- The Washington Times - Monday, April 30, 2007

LaRon Landry always was trying to outdo his older brother Dawan while growing up in tiny Ama, La.

That competitiveness helped Landry hone his natural athletic gifts into such a talented package that he was chosen sixth on Saturday in the NFL Draft by the Washington Redskins — 140 spots ahead of where Dawan went last year to the Baltimore Ravens.

So while LaRon, a four-time All-SEC safety at LSU, plans to bank his millions, he probably should give Dawan a heck of an expensive thank you.

“It was a battle since LaRon was 3 or 4 years old,” said Frank Landry, the brothers’ father, a former player at Northeast Louisiana and a recently retired electrician of 31 years. “Dawan was always bigger, but LaRon was always the one to initiate the fights. I said, ‘If y’all are going to fight, you’re going to fight with some boxing gloves.’ They used ‘em about every other day.

“LaRon always wanted to do what Dawan did. The baby always wants to prove something.”

LaRon said he and Dawan dueled over everything from backyard basketball to video games to music videos. And Dawan could get LaRon to do what their dad called “all kind of crazy things.”

“We were coming back from practice, and I had some kids in the back of the truck,” Frank Landry said. “Dawan told LaRon, ‘I bet you can’t jump out of the truck like Superman.’ So you know what that fool did? He jumped out of the truck. He was maybe 6 or 7. It wasn’t going that fast, but he busted up his teeth. LaRon had more talent. He was always faster than Dawan, and he was tough like nails.”

LaRon runs 40 yards in 4.37 seconds and played quarterback as well as safety at Hahnville High School. Indiana recruited Landry to play quarterback, but he wanted to play safety.

“I love contact,” Landry said. “I love to be physical.”

Physically tough and mentally strong enough to take his dad’s in-your-face coaching until middle school.

“My dad would rip your head off,” said LaRon, who started playing peewee football a year early at age 5. “That’s what molded me. I looked at the message he was trying to get across, not his tone.”

That was good preparation for what he’s about to encounter from Redskins assistant head coach/defense Gregg Williams.

“I was talking to LaRon’s dad, and at one point he said, ‘He can take hard coaching,’ ” Redskins coach Joe Gibbs said. “Gregg Williams was standing there, and I said, ‘He may get a little bit.’ ”

And LaRon and Dawan — whose oldest brother, Derik, was a defensive end at Vanderbilt — might well go at it again when the Redskins and Ravens meet in the preseason Aug. 25.

“Dawan was very happy for me, happy that he’s right up the road so we have time to see each other more often,” said LaRon, who’s two semesters shy of a communications degree and has thoughts of a post-football broadcasting career. “His advice was to get in the playbook and be ready to go to work. He told me he’s going to see me on special teams.”

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