Will Smith to be honored in Saints Hall of Fame, Hokie Gajan to receive Joe Gemelli award
NEW ORLEANS- Former Saints football player Will Smith will be honored by the Saints Hall of Fame and Hokie Gajan, also a former Saints player and legendary analyst, will receive the Joe Gemelli Fleur de Lis award.
It was announced on Tuesday that the two former Saints player are to be honored.
Smith will be inducted in the Saints Hall of Fame 2016 and Gajan will receive the the Joe Gemelli Fleur de Lis Award for his “vast contributions to the New Orleans Saints organization.”
Both men passed away in April. Smith was shot and killed after a car accident confrontation and Gajan passed after his battle with cancer. Smith was 34 and Gajan was 56.
Saints Executive Vice-President and General Manager Mickey Loomis spoke about each of the men and their upcoming honors.
“When we drafted Will Smith in 2004, defensive end was not a pressing need for our team," Saints Executive Vice-President and General Manager Mickey Loomis said. "Will had the talent, leadership ability and work ethic that you look for in a player.”
Loomis also said that Gajan, who was picked in the 10th round of the 1981 NFL draft, will always have “a special bond” with the Saints.
“First as a player, then as a college scout and later as a broadcaster, Hokie Gajan always had a special bond both with everyone he touched with the New Orleans Saints as well as our fan base,” Loomis said.
“As both a fullback and as an area scout, those positions placed a premium on hard work and loyalty, which I think are two hallmarks of Hokie. This recognition is certainly deserved considering his outstanding contributions to our organization and community,” Loomis said.
Both Gajan and Smith were elected by the media selection committee of the Saints Hall of Fame in early March, prior to their passing.