Midterm report cards for star football players

Cameron Jett

They’ve received their grades in the classroom, now it’s time to hand out the report cards for ULM football at the midway point of the season. 

Some players have far exceeded expectations, while others still have something to prove in the remaining six games. 

These grades are curved slightly out of fairness, given that the Warhawks faced off with Texas and Alabama.

Zach Woodard, LB—A+

The grad student linebacker came into 2022 with high expectations attached to his nameplate. He embraced the challenge and filled in the leadership role that the defense needed. He had a clutch sack against ULL and was a key factor in shutting out Coastal Carolina in the second half. He’s earned praise for his work in practice from coaches and players. 

Tristan Driggers, LB—A+

Driggers has some of the flashy stats on the box score that his fellow linebackers don’t have. He brought the hype with him when he announced his transfer to ULM. His three interceptions through six games are the first in the nation among linebackers. Not many players can say they picked off a Heisman Winner, but Driggers showed that he’s a different caliber player when he picked off Bryce Young.

Tyrone Howell, WR—A

I’ll be honest, I didn’t remember he was on the roster when the season started. ULM has tremendous depth at wide receiver. But after his 89-yard mad dash against ULL, Howell is a name that won’t be forgotten this season. He’s the leading receiver through six games and he has embarrassed some of the defensive backs who’ve lost him in coverage. 

Chandler Rogers, QB—B+

An offseason with first-team reps has done wonders for Rogers. He was a solid passer last season, but he has developed so much as a runner. His stats won’t win a beauty contest because of his performances against Power 5 schools, but he’s passing the eye test. He’s an intelligent quarterback who knows when to give up on the pass and take off down the field. 

Malik Jackson, RB—B 

Jackson could have prettier stats if he was the designated starting back, but the two-back system has worked wonders for the offense. He hasn’t been as explosive as his counterpart Andrew Henry, but he’s the team’s leading scorer with five touchdowns. He’s just shy of the coveted four-yards-per-carry spot that every running back aims to have.

Boogie Knight, WR—C-

Boogie Knight was a fan favorite last year. The Akron transfer led receivers in every category last season and earned respect around the conference. He sat out with an injury in the homecoming loss to Coastal Carolina, but he still only has around 10% of the receptions and yards that he did in 2021. When he has touched the ball he has looked shaky and has some muffed punts and a fumble to his name. But if anyone can turn their season around, it’s the guy that coach Terry Bowden said is the hardest worker he’s ever seen.