New Orleans Saints Executive Vice President/General Manager Mickey Loomis announced today that the club has agreed to terms with rookie LB Nate Bussey, the Saints' second selection in the seventh round of 2011 NFL Draft (243rd overall). The Saints obtained the pick as a compensatory draft pick in 2011.
The 6-2, 220-pound Bussey joins Martez Wilson as the second Illini 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 tied for the Big Ten Conference lead with three fumble recoveries. He posted 156 stops (96 solo), 1.5 sacks, one interception, five pass defenses, one forced fumble, one fumble recovery and one blocked punt in four years, starting the final 18 games of his career.
Bussey played QB and S at Dunbar High School in Washington, D.C., as well as serving as a primary return man on special teams. He earned first-team All-Met by The Washington Post in 2006 and honorable mention in 2005. As a signal-caller he totaled over 8,000 passing yards for his career and 102.7 passer rating. Defensively he recorded six interceptions, two of which he returned for touchdowns. Bussey was high school teammate of former Illini teammates and current NFL players Arrelious Benn (WR, Tampa Bay Buccaneers) and Vontae Davis (CB, Miami Dolphins). Bussey majored in communications while at Illinois.