Best Saints By The Numbers: #26
All summer long, we’re going to list the best players in New Orleans Saints history to wear every number, 00-99.
Yesterday, we did #25.
The pick: Deuce McAllister
When deciding who is the best New Orleans Saints player to ever wear #26, the choice is limited to running backs Deuce McAllister, Joe Don Looney, Richard Harvey, Sr., Steve Rogers, Lamar Smith, and Fred McAfee, safties Jimmy Heidel and Jimmy Stewart, cornerbacks Willie Tullis, Corey Harris, and Mickey Washington, receiver Stacey Dawsey, and return man Alfred "Jitter" Fields.
The pick, which is pretty much a no-brainer, is McAllister, a running back, who played with the Saints for 9 seasons, from 2001-2009.
After finishing his college career at Ole Miss, where he set school records for carries (616), yards (3,060), rushing TDs (36), total touchdowns (41) points (246) and 100-yard games (13), McAllister was selected by the Saints in the first round of the 2001 NFL Draft.
A native of Ludlow, Mississippi, McAllister was the back-up to starter Ricky Williams in his rookie year, gaining 91 yards in only 16 attempts, before taking over as the starter in 2002, rushing for 1,388 yards and a career-high 13 touchdowns.
Showing 2002 was no fluke, McAllister gained a career-high 1,641 yards, which ranks as the second-best single-season yardage total in franchise history while scoring 8 touchdowns.
McAllister had two more 1,000-plus rushing yard seasons over the next three seasons, before retiring at the end of the 2008 season.
A two-time All-Pro, McAllister ended his nine-year career with 6,096 rushing yards and 49 touchdowns, which both rank first in franchise history.
The 6-foot-1, 230-pound McAllister was inducted into the Louisiana Sports Hall of Fame in 2012.