The Saints selected LB Nathan Bussey with the 243rd pick of the NFL Draft, which marked the team's sixth and final selection.
Bussey joins Martez Wilson as the second University of Illinois linebacker selected by the Saints in the 2011 NFL Draft. He moved into the starting lineup midway through his junior year and excelled as a senior, when he finished with 83 tackles and one interception. He posted 156 stops, 1.5 sacks, one interception, five pass defenses, one forced fumble, one fumble recovery and one blocked punt for the Illini, starting the final 18 games of his career.
2010 All-Big Ten honorable mention (coaches and media)...Shared team's Outstanding Special Teams award with Anthony Santella for his prowess on kick coverage and punt block units Started all 13 games at sam linebacker...Was second on the team and 18th in the Big Ten in tackles with 83 (6.4 tpg) and third on team in TFLs with 8.5...Tied for the Big Ten lead with three fumble recoveries...Played in the Eastham Energy All-Star game following the season...Posted eight tackles and one TFL in Texas Bowl win over Baylor...Tallied six tackles and one TFL at Fresno State...Recorded six tackles and one TFL in win over Northwestern...Totaled six tackles, a half-TFL and recovered a fumble against Minnesota...Had a career-high 10 tackles, including a team-high and career-best eight solos and two PBUs, at Michigan...Posted three tackles, a half-TFL and recovered a fumble in win over Purdue...Blocked the first punt of his career, which led to Illinois' first safety since 2004, in win over Indiana...Recorded first career fumble recovery and tallied six tackles against Michigan State...Had eight tackles and returned his first career interception 16 yards for a touchdown in win at Penn State...Posted seven tackles and a sack against Ohio State...Started at linebacker against Missouri and had eight tackles, including a career-high two TFLs. 2009 – Played in all 12 games and started at linebacker in the final five games...Totaled 43 tackles on the season, including a half sack and a half TFL...Posted five tackles against Fresno State...Had five tackles at No. 5 Cincinnati...Recorded seven tackles, including a career-best tying five solo stops against Northwestern...Posted five tackles and first career sack in win over Minnesota...Recorded five tackles in win over Michigan...Posted a season-best six tackles at Purdue, including a career-best tying five solo stops...Had two tackles and forced a fumble on a kickoff at Indiana...Recorded three tackles vs. Michigan State...Played against Penn State, but did not record any statistics...Had one tackle at Ohio State...Posted two tackles against Illinois State...Played first game at linebacker in the season opener against Missouri, recording one tackle. 2008– Played in all 12 games and started the season opener at safety...Posted one tackle in the season finale at Northwestern...Had two tackles against Western Michigan...Recorded four tackles and a PBU against Indiana...Had five tackles, including three solos, against Eastern Illinois...Recorded a career-high eight tackles, including five solos, against Missouri...Also recorded his first career PBU against Missouri. 2007 – Played in all 13 games primarily on special teams...Recorded nine tackles, including five solos...Recorded a career-high two tackles in his first career game against Missouri...Also recorded stops against Indiana, Penn State, Wisconsin, Michigan, Minnesota, Ohio State and Northwestern.
PERSONAL – Named a top-20 recruit in the Mid-Atlantic region by SuperPrep...Played quarterback and safety at Dunbar High School, as well as returning kicks...First-team All-Met by The Washington Post in 2006...Top-five player in the Washington, D.C. area by Rivals.com...Totaled over 8,000 passing yards for his career and a QB rating of 102.7...Defensively, he recorded six interceptions, two returned for touchdowns...Threw for 2,473 yards and 28 touchdowns in 2006 as well as rushing for a team-high 553 yards and 12 touchdowns ... At safety, recorded four interceptions as a senior ... Passed for 2,543 yards and threw 37 touchdowns, while also running for over 700 yards as a junior...Quarterbacked Dunbar High School to three consecutive Turkey Bowl titles...Earned honorable mention All-Met honors by The Washington Post in 2005...High school teammate of former Illini teammates and current NFL players Arrelious Benn (WR, Tampa Bay) and Vontae Davis (CB, Miami)…Full name is Nathan Lee Bussey ... Born Feb. 20, 1989...Son of Linda Bussey...Majored in communications.