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The following is a news release from McNeese State University Sports Information:
Former New Orleans Saints great and Louisiana Sports Hall of Famer Deuce McAllister will headline this year's McNeese Athletic Foundation annual "Denim and Diamonds" fundraiser.
The event will take place on Thursday, March 7, in Burton Coliseum beginning with a 6 p.m. cocktail and silent auction hour. Dinner and the presentation of McAllister will begin at 7 with a live auction at 7:45.
Inducted into the Louisiana Sports Hall of Fame in 2012, McAllister was unquestionably one of the most popular players in New Orleans Saints history as he managed to become the franchise's all-time leading rusher despite an injury-plagued career that included numerous surgeries to his knees. He played in just 97 games, but he rushed for 6,096 yards -- smashing the old mark of 4,267 yards by George Rogers -- and is also their all-time leader in rushing touchdowns (49) and total TDs (55).
He rushed for more than 1,000 yards in each of the four seasons the powerful 6-foot-1, 232-pounder played in more than 10 games. The former Ole Miss standout, a first-round pick in the 2001 draft (23rd overall), became a starter in 2002 after Ricky Williams was traded to Miami and established himself as one of the NFL's top workhorse backs as he rushed for 1,388 yards and 13 TDs that year and 1,641 yards and eight TDs in 2003 -- giving him two-year totals of 3,029 yards and 21 scores.
A capable receiver as well, he caught 47 passes for 352 yards and three TDs in 2002 and had 69 receptions for 868 yards in '03. That gave him a total of 3,897 yards from scrimmage 24 TDs in those two years, which resulted in two Pro Bowl invites.
Unfortunately, his promising career was cut short by knee injuries although he rushed for 1,074 yards and nine TDs in 2004 and 1,057 yards and 10 TDs in 2006 when he helped the Saints, who won the NFC South title under rookie coach Sean Payton, reach the NFC Championship game for the first time.
In college, he set six records at Ole Miss, including marks for rushing yards (3,331) and TDs (40)
He was also community-minded as he raised money for and devoted much of his time away from the field to his Catch 22 Foundation to help underprivileged children in the Gulf South region.
Tickets for the event are $60 each or you can purchase a table of eight for $450. Tickets can be purchased at the McNeese ticket office or by calling 562-4141.
The McNeese Athletic Foundation's sole purpose is to generate donation-related income to support athletic programs and scholarships for student-athletes. Pam McGough serves as coordinator of athletic development for the foundation and as coordinator of the fundraiser.