August 17, 2012; New Orleans, LA, USA; A New Orleans Saints helmet sit on a equipment box during the second half of a preseason game against the Jacksonville Jaguars at the Mercedes-Benz Superdome. The Jaguars defeated the Saints 27-24. Mandatory Credit: Derick E. Hingle-US PRESSWIRE
Long before we heard the sounds of “Drewwwww” for New Orleans Saints quarterback Drew Brees, the sounds of “Deuuuuce” were cheered for former running back Deuce McAllister in the Mercedes-Benz Superdome. And now that cheer will be enshrined forever in the Saints Hall of Fame.
McAllister was joined by owner Tom Benson as being the latest inducted and for the once franchise running back who currently holds the record for all-time leading rusher for the Saints, it was another in a series of rewards.
Selected in the first-round of the 2001 NFL Draft out of Ole Miss, McAllister took over as the Saints starting running back. He was the player that had been envisioned for the team and quickly became a fan favorite.
In October 2005, McAllister would tear the ACL in his right knee and would start the spiral downward for him on the roster. When he returned the next season, McAllister found himself suddenly in competition with newly drafted first-round running back Reggie Bush.
Not only having to share the backfield with Bush, McAllister faced adversity again when in September 2007 he tore the ACL in his left knee. Though he would return again the next season, it looked like his time was coming to a close.
One event that appeared to signify this was when on November 24, 2008, he scored a rushing touchdown setting a Saints record for all-time rushing touchdowns. Head coach Sean Payton emerged on the field to embrace McAllister in what would eventually be a farewell gesture.
McAllister was released in February 2009 and although he tried to stay in shape in case someone wanted his skills, nobody really showed any interest until January 2010. Ironically it would be the Saints who came calling.
In a classy gesture by the Saints, McAllister was re-signed to lead the team out onto the field during the NFC Divisional Playoffs against the Arizona Cardinals. He would eventually announce his retirement a short time later, but not before he was awarded a Super Bowl ring from that year.
Even after his retirement McAllister is a fixture on the Saints sidelines and in the city as well. Now he will be a permanent fixture in the Mercedes-Benz Superdome in the Saints Hall of Fame.