December 21, 2013

New Orleans Bowl notebook

Royce LaFrance did not even know how to get in a three-point stance when Tulane's coaches asked him to play defensive end in the fall of 2012. Suffice it to say his stance about the move from linebacker has changed significantly since that awkward beginning.

LaFrance, now a true sophomore, leads the Green Wave with 6 sacks and is second to tackle Julius Warmsley with 10 tackles for loss. He has started 10 consecutive games, registering at least one sack in four of the last five.

If Louisiana-Lafayette is forced to throw tonight in the New Orleans Bowl, the Ragin' Cajuns need to know where the Harvey Helen Cox High product is at all times.

"I just go on the field to have fun now because my freshman year I was just thinking a lot not to mess up," LaFrance said. "Now I go on the field and just let it all hang out."

His learning curve took one year. Although LaFrance started twice as a true freshman, he was not productive, finishing with 20 tackles and a single sack after playing strictly at linebacker in high school.

The light bulb went on this past spring, when he earned Tulane's most improved defensive player award.

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