The War hawks are coming off one of the more impressive seasons in recent history and will benefit from the additional practices they had during their preparation for the Independence Bowl. This year they are returning 17 starters (tied for most in Sun Belt), and will have a shot at double digit wins. This year’s team is stacked to a point where most experts would pick them to have an outside shot at winning the Sun Belt this season.
This season will be quarterback Kolton Browning’s senior campaign, last year he was the clear cut starter and was the Sun Belt offensive player of the year. But he had some injury problems that kept him from being even better than he already was. This year he looks to stay healthy and reach his full potential, and that could be a very dangerous proposition for the Sun Belt Conference. Along with Browning, the War Hawks return seven other offensive starters. This unit could be very dangerous to opposing defenses.
Joining Browning in the backfield is senior Jyruss Edwards who will look to put up some big rushing numbers this season. Also in the back field is another senior running back in Montrell Washington. Look for this duo to eat up yards in chunks and keep Browning from having to throw the ball as much. Whether it is by ground or by air, this season in Monroe could be one of the most exciting in a very long time. Especially if Browning and his offensive cohorts can pull off another shocking upset similar to last season’s win over Arkansas. Speaking of by air, the receiving corps this year is a little less experienced than they were last year, but they do have senior leadership from Je’Ron Hamm and Tavarese Maye. I would expect this unit to be just as good as last year if not a little bit better.
Luckily for Browning, Edwards and Washington the Offensive line looks like it has the potential to be one of the top units in the Sun Belt. If this holds true than the offense will be a well oiled machine and will probably put points up at will on the lesser opponents they face this season.
The defense is also going to be stacked with returning starters this season as they have nine on the depth chart this year. With that many guys with starting experience, the defense will have the expectations to be able to shut down opponents when the game is on the line. The Defensive line returns intact and will be led by juniors Malcolm Edmond and Joey Gautney, who both saw quality playing time last season. The linebackers look to be more experienced with two seniors leading the way. Unfortunately this unit had some injury problems during the season and if they can stay healthy this year, they look go be more improved and could have better play this year than last. Other than their top two in the secondary departing, the War Hawks will have most everyone back from last year and look to also build on the experience from last year.
This defensive unit could be the difference of a few wins for the War Hawks this season. If everything works together and this team catches a roll in conference play, then there are some people who think the Monroe War Hawks could have double digit wins this season and could potentially win the Sun Belt. I won’t step out that far on the ledge, but I will say Todd Berry has them bowl eligible and could be a surprise team in the conference this year.
9/14-At Wake Forest-W
10/12-At Tx. State-W
11/23-At S. Alabama-W
2013 Record: 8-4