"Fast Freddie" now can say he ran into the Saints Hall of Fame.
Fred McAfee, who totaled 10 seasons at running back for the Saints in two stints, joins receiver Devery Henderson to form this year's induction class, which was announced Thursday. Longtime assistant athletic trainer Kevin Mangum was chosen to receive the Joe Gemelli "Fleur de Lis" award for his contributions to the Saints organization.
"I think the biggest thing about all three of these is that they're great people, and they care deeply about the people of this organization," Saints Coach Dennis Allen said. "And they've represented this organization in a lot of different ways, in a lot of different facets, exactly the way that (late owner) Tom Benson, (current owner) Mrs. (Gayle) Benson, (Executive Vice President/General Manager) Mickey (Loomis), (Saints President) Dennis (Lauscha), would like for our organization to be represented."
McAfee played for the Saints from 1991-93 and 2000-06 after being drafted in the sixth round (154th overall) in 1991 out of Mississippi College. He excelled on special teams, finishing with 210 career special teams tackles, including 115 during his second Saints stint. That ranked fourth in the NFL during that time span. He also had two forced fumbles and five fumble recoveries on coverage units as a Saint.
In 2002, he was a Pro Bowl selection. McAfee played for three of the team's division champion teams and has been affiliated with the team for all nine, including the 2009 Super Bowl XLIV championship season. He played in 194 games during his 15-year career, including 122 with New Orleans. For his career, McAfee had 304 carries for 1,272 yards and eight touchdowns, caught 35 passes for 211 yards and returned 119 kicks for 2,422 yards.
Since retiring in '06, McAfee has served in a player development role for the club and is now entering his second season as vice president/player engagement.
"I'd never been to an NFL game before," McAfee said. "The first (NFL) game that I played in was my first time attending an NFL game. It's been a journey, but it's been a great ride. I've loved every minute of it."
Henderson was a second-round draft pick (No. 50 overall) by the Saints in 2004. The former LSU standout played 124 regular season games (76 starts) for the Saints from 2004-12, and caught 245 passes for 4,377 yards and 20 touchdowns. He also had 18 carries for 119 yards and one touchdown – the "Superdome Special," a score that was posted against Atlanta on "Monday Night Football" in the re-opening of the Superdome.
Henderson also appeared in eight postseason games with seven starts, and had 31 receptions for 464 yards with four touchdowns. He was a member of the Super Bowl XLIV team. Henderson's 18.1 yards per reception from 2006-12 was the NFL's highest total, his career receiving average (17.9) remains a club record and he owns the two highest single season receiving averages in club history, 24.8 in 2008 and 23.3 in 2006.
"I just prided myself in being a good person, a good teammate," Henderson said. "At the end of the journey, I just wanted everybody to say, 'He did it the right way.' That's what I prided myself on."
Mangum is entering his 42nd season with the team, working for 10 head coaches during that period. Since arriving in 1981, Mangum's contributions have helped the Saints' athletic training staff earn several awards, including the 2007 Southeastern Athletic Trainers' Association (SEATA) Professional Athletic Trainers Award, the Fain Cain Memorial Award in 2006 and the NFL Athletic Training Staff of the Year in 1986 and 2006. He received a bachelor's degree in athletic administration with a specialization in athletic training from the University of Southern Mississippi in 1981 and an advanced degree in physical education from the University of New Orleans in 1988.
"I'm so appreciative of this Joe Gemelli Award. Looking back on the past recipients of this award…so many people," Mangum said, "it's such a great honor to be here today and be recognized as a recipient of this award."
Events surrounding the induction will take place during the weekend of Oct. 28-30, leading up to the Oct. 30 home game against the Las Vegas Raiders in the Caesars Superdome.
The New Orleans Saints announced that Fred McAfee, Devery Henderson, and Kevin Mangum will be the newest members inducted into the Saints Hall of Fame on Thursday, June 9, 2022.