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Posted: Tuesday, 23 April 2013 1:44PM

Detillier: Louisiana Football on center stage in NFL DRaft

WWL's Mike Detillier is a nationally-recognized expert in all levels of football.  Mike tells us that once again, the State of Louisiana will be extremely well-represented in the 2013 NFL Draft.

Four out of the last six years the state of Louisiana has been the top state, per capita, in producing players for the NFL.  And, the Class of 2013 will be yet another very special one for Louisiana.

Not since the 1971 draft class that produced 10 players has Louisiana produced more top-120 players selected in one draft class.  That amazing 1971 lineup included defensive end Richard Harris (Grambling;) halfback Joe Profit (Northeast Louisiana;) wide receiver Frank Lewis (Grambling;) outside linebacker Isiah Robertson (Southern;) offensive guard Sam Holden (Grambling;) halfback Virgil Robertson (Grambling;) outside linebacker Ronnie Hornsby (Southeastern Louisiana;) cornerback Al Clark (Eastern Michigan;) and tight end Joe Carter (Grambling.)  In that class of ’71, Harris, Profit, Lewis (from Southdown High School in Houma) and Robertson were all first-round pick selections, and all were products of high schools in the state of Louisiana.

The Class of 2013 will not have 4 first round picks from the prep ranks in Louisiana, but in my top 100 the Louisiana prep ranks have 7 players included in that number:  LSU outside linebacker Barkevious Mingo, LSU free safety Eric Reid, Alabama halfback Eddie Lacy, Southeastern Louisiana cornerback Robert Alford, Tennessee offensive tackle/guard Dallas Thomas, LSU defensive tackle Bennie Logan and LSU cornerback Tyrann Mathieu, are amongst the list of the top players available to the NFL.

Four other players from our area to watch include:  LSU cornerback Tharold Simon, Louisiana Tech offensive tackle Jordan Mills-who played his prep football at Assumption High School, LSU offensive tackle Chris Faulk and LSU defensive end Lavar Edwards.  These four are also are included in my top 140 players available.
And it doesn’t stop there.

Thirteen other players with Louisiana ties to watch:  Inside linebacker Michael Mauti (Penn State;) halfback Michael Ford (LSU;) offensive center P.J. Lonergan (LSU;) LSU punter Brad Wing-who is originally from Australia, but he played his final season of high school football at Parkview Baptist in Baton Rouge, fullback Alex Singleton (Tulsa;) offensive center Patrick Lewis (Texas A&M;) wide receiver/return specialist Charles Hawkins (Southern University;) offensive tackle/guard Josh Dworaczyk (LSU;) offensive tackle Jason Weaver (Southern Mississippi;) defensive tackle Darrington Sentimore (Tennessee;) free safety Dexter McCoil (Tulsa;) defensive tackle Josh Downs (LSU;) and outside linebacker Herman Lathers (Tennessee) all have strong chances to get picked in the middle to later portions of the late April draft.

Eleven other players look to be free-agent signees for an NFL team: Wide receiver/halfback Randall Mackey (Ole Miss;) wide receiver Javone Lawson (UL-Lafayette;) tight end Chase Clement-from E.D. White Catholic High School in Thibodaux-(LSU;) offensive guard/center Kevin Saia (Louisiana Tech;) cornerback Trey Wilson (Vanderbilt;) cornerback Ryan Travis (Tulane;) defensive end Emeka Onyenekwu (UL-Lafayette;) quarterback Blaine Gautier (UL-Lafayette;) free safety Chad Boyd (Louisiana Tech;) fullback/linebacker Jordan Piper (Nicholls State;) and kicker Drew Alleman (LSU.)

The numbers are staggering for such a small drop of a dime placed on the football map, but what is more amazing is that this has occurred seven and a half years after hurricanes Katrina and Rita rearranged the population of the state of Louisiana, especially south of the I-10 corridor.  The state of Louisiana took a population drop of almost 5% after those two devastating storms ravaged our region.  The storms sent many folks out of the southern portion and into northern Louisiana, or even out of state for jobs in search of employment and/or protection for themselves and their families.

That movement on the map could have had devastating results for schools in our region, but instead we have seen steady growth of programs in our state from the likes of Louisiana Tech, UL-Lafayette, UL-Monroe and the potential of Tulane under second year head coach Curtis Johnson.

After the recruiting class of 2006 had ended, 278 players from the state of Louisiana had signed scholarships to play football at some level of college competition.  At the end of the 2013 recruiting period the Louisiana prep ranks currently have 388 players that have signed scholarships to play at some level of college competition.

WWL's Draft Fest starts this Thursday!  Mike joins Bobby Hebert, Deke Bellavia, Hokie Gajan, and our entire sports team for three days of wall-to-wall coverage.   Click HERE for all the details...

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