Ladarius Green catching a pass
It has been said many times that good things come to those who wait. That statement rang true for Louisiana's Ladarius Green.
After being left out of the original posting of the Mackey Award watch list, Green was added the next day when Kavario Middleton was removed as a candidate by the Nassau County Sports Commission. Middleton was dismissed by the Washington Huskies in July after violating team rules.
It was a surprise that Green wasn't originally a nominee for the Mackey Award, the honor given to the best tight end in the FBS, since he was a mid-season addition to the 2009 Mackey watch list. Green was one of only three underclassmen on the 22-man midseason list.
Only a junior, Green already has more receptions and receiving yards than any tight end in Ragin' Cajun history.
Despite missing three games with a neck injury in 2009, Green caught 32 passes for 533 yards and two touchdowns for Louisiana. Green ranked third in the Sun Belt in receiving yards per game and had the longest reception, 91 yards, in the conference last season.
In his two final games last season, Green caught 12 passes for 250 yards. At the end of the year, Green's teammates voted him Louisiana's offensive MVP, and Green was selected to the All-Sun Belt second team.
As a freshman in 2008, Green appeared in 12 games as a reserve tight end and tallied 268 yards on 22 receptions.
Louisiana started its 2010 campaign with a 55-7 defeat to the Georgia Bulldogs. Green was the lone bright spot for the Ragin' Cajuns, as he accounted for slightly over 76 percent of the passing yards for Louisiana. Green's 60-yard reception accounted for the Louisiana's only touchdown last Saturday. For the game, he accumulated 87 yards on four receptions.
At 6'6" and 230 lbs, the Pensacola, FL product is as much a big wide receiver as he is a tight end. Green is a tough player to defend as he can use his size to out-muscle defensive backs or utilize his speed to run past linebackers.
2010 should be Green's best season yet as Louisiana continues to transition from a running team led by former tailback Tyrell Fenroy and quarterback Michael Desormeaux to a passing team featuring Chris Masson at quarterback.
Although Masson struggled against Georgia, he completed 60 percent of his passing attempts last season for 2,406 yards and 10 touchdowns. With Louisiana already playing one of its toughest opponents this year, Green should see plenty of passes thrown in his direction in Sun Belt action.
By season's end, Green will be considered of the best tight ends in the FBS, and college football fans will be wondering why Green wasn't considered to be better than Middleton in the first place.
Photo Credit: Ragincajuns.com