Saints announce free agent signings, local Baton Rouge feel to the class
NEW ORLEANS - The New Orleans Saints followed up their 2020 Draft class with a hefty signing of free agents, including a pair of players who have Baton Rouge roots.
Linemen Adrian Magee from LSU and Malcolm Roach from Texas both have ties to Baton Rouge and now will try to find a role with the professional team in their home state.
Magee was an offensive guard on the National Championship LSU Tiger football team and Roach played his high school football at Madison Prep before departing for Austin and the Texas Longhorns.
The Saints traded a number of their picks in the 2020 NFL Draft, but appear to have gotten the quality player they wanted when their turn did come around either via slot or moving up in the draft making trades for a higher pick.
Here is a write-up from the Saints on each of their 13 free agent additions:
Joe Bachie – Linebacker, Michigan State (6-2, 231): Bachie was a four-year letterman and two-time team captain for the Spartans. The three-year starting middle linebacker played in 40 career games with 34 starts, recording 285 tackles, 27.5 tackles for loss, eight sacks, five interceptions, 11 passes defensed, five forced fumbles and two fumble recoveries. As a senior in 2019, he was a third-team All-Big Ten (media) selection, as he ranked fifth on the team with 71 tackles in eight games, all starts, adding 8.5 tackles for loss, 3.5 sacks, four passes defensed and one interception. As a junior in 2018, Bachie earned first-team All-Big Ten honors from conference coaches and ESPN and was named his team’s most outstanding defensive player as he started all 13 games and led the team with 102 tackles.
Marquez Callaway – Wide receiver, Tennessee (6-2, 204): Callaway was a four-year letterman for the Volunteers who appeared in 42 games with 35 starts and posted career totals of 92 receptions for 1,646 yards (17.9 avg.) and 13 touchdowns and returned 40 punts for 5,543 yards and three touchdowns. As a senior in 2019, he started all 13 games, catching 30 passes for 635 yards (21.2 avg.) with six touchdowns, tying for first in the Southeastern Conference and fourth in the nation in yards per catch (21.2 avg.). The Warner-Robins, Ga. native was a second-team All-SEC coaches selection as a return specialist, bringing back 11 punts for 154 yards (11.8 avg.) and one 65-yard touchdown return against South Carolina.
Blake Gillikin – Punter, Penn State (6-2, 196): Gillikin is tied for No. 2 on Penn State’s career punting average charts (43.03 avg.). He landed 53 career punts downed inside the opponent’s ten-yard line (seven in 2016, 18 in 2017, 12 in 2018, 15 in 2019) and is the only player in program history with seven punts of 65 or more yards. In 2019, the special teams captain and Smyrna, Ga. native averaged 42.2 yards per punt as he was selected All-Big Ten honorable mention by the conference coaches and media and a CoSIDA Academic All-American first team for the second consecutive year.
Juwan Johnson – Wide receiver, Oregon (6-4, 231): The Glassboro, N.J. native played at Penn State from 2016-18 and at Oregon as a graduate transfer in 2019 for his final college season. In four college seasons, he played in 47 games and recorded 111 receptions for 1,590 yards and six touchdowns. In 2019, played in the final ten games for the Ducks after missing the first four with injuries and recorded 30 receptions for 467 yards (15.6 avg.) and six touchdowns, finishing second on the team with eight grabs over 20 yards.
Tony Jones Jr. – Running back, Notre Dame (5-11, 224): Jones was a four-year letterman for Notre Dame, who played three years. In 2019, he started 12 games on the season, rushing for 857 yards and six touchdowns as he became the tenth player in school history with five or more 100-yard rushing games in one season. He rumbled for an 84-yard touchdown in the Camping World Bowl victory over Iowa State, the longest rush in Notre Dame’s bowl history and Camping World Bowl history. The St. Petersburg, Fla. native prepped at IMG Academy in Bradenton, Fla., where he was a teammate of first round draft pick Cesar Ruiz.
Adrian Magee – Offensive Lineman, Louisiana State (6-4, 343): This former Franklinton High School standout was a four-year letterman at LSU, starting at three different positions on the offensive line during his career. He played in 40 career games, starting 20 at left guard, left tackle and right tackle. In 2019, he opened all 15 contests on the offensive line for the national champions, starting 13 at left guard and two at left tackle.
Darrin Paulo – Tackle, Utah (6-5, 315): Paulo was a four-year letterman at Utah, playing in 53 career games, including 41 contests on the offensive line with 40 starts and was a three-time Pac-12 selection. In 2019, the Sacramento, Calif. native was a Pac-12 All-Conference first-team selection as he started at left tackle in all 14 games and the Utes finished the season ranked No. 1 in the conference in rushing offense (204.1 ypg.).
Malcolm Roach – Defensive lineman, Texas (6-3, 290): Roach is a Baton Rouge native who prepped at Madison Academy, where he played for his father, Mike Roach. Roach was a four-year letterman for the longhorns. He enjoyed his most productive season as a senior in 2019, when he was voted a team captain. Roach played in 13 games with 12 starts and made 40 tackles, including nine tackles for a loss, three sacks, one pass defensed and one blocked kick.
Jordan Steckler – Guard/Center, Northern Illinois (6-5, 305): A four-year contributor at every position except for center at Northern Illinois, opening seven games at right guard as a redshirt freshman, serving as the left guard starter in 2017 and taking over right tackle from 2018-19. The Two Rivers, Wis. native started every game at right tackle as a redshirt senior in 2019, participating in virtually every offensive snap, where was a consensus first-team All-MAC selection.
Calvin Throckmorton – Offensive Lineman, Oregon (6-5, 311): Throckmorton made 52 consecutive starts (right tackle-41, left tackle-5, right guard-3, center-3) for the Ducks and allowed just one sack over his final 3,224 snaps (45 contests). The Bellevue, Wash. native was a second-team All-American as a senior in 2019 as he opened 12 games at right tackle and two at center. He was also a second-team All-American in 2018, as he was the only FBS player to start at four different (right tackle, center, right guard and left tackle) offensive line positions.
Keith Washington Jr. – Cornerback, West Virginia (6-1, 180): The Prattville, Ala. Native played two seasons at West Virginia after the 2017 campaign at Copiah-Lincoln (Miss.) Community College and 2015-16 at Michigan. In three FBS seasons, he’s played in 31 games with 17 starts and posted 66 tackles (52 solo), 2.5 tackles for loss, 1.5 sacks, six interceptions, 18 passes defensed, one forced fumble and one fumble recovery. In 2019, he started all ten games he appeared in for the Mountaineers and posted 23 stops (17 solo), three picks, nine passes defensed and a fumble recovery.
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