BORN: June 14, 1936 in Shelby, Michigan
JOINED SAINTS: 1967 expansion draft
YEARS WITH SAINTS: 1967-1969
Dave Whitsell's Career Background
Former Saints cornerback Dave Whitsell was enshrined in the New Orleans Saints Hall of Fame in 1996 after spending the last three seasons of his 12-year career with the Black and Gold.
The Shelby, Mich. native was originally selected by the Detroit Lions in the 24th round of the 1958 NFL Draft, where he spent three years before playing for Chicago, where he won an NFL Championship in 1963. He then moved to New Orleans after the Saints picked him in the 1967 NFL Expansion Draft.
Heralded as the first true star of the franchise, Whitsell led the NFL with 10 interceptions with two returned for touchdowns during his first season with New Orleans. That year, he earned his first bid to the Pro Bowl and became the first player in Saints record books to be selected to the league's All-Star game. Whitsell appeared in all 14 games during the three seasons he played in New Orleans, starting all but four and recording 19 interceptions with two returned for touchdowns and two fumble recoveries before retiring following the 1969 season.
After retiring from professional football, Whitsell became a real estate investor and was also a member of the National Football League Retired Players Association. He was diagnosed with cancer in 1995 and passed away four years later.
Dave Whitsell's Career Honors
NFL Championship – 1963
Pro Bowl – 1967
New Orleans Saints Hall of Fame