Three New Orleans Saints stars -- Morten Andersen, Vaughan Johnson and Buford Jordan -- headlined this year’s Louisiana Hall of Fame Class.
The class was inducted Saturday night at the Natchitoches Events Center.
Joining Andersen, Johnson and Jordan in the 2011 induction class were Todd Walker, the LSU All-American and 12-year major league baseball infielder, and Xavier-New Orleans and NBA standout Donald “Slick” Watts.
High school football coaching great Don Shows, Louisiana-Lafayette softball All-America pitcher Kyla Hall Holas and innovative LSU athletic director Thomas P. “Skipper” Heard completed the Hall’s 2011 induction class. Heard was honored posthumously.
New Orleans native Elmo Adolph, a world-renowned boxing official, and Billy Montgomery, who as a highly-regarded state legislator championed sports causes including construction of the Louisiana Sports Hall of Fame museum, were the 2011 recipients of the Dave Dixon Louisiana Sports Leadership Award.
Also honored were two recipients of the Louisiana Sports Writers Association’s Distinguished Service Award in Sports Journalism, New Orleans sportswriter Ron Brocato and longtime Southeastern Louisiana University sports information director Larry Hymel.
Anderson was a six-time Pro Bowl selection during 13 seasons with the Saints (1982-94) in an amazing 25-year NFL career, one season shy of the NFL’s all-time record of 26 by George Blanda. With the Saints, Andersen set franchise records with 1,318 points, 302 field goals and 412 extra points. He made 77.6 percent of his field-goal attempts (302-389) and had a long of 60 yards. He still holds the club record for games played with 196.
Dubbed “The Great Dane,” the native of Copenhagan holds NFL career records in field goals made (565), attempts (709), points (2,544) and games played (382).
Known for his accuracy and game-winning kicks after joining the team as a fourth-round draft pick in 1982, he made 40 field goals of 50 yards or more for New Orleans. He scored a club record 121 points in 1987 when they reached the NFL postseason for the first time ever, and after parting ways with the Saints in 1995 went on to play 12 more years with four teams, making 25 of 28 field goals at the age of 47 with Atlanta in 2007.
Johnson was part of the Saints’ famed “Dome Patrol” four-man All-Pro linebacking corps in the late 1980s and early 1990s. A sturdy 6-foot-3, 235-pounder who was a four-time Pro Bowl pick from 1989-92, Johnson was a feared inside linebacker and perhaps the hardest hitter alongside Louisiana Sports Hall of Fame members Rickey Jackson, Sam Mills and Pat Swilling. In 1991, he, Mills and Swilling became the first set of three linebackers from the same team to start the all-star contest; one year later they were joined by Jackson to become the first club with four linebackers in the Pro Bowl game.
Johnson became a starter in 1987 -- the first year the Saints made the playoffs -- and collected more than 100 tackles three times (including a career-high 114 in 1988) while starting 98 of the 120 games he played with the team. He also had 12 sacks, four interceptions, 11 forced fumbles and five fumble recoveries in his NFL career.
After a stellar four-year career at McNeese State, Jordan was Louisiana’s all-time rushing king with 4,106 yards when he left the school and now ranks third statewide behind Kevin Faulk and Mewelde Moore. Jordan, a prep star in Iota, was a four-year All-Southland Conference pick for the Cowboys who played nine pro seasons - including seven with the Saints (1986-92).
A fullback during his Saints career, Jordan helped the team win 69 games as the Saints posted their first winning season and first playoff appearance (1987), along with their first division title (1991). He rushed for 687 yards on 184 career attempts and scored six touchdowns while blocking for Rueben Mayes and Dalton Hilliard, two of the team’s top all-time rushers. Jordan also played in the USFL in 1984-85 and in 1984, he was the league’s fourth-leading rusher (behind Joe Cribbs, Kelvin Bryant and Herschel Walker) with 1,276 yards and eight TDs, while catching 45 passes for 427 yards and four TDs.