Six former New Orleans Saints are finalists for the 2022 College Football Hall of Fame.
The College HOF website states the 2022 ballot features "78 players and seven coaches for the Football Subdivision and 99 players and 33 coaches from the divisional ranks."
New Orleans has six representatives of former Saints players being considered on the 2022 ballot.
FORMER NEW ORLEANS SAINTS PLAYERS
- Morten Andersen - Hall of Fame Placekicker
- Reggie Bush - Running Back/Return Specialist
- Jahri Evans - Offensive Lineman
- Craig "Ironhead" Heyward - Running Back
- Champ Bailey - Defensive Back
- James Laurinaitis - Linebacker
Jahri Evans, Bloomsburg (PA)-Offensive Lineman: Evans is considered one of the best offensive linemen to play in the NFL for the New Orleans Saints. In 169 games with New Orleans, he earned 4x All-Pro honors, 6x Pro-Bowl visits, and was selected into the NFL's 2010s All-Decade team.
Evans earned a Super Bowl ring when the Saints defeated the Colts in Super Bowl 44. John Madden loved him and twice gave him recognition as a Madden Most Valuable Protectors Award recipient.
New Orleans enshrined Evans in 2020 to its Hall of Fame.
Reggie Bush, USC-Running Back: Bush was Sean Payton's first draft selection in the 2006 NFL Draft at No. 2 overall. Bush's dynamic plays are legendary as a triple-threat (rusher, receiver, kick returner) with the Who Dat Nation. The former Heisman winner came to New Orleans with pomp and circumstance, and he did not disappoint the coaches and fans.
He played from 2006-2010, earned a Super Bowl championship ring with the Saints' victory in Super Bowl 44. Bush, a 2019 Saints Hall of Fame member, was a 2008 First-Team All-Pro and selected to the NFL PFWA All-Rookie roster.
In 60 games as a Saint, he had 4,968 all-purpose yards with 33 touchdowns (17 rushing), 12 receiving, 4 punt returns).
Morten Andersen, Michigan State-Placekicker: The 'Great Dane' was a Pro Football Hall of Fame inductee in 2017. Andersen astounded college football by setting Big Ten field-goal records before New Orleans drafted him in the fourth round of the 1982 NFL Draft.
His numerous accolades and achievements span from 7x Pro Bowls and 6x All-Pro selections to two NFL All-Decade teams. New Orleans enshrined Andersen in 2009 as a member of its New Orleans Saints Hall of Fame. He is the greatest placekicker in New Orleans Saints history and arguably one of the best in NFL history.
Craig Heyward, Pittsburgh-Running Back: Heyward was New Orleans' first-round pick and No. 24 overall in the 1988 NFL Draft. Fans and NFL players respectfully called him 'Ironhead' for his bruising style of running the football.
The Pittsburgh Panther alum was a fan favorite from 1988 to 1992 in black and gold. Heyward's 66 games appearances notched 1,813 yards and 13 touchdowns. He died on May 27, 2006, at the age of 39 in Atlanta, Georgia.
Champ Bailey, Georgia-Defensive Back: In 2014, Bailey did not make New Orleans' active 53-man roster after training camp and was released from his 2-year, $7M contract. Champ is a 2019 Pro Football Hall of Fame inductee.
James Laurinaitis, Ohio State-Linebacker: Laurinaitis was active for one season in 2016, but an injury forced New Orleans to place him on injured reserve on November 5, 2016.
Three former collegiate players with Louisiana roots were included on the ballot for 2022.
- Warrick Dunn, Florida State-Running Back
- Kevin Faulk, LSU-Running Back
- Bradie James, LSU-Linebacker
The members of the National Football Foundation, as well as athletics directors, coaches, and members of CoSIDA, are responsible for the final vote induction into the Hall of Fame. The voting will be open until June 25.
More Saints News Articles:
The New Orleans Saints officially filed the retirement paperwork for legendary quarterback Drew Brees with NFL headquarters.