Marques Colston and Deuce McAllister will arguably go down as the greatest New Orleans Saints to play their respective positions. However, both black-and-gold fan favorites arrived in the Big Easy on much different paths.
Colston was the fourth-to-last pick of the 2006 NFL Draft (252nd overall). His alma mater, Hofstra, dismantled its football program three years ago.
Following a decorated college career as an All-Southeastern Conference selection at the University of Mississippi, McAllister was selected by the Saints with the 23rd choice in the 2001 NFL Draft.
Sunday against the Falcons, Colston has an opportunity to tie McAllister on one of the most prominent marks in the Saints record book. Colston has 54 career touchdowns – the most receiving touchdowns and second most total scores in Saints history.
With one more touchdown, Colston will tie McAllister for the most career touchdowns in Saints history. Colston has 12 career multi-touchdown games in his career, including a career-best three against the Chargers on Oct. 7, so the Quiet Storm could pass McAllister on Sunday.
McAllister said he would be happy for Colston if he broke the record and that the accomplishment "couldn't happen to a better guy."
"Records are made to be broken," said McAllister. "Somebody is going to break his record one day but I will happily pass the torch to him. I love the way he plays the game. He isn't one of these "diva receivers." He plays the game the right way. You couldn't have a better teammate. Once you get to know him as a person he opens up a little bit to you. He is the ultimate pro. All he does is go to work and make plays."
Three years after his retirement from football, McAllister still keeps close tabs on the Saints and attends most of their games. The 2012 Saints Hall of Famer says Colston carries the same motivation he did when he arrived in 2006 as a seventh-round draft pick fighting to make the roster.
"When he first got here I didn't pay too much attention to him because he was a rookie," said McAllister. "I knew he had nice size for a wide receiver. Quickly though you noticed how hard he worked. He worked really hard every day. It seems everything thrown to him he caught. When he made a mistake he would get frustrated with himself but when he made a big play he never celebrated. He just kept his head down and all he did was work. Seven years later, he is the same guy."
Despite putting up impressive numbers during his seven-year career as a member of a record-setting offensive unit, Colston has never earned a Pro Bowl selection.
McAllister, a two-time Pro Bowl selection, said he is shocked Colston has never been named to the league's all-star game but he believes with the wideout's humbled mindset the snub probably doesn't bother him.
"I don't think it has even hit Marques with how well he has done and what he has accomplished," said McAllister. "He just goes out and plays. He doesn't worry about the records or awards. It's a shame that he has never made a Pro Bowl but I know that's not his goal. He's only focused on two things – working and winning."