Parish products complete college football regular seasons

Kyle Riviere
kriviere@weeklycitizen.com
Dutchtown alum Jared Sparks had 338 total yards in his redshirt freshman season with Purdue. Photo courtesy of GoldandBlack.com.

With last weekend’s action, it’s officially the end of the regular season for most college football programs.

Some teams will be playing in conference championship games this weekend, while others will rest up and await news of which bowl game their school will be playing in within the next month.

This will be the case for many former Ascension Parish standouts.

There are many former football players from the area that had great seasons playing Division-I football. Many of their teams will be going bowling, and one player will even be competing in the Pac 12 Championship on Friday night.

Former Ascension Catholic great Delmond Landry just completed his first season with Southern Miss after transferring there from Southwest Mississippi Community College.

The junior played in 11 of the Golden Eagles’ 12 games and collected 14 tackles—3.5 of those coming for losses. He also recovered a fumble.

Southern Miss had a very successful season as they finished 8-4 and will now prepare for bowl action.

One of his teammates is a former St. Amant great in Briggs Bourgeois.

Bourgeois was one of the Gators’ best offensive weapons at receiver, but it was at kicker where his talents caught the eyes of college scouts.

As a true freshman, Bourgeois became the starting kickoff specialist for Southern Miss. During the season, he kicked off 69 times. Thirty-five of those were touchbacks.

During his time at Donaldsonville, Stephen Sullivan was one of the top receivers in the state. During his senior season, he had more than 1,000 yards receiving and was the Parish Offensive MVP.

As a sophomore, Sullivan saw lots of playing time for the Tigers as they won six of their final seven games and finished the regular season with a 9-3 record.

Sullivan played in 11 games and started three times. He finished with nine catches for 195 yards and a touchdown. He also had a score on the ground.

Former Dutchtown standout Lloyd Cushenberry has also seen some action this season on the offensive line for the Tigers.

Sullivan’s former teammate at Donaldsonville, Tyarise Stevenson had a very promising first season at Tulsa.

Stevenson redshirted his first season with the Golden Hurricanes. This year, he played in 11 games and made three starts. In that time, he made 24 tackles.

Unfortunately, Tulsa went just 2-10.

There were many former Dutchtown Griffins on the field playing big-time college football this season.

Most notably, junior safety Justin Reid has continued to do big things at Stanford.

Reid became a starter in the Cardinal secondary during his sophomore season. He ended up making All-Pac 12 honorable mention.

This season, he played even better.

Reid finished as the team’s leading tackler with 88 total tackles. He also led the team in interceptions with five. Reid added four pass breakups and one sack.

His performance was good enough for him to be named a Jim Thorpe Award semifinalist—which is given each year to the best defensive back in college football.

Reid’s Stanford squad finished the regular season 9-3 and will play USC in the Pac 12 Championship game on Friday night.

Two Dutchtown Griffins play at Minnesota.

Though, cornerback Coney Durr wasn’t able to perform this season after sustaining a serious knee injury during last year’s Holiday Bowl victory.

Teammate Alonzo Craighton saw some action for the Golden Gophers in the secondary. He played in three games and made seven tackles.

Also in the Big 10, Jared Sparks had a very productive season at Purdue.

Sparks went to the school as a quarterback and redshirted his first season, but under new head coach Jeff Brohm, he was used in a variety of ways offensively.

He finished the year with 18 catches for 212 yards and 23 carries for 126 yards.

The Boilermakers went 6-6 and are now bowl eligible for the first time since 2012.

His younger brother, Adam has made an immediate impact at Missouri.

The true freshman worked his way into the starting lineup this season at cornerback. He finished the year with two interceptions.

After Missouri began the season in a 1-5 hole, the Tigers won their final six games and will now go bowling with a 7-5 record.

Former Dutchtown receiver Jonathan Hodah saw a little playing time at UL-Monroe. He came up with six catches for 53 yards and a touchdown.

Dutchtown alum David Elias also plays for the Warhawks.

East Ascension was well-represented by Kyran Irvin.

Irvin played quarterback for the Spartans, but he made the transition to running back at Nicholls.

He was given a multitude of carries his freshman year, and as a sophomore, he finished the regular season as the Colonels’ leading rusher.

Irvin started six games and piled up 774 yards rushing with six touchdowns as Nicholls had a resurgent 8-4 campaign.