The media selection committee of the Saints Hall of Fame has selected RB/PR Reggie Bush and WR Marques Colston for induction in 2019, while former Louisiana Governor Kathleen Blanco has been chosen to receive the Joe Gemelli "Fleur de Lis" award for her vast contributions to the New Orleans Saints organization.
Bush, 6-0, 203, was one of the most prolific big-play threats in franchise history. He played five seasons with the Saints from 2006-10 after being the second overall pick in the 2006 NFL Draft out of Southern California. The San Diego, Calif. native appeared in 60 games and recorded 4,982 all-purpose yards in a Black and Gold uniform and scored 33 touchdowns. Bush carried 524 times for 2,090 yards with 17 touchdowns. In the passing game, he caught 294 passes for 2,142 yards and 12 touchdowns. Bush brought back 92 punts for 720 yard and four touchdowns. He also appeared in six career postseason contests for New Orleans and carried 38 times for 200 yards (5.3 avg. with two touchdowns, added 25 receptions for 286 yards with two touchdowns, as well as bringing back 11 punts for 144 yards with an 83-yard touchdown in the 2009 NFC Divisional Playoff win over Arizona. Bush was selected to the club's All-50th team in 2016.
In addition to being a stalwart on the field for New Orleans, Bush was a valuable member of the New Orleans community off the field. In 2006 upon being selected, through donations and corporate sponsorship, $80,000 was contributed to the repairs of Ted Gormley Stadium, which was severely damaged by Hurricane Katrina. A $50,000 donation to Holy Rosary High School in New Orleans, dedicating to educating the region's students with learning differences, helped keep the important educational institution open.
Colston, 6-4, 225, was selected by New Orleans in the seventh round (252nd overall) of the 2006 NFL Draft out of Hofstra. He played in 146 career games for the Saints with 106 starts and recorded 711 receptions for 9,759 yards (13.7 avg.) and 72 touchdown grabs. Colston is ranked first in club record books in catches, receiving yardage, receiving touchdowns, total touchdowns (72) and tied for first with 28 100-yard receiving performances. All 72 of Colston's touchdowns were parts of connections with QB Drew Brees, making the duo the sixth-most prolific all-time in scoring pass plays. Three seasons after the end of his playing career, he is ranked 45th all-time in National Football League record books in receptions, 52nd in receiving yardage and is tied for 39th in receiving touchdowns. Off the field, Colston also excelled, supporting local children's medical causes, Second Harvest Food Bank, Team Gleason and numerous other charities. Colston, who was a Saints All-50th Team selection in 2016, was a unanimous choice by the media selection committee.
Blanco is a New Iberia native who served a four-year term as Governor of the State of Louisiana from 2004-08 and two terms as Lieutenant Governor from 1996-2004. Blanco played a pivotal role in collaborating with Saints Owner Tom Benson, legislators and other Saints team officials in helping the Saints' return to a refurbished and repaired Superdome following damage incurred during Hurricane Katrina. Blanco forcefully lobbied the state legislature to approve the funding and fast-tracking of repairs to the facility, allowing the team to return to its home stadium for the 2006 season. She was honored for her role in the Superdome being repaired and renovated at the January 13 New Orleans Saints NFC Divisional Playoff win over Philadelphia. The lobby of the Mercedes-Benz Superdome has been named in her honor.
Events surrounding the induction of Bush and Colston and the recognition of Blanco will take place on the weekend running from Oct. 25-27 in conjunction with the home game against the Arizona Cardinals. For more information about the Saints Hall of Fame, visit saintshalloffame.com or call (504) 471-2191. Additional information about the Hall of Fame weekend will be announced in the coming months.
PREVIOUS HALL OF FAME INDUCTEES
1988—Archie Manning and Danny Abramowicz
1989—Tommy Myers and Tom Dempsey
1991—Tony Galbreath and Derland Moore
1992—George Rogers, Jake Kupp and John Hill
1994—Henry Childs and Jim Finks
1995—Doug Atkins and Bob Pollard
1996—Dave Whitsell and Dave Waymer
1997—Stan Brock and Rickey Jackson
1998—Dalton Hilliard and Sam Mills
1999—Bobby Hebert and Eric Martin
2000—Pat Swilling and Vaughan Johnson
2001—Jim Wilks and Hoby Brenner
2002—Jim Mora and Frank Warren
2003—Jim Dombrowski and Wayne Martin
2004—Rueben Mayes and Steve Sidwell
**2005—No induction due to Hurricane Katrina
2012—Tom Benson and Deuce McAllister
2014—Aaron Brooks and John Carney
2015—Tyrone Hughes and Michael Lewis
2017—Jonathan Vilma and Carl Nicks
2018—Lance Moore and Pierre Thomas
PREVIOUS JOE GEMELLI FLEUR DE LIS AWARD RECIPIENTS
1990—Joe Gemelli (award later named for him)
2001—Peter "Champ" Clark
2005—NO INDUCTEES due to Hurricane Katrina
2007—New Orleans Saints Fans (Marcy Beter)
2010—Dan Simmons and Glennon "Silky" Powell
2014—Al Nastasi and Tony Piazza
2018—Michael C. Hebert