Ascension football greats prepare for NFL season
Ascension's best will be getting back on the field to start the 2017 high-school football season this Friday night, and next weekend, the many parish products that were good enough to reach the next level will begin the college football season.
And then, there's the handful of special players that reached the top of the mountain in athletics. On Sept. 10, the NFL football season will begin for four of Ascension's all-time greats.
Former East Ascension Spartan Glenn Dorsey will begin the season as a free agent.
After leading LSU to their third national championship back in 2007-08, Dorsey was selected fifth overall by the Kansas City Chiefs in the ensuing NFL Draft.
He played five seasons there, before signing with the San Francisco 49ers back in 2013.
Dorsey played four seasons with the 49ers. Last year, he played in 12 games and started seven, finishing the season with 24 tackles and a sack.
This will be his 10th year in the NFL.
Three of the Ascension players preparing for the 2017 NFL season are Dutchtown alums.
Like Dorsey, Eric Reid helped lead an LSU team to the national championship game and continued his football career in San Francisco.
Reid was the 18th overall pick by the 49ers in the 2013 draft. He has been a starting safety for San Francisco ever since.
In his rookie season, he made the Pro Bowl.
Reid was slightly hampered by injuries last season. He was only able to play in 10 of the 49ers' 16 games, but he still finished the season with 62 tackles, a forced fumble and an interception.
This will be his fifth season in the league.
One of his former teammates at Dutchtown, Eddie Lacy will be starting a new chapter in his NFL career.
Lacy played his college ball at Alabama, where he helped lead the Crimson Tide to two national titles.
In their 42-14 championship victory over Notre Dame in 2013, he was named the game's MVP as he rushed for 140 yards and a touchdown.
In the April draft, he was drafted 61st overall by the Green Bay Packers.
Lacy immediately made an impact for the Packers as he rushed for over 1,100 yards and a combined 20 touchdowns in his first two seasons.
In his first season, he made the Pro Bowl and was named the Offensive Rookie of the Year.
Lacy got off to a good start last year as he rushed for 360 yards through the Packers' first five games, but injuries cut his season short.
During the offseason, he signed with the Seattle Seahawks. It was a one-year deal reportedly worth $5.5 million.
The youngest of the Ascension players in the NFL is Landon Collins.
Like Lacy, Collins left his home state to play at Alabama, where he helped lead the Crimson Tide to a national title during his junior year.
In the 2015 draft, he was selected 33rd overall by the New York Giants.
Collins stepped in as a starter almost immediately for the Giants in 2016. Though he lacked the big plays he grew so accustomed to making at Alabama and Dutchtown, he piled up 112 tackles.
However, Collins' big-play ability was on full display in 2016.
He had a breakout season that earned him a trip to the Pro Bowl and the title of NFC Defensive Player of the Year.
Collins' spectacular season saw him make 125 tackles, four sacks, a forced fumble, six interceptions and 22 pass deflections.
He will enter his third season with the Giants as one of the leading candidates for NFL Defensive Player of the Year.