The New Orleans Saints are 55 days away from their Week 1 clash with the Pack. Here is a look at one of the greatest players in New Orleans Saints history to wear #55: LB Scott Fujita.
Scott Fujita, 42, played eleven NFL seasons, four with the New Orleans Saints. Adopted as an infant by a third-generation Japanese-American family, Fujita grew up in a traditional Japanese household and is "half-Japanese at heart". He was a two-way football player in high school playing both safety and TE. Fujita also starred on the basketball court posting a double-double average his senior year.
Electing to play football, Fujita walked on at the University of California, Berkeley. Following a redshirt year his first year on campus Fujita converted from Safety to Linebacker. By his Senior year he had started 13 career games and earned the starting weak-side Linebacker role. In his final colligate season, Fujita finished with 60 tackles, 2.5 sacks, and 2 FF.
The Kanas City Chiefs selected Fujita in the fifth round of the 2002 NFL Draft. In three years with the Chiefs he started 41 games making 326 tackles and 9.5 sacks. Fujita requested a trade after the organization drafted LB Derrick Johnson in the first round of the 2005 draft. He was traded to the Cowboys for a 2006 sixth round draft choice.
After one season in Dallas, Fujita joined the New Orleans Saints in 2006. He was the first free agent to sign with the Saints after the 2005 season that displaced the team after the devastation of Hurricane Katrina. In the team's return to the Superdome on September 27, 2006, Fujita stripped Falcons QB Michael Vick on third down of the games opening drive. The ball bounced out of bounds setting up fourth down and the most important moment in Saints history. On fourth down, Saints Special Teams Ace Steve Gleason blocked Michael Koenon's punt resulting in the team's first touchdown in the Superdome since Katrina.
In 2007, Fujita was named a defensive captain of the Saints. Fujita dressed in 56 games for the Black and Gold, starting 54. After a Super Bowl XLIV victory, Fujita left New Orleans to sign with the Cleveland Browns. In 2012, Fujita was placed on injured reserve after suffering a potential career-ending neck injury. It would be his final NFL game. Fujita retired in April 2013.
Fujita ended his NFL career tallying 771 tackles, 23.5 sacks, 7 INT, and 11 FF.
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