this is a discussion within the Saints Community Forum; By Nick Deriso firstname.lastname@example.org "It happened," Marques Colston was saying this week, "so fast." Getting drafted. Making the team. Earning a starting spot. Wowing the critics. Helping the woebegone New Orleans Saints to a first-ever NFC Championship Game. Just like ...
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|06-14-2007, 04:56 AM||#1|
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Saints' Colston is both big-time and small-town..........
By Nick Deriso
"It happened," Marques Colston was saying this week, "so fast."
Getting drafted. Making the team. Earning a starting spot. Wowing the critics. Helping the woebegone New Orleans Saints to a first-ever NFC Championship Game.
Just like that, this small-school reach became a big-time star.
Not much has changed for the Susquehanna Township, Penn., product, though. Not really.
Colston was back home just last weekend, playing host to fundraiser for local foster children.
He found fame, but never lost his way. Even today, Colston is a bit uncomfortable in the white-hot spotlight.
"The way my story unfolded, it drew a lot of people in," he said, over the weekend, in an interview with his hometown paper — deftly downplaying what became one of the NFL's most intriguing storylines in '07.
Meet Marques Colston, a product of tiny Hofstra who many thought of as a throw-away pick — even, coming as he did, at No. 252 among 255 total players taken in the 2006 college draft.
Seventy catches — and Atlanta's signing of former Pro Bowler Joe Horn — later, and Colston is suddenly the Saints' No. 1 receiver.
Colston's transformation from I-AA sleeper to double-take superstar, however, is not quite complete.
Even now, he goes largely unrecognized — and that includes around his new adopted hometown of New Orleans.
"I'm cool with that," Colston said in an interview published by CBS SportsLine this week.
He'd rather talk about his parents' work with foster children, and a one-day fundraiser of his own that has turned into a weekend of activities —all with the occasionally uncomfortable Colston, front and center.
"This is about the only time when you see me putting my name out in front like this," he said. "This is so far out of my personality, but it's the right cause."
His mother Josie and late father James had worked with foster children throughout Colston's childhood, often sponsoring more than 25 kids in their Pennsylvania home.
"Just seeing what some of these kids don't have," he told The (Harrisburg, Pa.) Patriot-News, "touches me."
Left unanswered, however, is how so many high-priced scouts could have been so wrong about Colston.
Twenty-eight receivers were picked ahead of him, with half never playing a down in the NFL last year.
That left Colston to confound the expectations.
As steady on the field as off, the 6-4, 220-pound Colston impressed from the start — moving up the depth chart throughout the offseason then running away from Cleveland in the opener.
He hauled in four passes for 49 yards and a touchdown on that first day. All of them came on third downs — three for first downs, and the other for what would be New Orleans' only score.
"He's a good matchup on anybody man-to-man just because he's such a big target, and he's a guy I feel very confident throwing to," Saints quarterback Drew Brees has said. "Keep in mind that every cornerback that stands next to Colston is a small cornerback."
Even missing two games with an ankle injury, Colston would still lead all Saints receivers, collecting more than 1,000 receiving yards and eight scores.
He did it using impressive size and a canny ability to read coverages from back at Hofstra. He's said that his college offense relied on pro-set formations of four and five wide, giving him plenty of experience at seeing the whole field.
Over four seasons, he made 37 starts and 182 catches for 2,800 yards and 22 touchdowns. That included a career-high 70 receptions for 975 yards as a senior, when he was named All-Atlantic 10.
Remarkably, Colston would have more total yards, while averaging more per catch and per game as a pro rookie.
Still, as celebrated as his debut has become, off-season film work has illuminated some key areas for improvement, Colston said.
"I was physical, but after watching the film of myself, I wasn't as physical as I should have been," he said. "A lot of little stuff like that will make me better."
That's got to shake up Saints' opponents across the NFC South, and more than a few personnel departments who saw Colston sail under their radar.
Don't go looking for big changes from Colston, though. Not really.
"I'm trying not to allow myself to have peaks and valleys — keep it level as much as possible," he said, back during the season. "I'm just trying to be professional about it. You start taking things for more than they're worth, that's when you get in trouble."
"If this kid stay healthy for the entire season, he is almost guaranteed a spot in the Probowl. Colston has the talent and the mantality of an unstoppable force at receiver."
Last edited by blacksaint; 06-14-2007 at 04:58 AM..