Best Saints By The Numbers: #30
All summer long, we’re going to list the best players in New Orleans Saints history to wear every number, 00-99.
The pick: Wayne Wilson
When deciding who is the best New Orleans Saints player to ever wear #30, the choice is limited running backs Les Kelly, Bill Harris, Wayne Wilson, Vincent Alexander, Cedric Smith, Chad Morton, Fred McAfee, and Lynell Hamilton, receiver Bob Shaw, and defensive backs Ernie Jackson, Anthony Newman, and Je'Rod Cherry.
The pick here is going to be Wilson, who played running back/fullback for the Saints for seven full seasons, from 1979-1985, as well as part of the 1986 season.
Born in 1957 in Montgomery County, Maryland, Wilson went on to play college football at Shepherd College (now Shepherd University) in Shepherdstown, West Virginia, before being drafted by the Houston Oilers in the 12th round of the 1979 NFL Draft.
After being released by the Oilers, Wilson caught on with the Saints, where he played for next seven-plus seasons, rushing the football 658 times for 2,462 yards and 16 touchdowns, while catching 170 passes for 1,517 yards and 14 touchdowns, along with 68 kickoff returns for 1,565 yards.
Wilson had his best season in a New Orleans uniform in 1983, when he rushed for 787 yards and nine touchdowns, combining with George Rogers to rush for 1,931 yards and 14 touchdowns.
In 1985, Wilson led the team in rushing, with 645 yards on 168 carries.
The Saints released Wilson five games into the 1986 season, after which time he signed with the Minnesota Vikings, where he played the remainder of the year.
In 1987, Wilson ended his career with the Washington Redskins.
Over 111 career games, Wilson rushed for 2,531 yards and 18 touchdowns, along with 1,533 receiving yards and 14 touchdowns.
Currently, Wilson serves as a receivers coach for Shepherd.