,” said Frett, an intriguing 6-foot-4, 202-pound target.

Worth noting, Frett caught balls from Suits, Hunt and Kahmann.

“He’s really talented and he gets better each day,” Viator said. “He came in and got the five or six practices in the spring to learn what we do. He wasn’t able to come back until July. … Coming here for a few days in the spring is one thing. To come back here in this heat every day in August is another thing.”

Perry Carter was another frequent target with five catches for 21 yards.

With star running back Josh Johnson (hamstring) sitting out, ULM had the opportunity to look at his understudies. Isaiah Phillips took the first snaps at running back and finished with three carries for 15 yards. Kadyn Roach gained 14 yards on two carries, Javin Myers had five carries for 10 yards, Jakyle Holmes two carries for 4 yards and West Monroe product Charles Norman had three touches for 16 yards.

“The running back position, we’re just trying to find some other guys,” Viator said. “We feel good about Isaiah when he’s healthy. … Jakyle got some pretty reps today, and I thought Kadyn Roach had a couple of good runs. We’re just trying to get those guys in and build some depth at that position.”

Oklahoma transfer Calum Sutherland kicked a PAT and hit a 51-yard field goal while missing wide right from 48 yards. Zach Elder, the graduate transfer from Prairie View, hit a 32-yard field goal. 

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