Ragin’ Cajuns send players to the Senior Bowl for the first time in 14 years

LAFAYETTE — For the first time in 14 years the Ragin’ Cajuns football team will be represented in the Senior Bowl as tight end Ladarius Green and cornerback Dwight “Bill” Bentley have both accepted invitations to the 2012 game, announced the Senior Bowl on Thursday.

The teammates will suit up for the South squad next week in Mobile, Ala., which will be under the direction of Mike Shanahan and the Washington Redskins coaching staff. The 63rdSenior Bowl is set for 3 p.m. on Saturday, January 28 in Mobile’s Ladd-Peebles Stadium. The game and all practices will be televised live by NFL Network.

“It’s been a long time since UL has had anyone in the Senior Bowl, so to have two players in one year is really special,” Senior Bowl President and CEO Steve Hale said. “Both of these players are very deserving of this opportunity and I am confident that they’ll do a great job of representing their school on a national stage.”

In the school’s history, the Cajuns have sent four players to the Senior Bowl including Anthony Clement (1998), Orlando Thomas (1995), Chris Gannon (1989). and Elton Slater (1987).

Green, a native of Pensacola, Fla., was a first-team All-Sun Belt honoree for the second straight year this season. He reeled in 51 catches for 606 yards and eight touchdowns in 2011, including a single-game school record 13 receptions against North Texas. Green led the team in touchdowns and was third in receptions and yards.

“It was a real dream of mine to go and play in this game and to be a part of it,” Green said. “I hope to prove that since I am coming from a smaller school that I can still play with the bigger schools and I just hope to get better every day.”

Green finished the season on a high-note, totaling 121 receiving yards and a touchdown in the Cajuns bowl victory over San Diego State. In 43 career games, he caught 149 passes for 2,201 yards and 22 touchdowns.

Bentley was a first-team All-Sun Belt selection in 2011 after posting 71 tackles, including five tackles for loss. He added six pass breakups, two forced fumbles and three interceptions. He returned two of his interceptions for touchdowns, including a 38-yard “pick-six” against Oklahoma State.

The Pahokee, Fla., native leaves Lafayette with 232 total tackles, 13 tackles for loss and 1.5 sacks. He has seven career interceptions and 20 pass breakups to his credit in 44 career starts.

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