Local running backs who made it to the NFL

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Much anticipation fills fans of Leonard Fournette, who is ready to embark upon his NFL career. Many feel that he could be the best football player the New Orleans Metro area ever produced.

There have been many superb players who fine-tuned their skills on local playgrounds and prep football fields in the Big Easy.

There are a few you’ll surely recall to memory, but I can assure you that many more have been overlooked. So here we go. Check out this list of New Orleans prep stars who made it to the League..

Eddie Price
Warren Easton-Tulane-NY Giants

Appeared in 3 Pro Bowls
2nd round pick of the Giants in 1950.
First Tulane runner to exceed 1,000 yards in one season (1,178 yds. in 1948).
Finished Green Wave career with 3,095 yards.
Led Giants in rushing 4 out of 6 seasons there.
National Football Foundation Hall of Fame.

Terry Robiskie
Second Ward-LSU-Oakland/Miami

5 years in NFL.
First RB to exceed 1,000 yds. in one season at LSU.
First Tiger runner to reach 2,500 career yards.

Brian Taylor
St. Augustine-Oregon State-Buffalo/Chicago

Split time between DB and RB in NFL.

Garry James
West Jeff-LSU-Detroit

2nd round pick of Lions in 1986.
Finished NFL days with 1,510 rushing yards, 816 receiving and 14 TD’s.

Matt Forte
Slidell-Tulane-Chicago/NY Jets

9,415 career rushing with 52 touchdowns
517 catches for another 4.379 yards and 20 scores.
Expected to add to those numbers in 2017.

Robert “Fat Rob” Kelley
O.P. Walker-Tulane-Redskins

Battering ram earned a roster spot as a rookie with Redskins in ’16 as free agent
Notched 704 yards (4.2 yds/carry) and 6 TD’s
Scored 3 touchdowns in game vs. Packers.

Jonathan Wells
John Curtis-Ohio State-Texans

3 state titles with Curtis.
Limited to 15 games as a Buckeye but managed 2,381 yards and 27 touchdowns
Ohio State 2001 team MVP.
Teammate of ex-Saint DE Will Smith.
Spent 4 years with Texans.

Elvis Joseph
John Ehret-ULL/Southern-Jacksonville

Born in Barbados, first of his nationally to play in NFL.
3 seasons with Jags with career 4.3 yards per carry average.

Jermaine “Gumbo” Fazande
John Ehret-Oklahoma-San Diego

2nd round of Chargers in 1999.
As 260 pound fullback for Sooners in college had 151 yards (8.3 yds per carry) against Louisville in 1997.

Marshall Faulk
Carver-San Diego State-Indianapolis/STL Rams

NFL career includes 12,280 rushing yards and 100 touchdowns with 36 more receiving scores. 8 time Pro Bowler, NFL MVP 2000 and 3 time NFL MVP. NFL Hall of Famer..

Sean Jackson
St. Aug-Florida State-Houston Oilers

Power back with speed.
Had 2,128 career rushing yards and 13 TD’s for Seminoles.
Added 48 catches for another 277 yards and 3 scores.

Hank Lauricella
Holy Cross-Tennessee-Dallas Texans (NFL)

Ccatback was called “Mr. Everything” for Volunteers.
Runner up for 1951 Heisman Trophy.
Led Tennessee to back to back (1950-’51) National Championships.

Ray Coates
Jesuit-LSU-NY Giants

Spent 1948-’49 in NY. Played football and baseball at LSU. LSU Cotton Bowl MVP in 1947.

Reggie Dupard
John Curtis-SMU-New England

The 5’11-205 was a major part of a 42-1 record and 3 state titles at John Curtis. 1st round pick of New England in 1986. All American at SMU and ONLY player ( not Eric Dickerson or Craig James) to post 3 consecutive 1,000 yard rushing seasons for Ponies.

Gill Fenerty
Jesuit-LSU/ Holy Cross-Saints

Had 337 yards in single game at Holy Cross.
Scored 6 touchdowns on 18 carries against Columbia.
Played 2 seasons with Saints, tallied 832 yards and 5 touchdowns.
With CFL’s Toronto Argonauts for 2 years.

Ben Jarvis Green-Ellis
St. Aug-Indiana-Ole Miss-New England/Cincinnati

Only 2nd runner in Ole Miss history to record consecutive 1,000 yard rushing seasons.
Gerry DiNardo was coach with Hoosiers.
NFL career produced 3,914 yards and 42 TD’s.

LeRoy Hoard
St. Aug-Michigan-Browns/ Ravens/ Panthers/ Vikings

1989 Rose Bowl MVP with 146 yards and 2 scores vs. USC.
Pro Bowler in 1994.
Scored 51 NFL touchdowns as premier goalline back.

Chris Howard
Curtis-Michigan-Jax/ Oakland/ Denver

1997 National Championion at Michigan.

Rondell Mealey

Had 222 yards and 2 touchdowns for Tigers in 27-9 win over Notre Dame in Independence Bowl.

Alfred Blue

Still in the NFL, he has accumulated 1,646 yards and 5 touchdowns plus 42 catches for 262 yards and pair of scores.
Made 7 starts at LSU and managed 1,253 yards with 11 touchdowns.
Career high was 123 yards in 2012 vs. North Texas.
In senior season at Hahnville, he totaled 1,695 yards and 25 touchdowns.

Joe Heap
Holy Cross-Notre Dame-NY Giants

1st round pick of Giants in 1955.
A 3 time Academic All American at Notre Dame.
Scored 55 touchdowns during prep career at Holy Cross.
Terrific receiver for Fightin’ Irish with 1,137 receiving yards on 78 catches.

Virgil Robinson
Landry High-Grambling-Saints

Drafted by Packers but spent 2 seasons (1971-72) with Saints.

Alan Ricard

Won Super Bowl XXXV with Ravens.
Played 9 seasons in NFL and made 2003 Pro Bowl.

Vincent Alexander
Covington-Southern Miss-Saints

Led Golden Eagles is rushing 1984 and ’86.
Over 2,500 career rushing yards.
Had 153 yards vs. ULL in 1983 and 149 yards vs. ULM in ’86.

Kendell Bussey
Shaw-Colorado-ULM-Oakland/ Vikings

Steve Van Buren
Warren Easton-LSU-Eagles
1st round for Eagles in 1944 spent 8 seasons in NFL.
Two-time NFL Champion.
NFL Player of Year in ’49.
Paced league in rushing 4 times and scoring 4 times.
Career included 5,860 yards with 69 touchdowns and 9 interceptions on defense.
At LSU led nation in points scored.
6 time Pro Bowler.
Jersey #15 retired by Eagles.

Joe McKnight
John Curtis-USC-Jets
The nation’s No. 1 prospect in the 2007 class.
While at Curtis, he totaled 1,928 all purpose yards with 30 touchdowns in 2006, leading the Patriots to their third consecutive state title. He also ran a 10.4 hundred meters.
At USC, he racked up 2,213 rushing yards (6.4 yards per carry) and 13 scores in his career and tacked on 66 catches for 542 yards and two touchdowns.
Jets took him in the 4th round of the 2010 draft.

Wayne Reese
Xavier Prep-Tennessee State-Rams
Teamed with future NFL players Eldridge Dickey, Claude Humphrey and Joe Gilliam in college.
Coached by John Merritt.
Made his way into Rams camp in 1970 before a knee injury ended his career.

Kenny Newfield
St. Aloyisuis-LSU-Raiders
All-state runner paced the Tigers’ running attack in 1968 with 441 yards averaging 4.2 yards per carry.
Went to Oakland as an undrafted free agent in 1969.

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Rene Nadeau

Rene Nadeau


Born and raised in the New Orleans area, Rene Nadeau has been involved in sports ever since his earliest memories. Rene played basketball, wrestled, ran track, and was an All-District running back in football at John F. Kennedy High School. He went on to be a member of the LSU football program, developing a passion for the game in even greater fashion while in Baton Rouge. Nadeau played semi-pro football for two seasons with the New Orleans Blue Knights. He has been a prominent sports figure in the New Orleans area for 29 years. Nadeau currently serves as a color…

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