Excerpt from LSU book: Prototypical size made David LaFleur a coveted and valuable tight end | USL
Editor’s note: The Advocate is counting down the days until LSU’s Sept. 4 season opener against Florida State with excerpts from the book “LSU By the Numbers.” Tuesday marks 47 days until kickoff, so we’re looking at the Tigers’ greatest number 47, David LaFleur.
47 David La Fleur
1996 All American
All-SEC 1994, ’96
When the Dallas Cowboys were trying to figure out what to do with their first-round pick in the 1997 NFL Draft, quarterback Troy Aikman personally went to David LaFleur’s home in Lake Charles to work him out and learn how to to know him.
He liked what he discovered.
Aikman then tried to downplay his role in the Cowboys’ decision. But of course Dallas traded two draft picks that year and one in 1998 to ensure he was able to get LaFleur, who played with the team until 2000.
“We didn’t want to risk David LaFleur ending up somewhere else,” Cowboys owner Jerry Jones said.
Born in Lake Charles in 1974, the Westlake High School standout was considered Louisiana’s No. 1 prospect in 1993. Possessing large hands and a prototypical height (6-foot-7, 278 pounds), LaFleur was a preview of the 21st century tight end.
After filling a backup role as a rookie in 1993, LaFleur became a starter in 1994, earning All-SEC honors with 21 catches for 263 yards and two touchdowns. A knee injury forced him to miss three games early in the 1995 season – Mississippi State, Auburn and Rice – but that didn’t leave LaFleur thinking about leaving LSU sooner.
“Obviously I didn’t have the season I wanted,” LaFleur said. “I knew this (1995) could be the year for us to come out, and it was. I was sitting up there in the stands for one of the biggest games of the year (Auburn) It was tough watching your buddies over there celebrating the win. It was tough emotionally.
“I had other goals that I wanted to achieve. I wanted to come back and start again on a good note.
LaFleur’s 1996 season was indeed remarkable. As the Tigers cruised to a 10-2 record and a Peach Bowl win over Clemson, LaFleur had a team-high 30 catches for 439 yards and three touchdowns and earned All-American and All-American honors. DRY.
“When you have a player like that,” LSU coach Gerry DiNardo said, “you should give him the ball.”
LaFleur still ranks second in school history behind Richard Dickson (2006-09) in most yards received from a tight end (881) and fourth in catches from a tight end (71).
Year G-GS Attrape Yards YPC TDs
1993 11-1 8 59 7.4 0
1994 11-9 21,263 12.5 2
1995 8-8 12,120 10.0 0
1996 11-11 30,439 14.6 3
TOTALS 41-29 71,881 12.4 5
Hokie Gajan, RB/KR, 1977-80
The popular Tiger running back who had a 99-yard kickoff return in 1978 against Wyoming. He went on to become a beloved New Orleans Saints defenseman and radio host.
Charles “Pinky” Rohm, RB, 1935-37
A star of LSU’s first Golden Age in the 1930s, Rohm was an All-SEC honored in 1937.