Former Demon football players De’Mard Llorens and Shakier Ryan got their first taste of the NFL. They joined the then-89-player roster for the Los Angeles Rams as free agents following the rookie minicamp in May 2017.
The two joined former Demons offensive tackle Pace Murphy and defensive line coach Bill Johnson.
Llorens and Ryan first sparked interest from the LA Rams with their performances at NSU’s Pro Day on March 22. They are noted as two of the most productive players in Demon football history.
Natchitoches-native running back Llorens is ranked tenth in NSU athletic history with 2,381 rushing yards and 180 career points. He was named a first team All-Southland running back during his undergraduate football career.
When the team was reduced down to the final 53-player roster, Llorens did not make the cut. Though he will not play for the Rams, he said signing with them, however brief, was an amazing experience.
“Just because you were cut doesn’t mean you weren’t good enough; you just didn’t fit the team’s needs,” Llorens said.
“It’s a luck thing,” he said. “You have to find your perfect spot. First in the team of 90 and then that team gets cut to 53 – it’s about finding the spot that works for you.”
Llorens said he is thankful for his time at NSU and specifically for Coach Jay Thomas.
“The way [Thomas] constructs and handles his business as far as the program and meetings – it prepared me a lot to have a smooth transition into being a pro. He taught us to be pros,” Llorens said.
Ryan will play as a wide receiver with the LA Rams this year after making it onto the 53-man roster.
As a punt returner for NSU, Ryan made his own mark on Demon football history by being named honorable mention All-Southland Conference in fall 2016. He finished second overall in the Southland Conference with a 10.1 punt return average.