Northwest Louisianans That Made an Impact in the NFL
The 2020 NFL season is officially in the books. And what a season it was. When things kicked off, experts didn't expect the NFL to make a full season between opt-outs and COVID outbreaks. However, not only did the season happen but there were some pretty amazing moments. From Alex Smith making his dramatic comeback to the Browns making the playoffs for the first time since 2002.
Plus, on top of all that, there were some local Shreveport/Northwest Louisiana guys who really stepped up and showed out. The class of locals are headlined by Tre White and Devin White. Both guys had absolutely stellar seasons. Tre, a Green Oaks and LSU Superstar, made his second consecutive Pro Bowl and cemented himself as one of the best cornerbacks in the league. He missed two games due to injury this year but still matched his tackle for 2019 and had 11 passes defensed and 3 interceptions.
Devin White, while getting snubbed from the Pro Bowl, absolutely dominated for the Tampa Bay Buccaneers. Despite dealing with some injury issues throughout the season, he racked up 133 tackles and 9 sacks.
However, those two weren't the only local guys to have amazing seasons. Woodlawn grad Donovan Wilson, who plays safety for the Cowboys, had an absolute break out season. He finished the year with 71 tackles, 3 forced fumbles, 2 interceptions and 3.5 sacks. His rookie season, despite seeing some playing time, only managed to have 2 tackles in 11 games. So, year...the Cowboys have an absolute STUD safety and he should see an increased role in the 2021 season.
L'Jarius Sneed, rookie corner from Minden, had an amazing season with the Chiefs. Sneed was given the opportunity to play due to some injuries in the secondary and did not squander the opportunity. In just 9 games, he racked up 41 tackles, 2 sacks, 7 pass break ups and 3 interceptions. And according to all reports, Andy Reid and the KC staff is very high on Sneed. So, he should get plenty of opportunities to shine in the playoffs and next season.
There are several other locals who will be looking to improve in the 2021 season. Greedy Williams was sidelined for most of the season with a hamstring issue and considering how well Cleveland's defense has performed, he's going to have to put in some extra work to earn playing time in 2021.
Jerry Tillery, while seeing significant playing time, had a rather lackluster season with the Chargers. He only racked up 28 tackles with 3 sacks. He also did not generate much in the way of quarterback pressures in 2020. His biggest statistic this season, wasn't a positive ones, he generated a lot of costly penalties. However, many in the LA media say that Tillery is still in the Charges game plan and are writing off a lackluster season to Melvin Ingram and Joey Bosa also have down years and not generating the kinds of pressure they usually do.
All in all, whether they had a stellar year or a down year, it's still nice to see so many familiar faces playing football at the highest of levels. How many other small areas can point at the TV in some many games and say "I know that guy?". It's pretty awesome and something we should be proud of.