Former Saints Tackle Willie Roaf was enshrined in the Pro Football Hall of Fame in Canton, OH at Fawcett Stadium Saturday, August 4th. The entire current Saints team was in attendance to support Roaf who was presented by his father Clifton. Saints fans filled the back rows of Fawcett Stadium wearing black jerseys and t-shirts emblazoned with number 77 on the back, as 77 himself – Willie Roaf – was inducted into the Hall of Fame.
The Pine Bluff, Arkansas native was selected eighth overall by the Saints in the 1993 NFL Draft after playing in college at Louisiana Tech, the only school that offered him a scholarship. He actually considered playing basketball in college because so few teams recruited him to play football. Good thing he stuck with football!
In college at Louisiana Tech, he was known for his great blocking ability and considerable speed for somebody his size. He was recognized as a first-team All-American, and was also a finalist in his senior year for the Outland Trophy, an award given to the best offensive lineman in college football.
Roaf began his professional career in 1993 with the Saints, and spent nine seasons with the team. He was named to seven Pro Bowls, and was voted as one of the players on the NFL 1990s All-Decade Team and also the 2000s All-Decade Team. He was the most awarded player in Saints history.
However, all was not roses, as in 2001 when Roaf suffered a season-ending injury. He was traded to the Kansas City Chiefs in March of 2002 for a 3rd round draft choice.
He then went on to play four more years with the Chiefs, and was selected to the Pro Bowl in each of those four seasons. The 11 Pro Bowl selections is tied with Anthony Munoz for the most ever at his position.