Parish players have opportunity to make NFL rosters

Kyle Riviere
Gonzales Weekly Citizen
Donaldsonville alum Tyarise Stevenson was signed as a free agent by the Minnesota Vikings.

Two former Ascension Parish greats will now have opportunities to make their dreams come true by playing professional football.

After the NFL Draft concluded last week, Donaldsonville alum Tyarise Stevenson was signed by the Minnesota Vikings as an undrafted free agent, and Dutchtown alum Coney Durr was invited to the Chicago Bears’ mini-camp.

Stevenson was a first-team all-district performer during his days with the Tigers. He went on to sign with Tulsa. The defensive lineman was a part of the Golden Hurricane program for six years.

Stevenson redshirted his freshman season in 2016. The next year, he started three games and made 24 tackles.

In 2018, Stevenson started 11 contests and made 25 tackles. As a redshirt junior in 2019, he played in all 12 of Tulsa’s games, which included four starts, and he finished with 17 tackles and a sack.

Stevenson’s senior season was shortened due to COVID-19, but he still started all nine games for the Golden Hurricane, finishing with 17 tackles and a sack.

With all players being granted an extra year of eligibility due to the pandemic, Stevenson returned to Tulsa in 2021. He saved his best for last, playing in all 12 games and finishing with 26 tackles and a half of a sack.

Stevenson was a four-year letterman at Tulsa and played in 56 games. He finished with 109 career tackles, 10 tackles for loss and 3.5 sacks.

Stevenson will now have the opportunity to earn a roster spot with the Vikings and continue his football career.

If he does, he’ll join the likes of other former Tiger greats like Jarvis Green, Howard Green and Stephen Sullivan.

After a six-year college career at Minnesota, Durr will try to make the Bears’ roster.

After earning first-team all-district honors as a Dutchtown senior, Durr signed with the Golden Gophers.

As a freshman in 2016, the defensive back played in seven games and started the Holiday Bowl. Unfortunately, he tore his ACL in that game, which forced him to miss most of the 2017 season.

As a redshirt sophomore, he made nine starts and came up with 36 tackles, five pass breakups and two interceptions.

As a junior in 2019, Durr started all 13 games for Minnesota and collected 33 tackles, 10 pass breakups and one interception, which he returned for a touchdown. He was named honorable-mention All-Big Ten.

In his shorted senior season of 2020, Durr played in seven games and made 29 tackles, six pass breakups and one interception. He was again named honorable-mention All-Big Ten.

He decided to return to Minnesota for an extra season in 2021. He started all 13 games and finished with 40 tackles and five pass breakups.

Durr finished his career with 43 starts and 144 total tackles. He piled up 30 pass breakups—which is tied for fourth-most in school history. He also intercepted four passes.

Durr made the All-Big Ten Academic team twice.

If Durr makes the Bears’ roster, he will be added to a long list of former Griffins who played in the NFL—players such as Eddie Lacy, Landon Collins, Eric and Justin Reid and Lloyd Cushenberry.