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Football: Tatford feels at home again

Tim Buckley, Daily Advertiser, Dec. 16, 2013

It’s in his blood.

Evan Tatford said he “born and raised a Ragin’ Cajun fan.”

His father, Leander, played football at UL from 1973-76 and one of his three brothers, Jefferies, played baseball for the Cajuns.

But coming of St. Thomas More High, he elected to sign with Tulane.

After playing two seasons at tight end with the Green Wave – appearing in 24 games, making four starts, catching a half-dozen passes in 2012 including one in a loss at UL – Tatford realized the folly of his first call.

“I thought that was the right decision,” said Tatford, who transferred to his father’s alma mater after realizing it wasn’t.

“But it kind of hit me last year, when Tulane played at UL and we were driving through the fans, and coming onto Cajun Field, I just felt like I was in the wrong place.

“You know,” he added, “just the fact of being home now, and playing for the team I grew up watching, and my family grew up watching and played for, I don’t think you can beat that.”

With seniors Jacob Maxwell and Ian Thompson both gone after this season, Tatford will vie for playing time at tight end in 2014 with returnees Larry Pettis and Nick Byrne.

But because he’s sitting out this season in accordance with NCAA transfer rules, Tatford can’t play when UL and Tulane face off Saturday night in the New Orleans Bowl at the Superdome.

The way he sees it, that’s both disappointing but probably just as well.

“It’s going to be very fun to be able to go back to New Orleans and see all the old guys on the team that I played with last year,” said Tatford, one of two former Green Wave players now at UL along with senior receiver Devin Figaro.

“But it will be kind of frustrating, in a sense, that when I was at Tulane we weren’t able to go to a bowl game, and now the first year that I’m at UL, being able to go to a bowl game – and it just so happens to my old team.

“I think it’s kind of better that, since I’m sitting out this year,” he added, “I won’t have to go and play against all the guys that I used to hang out with all the time.”