11 NFL Players Still In The Playoffs That Played College Ball In Louisiana
The AFC and NFC Championship games are set for Sunday, with the Patriots hosting the Steelers at 5:40 in the AFC, and the Falcons hosting the Packers at 2:00 in the NFC.
With only 4 teams left, a little over 200 players are still vying for the 2017 Super Bowl. Here's a rundown of the 11 players remaining who played college ball in Louisiana.
Louisiana Ragin' Cajuns - 2 players
Green Bay Packers - Christian Ringo - DT
The Ragin' Cajun single-season sack leader was active for 8 games this season, including last Sunday's thrilling playoff win versus the Dallas Cowboys. He's registered 2 tackles and 1 forced fumble this season.
(On a sidenote, he saved the life of a Packers fan)
Pittsburgh Steelers LaDarius Green - TE
When he's been on the field in 2016, this Cajun produced in big ways for the Steelers. He missed the first half of the year with an ankle injury, and has been in and out of the active lineup due to concussion symptoms the second half of the season. He has yet to play in the postseason, but is practicing this week after missing practice since week 15, a good indicator he may be cleared to play in Sunday's AFC Championship game.
In only 6 games this season, Green has reeled in 18 catches and a touchdown, including 6 receptions and 110 yards in a week 13 win against the New York Giants.
LSU Tigers - 6 players
Atlanta Falcons - Jalen Collins - S, Tyson Jackson - DE, Deion Jones - LB
All three former Tigers have been big contributors to the dirty birds this season, especially rookie Deion Jones, who racked up 108 tackles and 3 interceptions in his first pro campaign, earning a spot on the NFL AP All-Rookie team.
Pittsburgh Steelers - Jerald Hawkins - OT, Zach Mettenberger - QB
Unfortunately for Hawkins, his rookie season ended in August when Pittsburgh placed him on injured reserve a week before the season opener.
Mettenberger played 14 games in his first 2 seasons with Tennessee, but didn't see hte field this year in Pittsburgh as he falls 3rd on the Steelers depth chart at QB behind starter Ben Roethlisberger and incumbent backup Landry Jones.
New England Patriots - Barkevious Mingo - LB
Mingo went from the worst to the best. Drafted by the Cleveland Browns 6th overall in 2013, Mingo was traded in August to the New England Patriots, largely recognized as the most consistent franchise in NFL and one of the best in all of sports. The change in scenery didn't lead to a promotion on the field, however. Mingo wasn't able to crack the startling lineup, playing mostly on special teams in 2016, finishing the regular season with 11 tackles.
Louisiana Tech Bulldogs - 2 players
New England Patriots - Ryan Allen - Punter
Allen played college football in Ruston after transferring from Oregon State where he didn't get a chance to start. He became a Ray Guy award winner and All-American at LA Tech before making his way into the NFL. The Salem, Oregon native was undrafted in 2013, but beat out veteran punter Zoltán Meskó for the Patriots job.
Green Bay Packers - Kentrell Brice - S
An undrafted free agent, Brice's training camp and preseason were so impressive, he earned the Packers third safety spot. Playing in every game this season, including 1 start, Brice registered 26 tackles in the regular season and remains a key cog in Green Bay's defense.
Southeastern Lions - 1 player
Atlanta Falcons - Robert Alford - CB
A 2nd round draft pick in 2013, Alford started 4 games his rookie year, 10 games in 2014 and eventually become a full-time starter, earning a $38 million contract last offseason. In 2016, his 50 tackles and 2 interception (including 1 returned for a TD) has helped put the Falcons in position to for for an NFC title.