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|ULM lands seven on All-Sun Belt team|
Led by first team selections Cardia Jackson and Zeek Zacharie, seven ULM players were named to the All-Sun Belt Team, the league announced Tuesday.
Defensive end Aaron Morgan, offensive lineman Larry Shappley and defensive back Josh Thompson were named to the second team, while quarterback Kinsmon Lancaster and wide receiver Anthony McCall were honorable mention selections.
"This is a great honor for these players and I am very proud of all of them ," ULM head coach Charlie Weatherbie said. "This is a good league with very talented players and to make it on the all-conference team is an outstanding accomplishment. The individual players are only as good as their teammates and those teammates should take pride in these awards as well."
Jackson terrorized opposing offenses to finish the season with 127 tackles. The linebacker's 10.6 tackles per game ranks eighth in the NCAA and second in the Sun Belt Conference. Also, it is the most tackles by a Warhawk since Chris Harris recorded the same number in 2002 and no player has recorded more tackles since Brian Taylor's 144 in 1998.
The Monroe, La., native also had a pair of interceptions and recovered a pair of fumbles. Jackson finished second on the team with 4.0 sacks and 8.0 tackles for loss. He recorded 14 solo tackles at Tulane, which is the fourth most in school history. His 18 total tackles at Ole Miss were the second most in the Sun Belt this season.
After two consecutive second team honors, Zacharie earned his way on the first team this season after finishing the year ranked first in receptions, second in yards and second in touchdowns among Sun Belt tight ends. He finished his ULM career ranked 10th all-time in career touchdown receptions with 12 and 10th in career receptions with 112.
His 46 catches and 510 yards receiving this year were both second best on the ULM team. The Cade, La., native caught all four of his touchdown passes during Sun Belt play, while 30 of his 46 receptions came against conference foes.
Morgan had a breakout season recording a team-high 6.0 sacks, which was the most by a Warhawk player since 2005 and second most in nine seasons. The Amite, La., native's sack total ranked third in the Sun Belt and his 13.0 tackles for loss ranked sixth in the league.
Shappley started 45 of a possible 47 games in his career – missing two to injury – and finished his career with 24 consecutive starts at right tackle. The West Monroe, La., native was a veteran leader on a young offensive line this year and graded out at over 86 percent for the season with 41 knockdowns. During his career, Shappley helped pave the way for two-time Sun Belt rushing champion Calvin Dawson.
His best game of the season came in the Warhawks thrilling 31-30 upset of conference champion Troy. Shappley graded out at 97 percent in the game as the Warhawks became the only conference team to defeat the league champion for the second straight season – ULM handed Florida Atlantic its only Sun Belt loss of the season in 2007.
Thompson joined Jackson in the century club this past season to make the pair the first Warhawk duo since Harris and Carlos Hughes in 2002 to record over 100 tackles in the same season. The Lafayette, La., native's 108 tackles were the most by a defensive back in the conference this season.
He ranked second in the Sun Belt with eight pass breakups and had the most tackles in the league with his 20 against North Texas.
Lancaster will go down as one of the most prolific signal callers in ULM history. He is ranked in the top five of five single-season and career records.
The Shreveport, La., native threw 18 touchdown passes this past season, the second most in the Sun Belt. His 18 scoring strikes are the most since Raymond Philyaw threw 22 in 1995 and ties him with Super Bowl quarterback Stan Humphries for the fourth most in school history. He also cracked the top 10 in pass completions in 2008 with 186.
Lancaster attempted a remarkable 173 consecutive passes over a seven-game period without an interception setting the ULM record in the process. His streak ranked second best in the nation at the time.
He finishes his career ranked fourth in completions (509), fourth in touchdown passes (38), fifth in pass attempts (881) and fifth in passing yards (5,769).
What made Lancaster an even more remarkable quarterback, was his ability to run the football. He finishes his career with 1,557 rushing yards, a mere 22 outside the ULM all-time top 10 and the most by a quarterback in school history. His 74-yard run at Middle Tennessee this year was the 13th longest in school history.
One of Lancaster's favorite targets was McCall. The Montgomery, Ala., native caught a ULM freshman record six touchdown passes. McCall is tied for ninth nationally among freshman wide receivers in the NCAA with his six touchdowns.
He led the Warhawks in touchdown receptions and was second on team among wide receivers in catches and yards. McCall jumped into the spotlight with his six catches for 125 yards and two touchdowns against Arkansas in the second week of the season.