Throughout the offseason, The Game Haus will be spotlighting some under-the-radar prospects hoping to continue their football careers on the professional level – preferably in the NFL.
Most hail from schools outside the traditional Power 5, and even from the FCS level. However, their heart and determination to reach the NFL, or any professional football league, for that matter, is larger and greater than most recognizable NFL prospects looking to make their dream a reality.
Today, Ron LaForce is up, a safety from New Mexico State
Ron LaForce usually has to work hard for what he wants. Especially, on the football field.
That’s why LaForce does not expect the attempt in which he’s currently making to continue his football career on the pro level – preferably the NFL – to be easy.
The quest began for LaForce at the junior college level, where he was an all-league defensive back at California’s College of the Sequoias. Success there, enabled LaForce to get his shot at a Division I school, where he thrived in two seasons with New Mexico State.
“I feel like it was the same situation at JUCO,” said the 6-foot-1, 180-pound LaForce said. “I feel like this is kind of similar. A lot of people think I’m undersized for the safety position. (But) I’ve proved myself at any level. I feel like size isn’t an issue. I’m athletic enough to play (professionally).”
Making that name
While LaForce isn’t on many big boards of NFL teams, they should know his name, at least. In two seasons at New Mexico State, LaForce recorded 111 solo tackles and was second on the team with 122 total stops in 2018. He also ranked among the top 10 nationally, averaging 12.2 tackles per contest this past season. That was one year after being named Sun Belt Conference Newcomer of the Year.
LaForce also helped his cause by earning his team’s Defensive MVP at last month’s Tropical Bowl all-star showcase. He recorded the game’s only interception.
“I feel pretty good,” LaForce said. “The buzz was kind of there last year, and that kind of got my mind set on the NFL. “(The Tropical Bowl) made me realize, being out there, that (the dream of the NFL) was within reach.”
LaForce, though, knows there is more work left to make NFL or other professional scouts give him serious consideration. That’s why he’s spending his days working out and training in Atlanta with former New Mexico State teammates DeShawnte Lloyd and Leon McQuaker.
Having his friends alongside makes those tough days of lifting, running or going the extra yard a little easier.
“I think it helps a lot,” LaForce said. “We push each other. We’re not letting each other taking any short cuts.”
LaForce hasn’t taken short cuts at any point in his journey, and won’t start now.