ULM’s Green selected First-Team All-Sun Belt at multiple positions

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ULM junior Marcus Green, who accounted for a school single-season record 2,008 all-purpose yards, has been named to the All-Sun Belt First Team as both a return specialist and all-purpose player.

MONROE, La. – ULM junior Marcus Green, who accounted for a school single-season record 2,008 all-purpose yards, has been named to the All-Sun Belt First Team as both a return specialist and all-purpose player, as selected by the league’s head football coaches and media panel. In addition, fifth-year senior offensive lineman Frank Sutton Jr. and sophomore wide receiver RJ Turner have earned All-Sun Belt Third-Team honors.

A total of seven ULM players received all-conference recognition on the first team, third team or honorable mention.

During the regular season, Green led the Sun Belt in all-purpose yards (167.3 yards per game) and ranked among the league leaders in kickoff returns (second with 32.4 avg.), receiving yards (fourth at 70.6 ypg.) and receptions (fifth at 4.6 rpg.). He also ranked among the NCAA Football Bowl Subdivision leaders in kickoff returns for touchdowns (tied for first with 4), combined kick return yards (second at 977), all-purpose yards (third) and kickoff returns (fifth). His four kickoff returns for TDs represent ULM and Sun Belt single-season records.

The 5-foot-8, 191-pound Green also produced an NCAA FBS-best six scoring plays covering 70 or more yards during the regular season. He also led the team with 37 explosive plays (20+ yards: 18 kickoff returns, 14 receptions, 3 rushes and 2 punt returns).

Green led the Warhawks in receptions (55), receiving yards (847) and 100-yard receiving games (4). His five TD receptions ranked second on the team. Green finished fourth on the team in rushing with 15 carries for 184 yards (12.3 avg.).

The Pontotoc, Mississippi, native was selected Sun Belt Special Teams Player of the Week four times in 2017 (vs. Coastal Carolina, Georgia State, Appalachian State and Arkansas State).

“It’s exciting to see Marcus Green rewarded with all-conference honors at multiple positions,” ULM head coach Matt Viator said. “He’s become a complete football player, who can impact the game in so many ways. Marcus had more than 50 catches, rushed for nearly 200 yards and had nearly 1,000 combined kick return yards. He’s a legitimate home-run threat every time he touches the football.”

Green recorded his fourth 100-yard receiving game of the season at Florida State with eight catches for 106 yards. His eight receptions matched his season high.

He accounted for a conference and school single-game record 418 all-purpose yards and two TDs against Arkansas State. Green returned six kickoffs for a ULM single-game record 206 yards against A-State, including a 95-yard runback for a TD in the third quarter. He also had eight receptions for a career-best 193 yards, including a 32-yard TD grab in the first quarter.

Green accounted for 191 all-purpose yards and two scores in ULM’s 52-45 victory over Appalachian State. He averaged 27.3 yards per touch against the Mountaineers (7 touches for 191 yards). He returned two kickoffs for 117 yards, including a 95-yard runback for a TD early in the second quarter. His 95-yard return is the fifth-longest in school history. He had four receptions for 62 yards, including a 39-yard TD grab late in the first quarter, and returned one punt for 12 yards.

Green produced 271 all-purpose yards and two TDs against Georgia State. He returned four kickoffs for 162 yards (40.5 avg.), including a 93-yard runback for a TD in the first quarter. Green also had two receptions for 98 yards against the Panthers, including an 80-yard TD grab from Garrett Smith in the third quarter. He added one rush for 11 yards. Green averaged 38.7 yards per touch against Georgia State (11 touches for 271 yards).

He had five catches for 118 yards at Texas State, including a 67-yard TD grab early in the fourth quarter.

Green returned three kickoffs for 115 yards (38.3 avg.), including an 82-yard runback for a touchdown in ULM’s 51-43 win over Coastal Carolina. It marked ULM’s first kickoff return for a TD since Courtney Davis returned the opening kickoff 89 yards for a score against Grambling State in 2013. Green compiled 127 combined kick return yards (punts and kickoffs) vs. CCU and accounted for 181 all-purpose yards.

He had a season-high eight receptions for 117 yards at Louisiana Lafayette while accounting for a game-high 192 all-purpose yards.

The 6-4, 306-pound Sutton anchored an offensive line that helped ULM rank among the Sun Belt leaders in scoring offense (second at 33.9 points per game), total offense (second at 458.2 ypg.), passing offense (third at 287.9 ypg.) and rushing offense (fourth at 170.3 ypg.). The Warhawks scored 50 or more points in a school single-season record four games (56 at Louisiana Lafayette, 51 vs. Coastal Carolina, 52 vs. Appalachian State and 50 vs. Arkansas State). ULM amassed over 500 yards total offense in five games: a season-high 593 at ULL, 589 at Texas State, 509 at Idaho, 569 vs. App State and 590 vs. Arkansas State. The Warhawks produced five 200-yard rushing games, including a season-high 307 yards at South Alabama (41 rushing attempts).

Sutton, who tied for the team with 20 knockdowns, graded a team-best 86 percent for the season and didn’t allow a sack in more than 320 passing plays. He posted scores over 90 percent in three games: 91.3 at Memphis, 90.8 vs. Southern Miss and 90 at Texas State. The Jackson, Mississippi, native recorded four knockdowns each at Memphis and vs. Coastal Carolina.

“We’ve grown accustomed to watching Frank Sutton consistently perform at a high level, but this season, he really emerged as a strong leader for a young offensive unit,” Viator said. “Frank also displayed great toughness this season, managing a turf toe injury over the last seven games of the season.”

The 6-2, 204-pound Turner led the Warhawks in TD receptions (6) and finished second in receiving yards (686) and third in receptions (39). His 17.6 yards per catch led the Sun Belt. He caught multiple passes in 10 of 11 games and posted two 100-yard receiving games.

The Natchitoches, Louisiana, native had three catches for 111 yards in the home finale against Arkansas State, including a 27-yard TD grab late in the third quarter. Turner set season highs for receptions (6), receiving yards (134) and TD receptions (2) against Appalachian State. His 50-yard TD reception with 23 seconds left against App State proved to be the game winner.

“It was fun to watch a healthy RJ Turner perform this season,” Viator said. “He has made great strides over the last two years, and as a result, he’s playing with more confidence. RJ has the ability to make explosive plays and dominate a game. He has deceptive speed because of his long strides and the jumping ability to make the 50/50 catches down field. He’s also big enough and strong enough to catch the pass underneath, break tackles and turn it into a big play. RJ picks up a lot of yards after the catch.”

Four other Warhawks have received All-Sun Belt honorable mention: sophomore quarterback Caleb Evans, junior linebacker David Griffith, fifth-year senior defensive lineman Caleb Tucker and senior wide receiver Brian Williams.

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