Marques Colston seemed to come out of nowhere in his rookie season. In fact, he came out of Hofstra.
That might be the same as nowhere these days now that the football program at Hofstra has been dismantled, but Colston still remembers that Hofstra was one of the only places that gave him a chance.
"Coming out of high school, I was 175 or 180 pounds," the Saints wide receiver said at Media Day. "I wasn’t very polished as a receiver or a player. Hofstra ended up offering me a scholarship and gave me an opportunity to grow at a rate that I needed to grow. I just continued to work to get better as a player. Hopefully I’ve shown you guys what I am capable of doing.”
Colston said that he was offered a scholarship to Missouri. It was something he considered but ultimately turned down.
“They came in late," he said of the Missouri offer. "They offered me [a scholarship] after I had already committed to Hofstra. I stuck with my original decision ... For me it was important to play. I knew coming into Hofstra, I would get an opportunity to play a lot earlier. I took that opportunity.”
Colston wore 89 in college (when I covered him, by the way) and said he wanted to wear that number with the Saints when he showed up as a seventh-round draft pick. Instead he was given jersey No. 12. He did not take that as a good sign.
"It was one of those things where you just come in and they give you a number," he said, admitting that he saw it as a "bubble number" meaning that his spot on the roster was anything but secure.. "After training camp I decided to stick with it.”
Drew Brees has said that he had almost instant confidence in Colston from the time he arrived with the Saints. But that wasn't Colston recollection.
“I felt exactly the opposite," he said. "I felt terrible coming out of minicamp. To be honest, I really didn’t think that I was going to be on the roster too much longer. I got into training camp and was able to do some good things. I’m sitting here now.”
Saints GM Mickey Loomis said the Saints felt good taking Colston with that seventh-roud pick ... but not that good.
"In our building we would have said to you, ‘Hey, this is a guy who we can spend a few years with, maybe on the practice squad, and develop into a guy who can contribute to our team,’" Loomis said. "No one in our building would have said, ‘Hey, this guy is going to be an 80-catch, 1,000-yard receiver in Year One.’ ”