Former Hoosiers Help Bring the Superbowl to New Orleans

Bleacher ReportCorrespondent IFebruary 8, 2010

MIAMI GARDENS, FL - FEBRUARY 07:  Tracy Porter #22 of the New Orleans Saints returns a interception for touchdown against of the Indianapolis Colts during Super Bowl XLIV on February 7, 2010 at Sun Life Stadium in Miami Gardens, Florida.  (Photo by Ezra Shaw/Getty Images)
Ezra Shaw/Getty Images

After a great career at Indiana University, Tracy Porter was drafted in the second round (40th overall) of the 2008 draft by the New Orleans Saints.

Before he was picked, Saints coach Sean Payton called Porter to let him know they were going to draft him. Said Porter, "it was the happiest day of my life."

And last night, the Port Allen, Louisiana native etched his name in his hometown Saints lore, with a 74 yard interception return to give the Gold and Black their first ever Super Bowl championship.

Porter finished with four tackles, a pass deflection, and the interception that "Who Dat Nation" will be talking about for a long time.

Adding a twist to this, is that Porter did this against the Indianapolis Colts, the team from just an hour north of where he spent four years of his life improving his game, so that one day, he could maybe play for his boyhood team, the New Orleans Saints.

And adding to that twist, was the play of Courtney Roby, an Indianapolis native, whose kick returns helped give the Saints good field position, and his special teams play held the Colts deep in their own territory after downing a punt.

Roby returned four kicks for 102 yards, with a long of 34 yards.

Roby also played four years for the Hoosiers at Indiana University, finishing his career there with the most receptions (170) and receiving yards (2524) in school history.

Roby was then picked in the third round, 68th overall by the Tennessee Titans in the 2005 NFL Draft.

He then bounced around between the Titans, Cincinnati Bengals, and even his hometown Indianapolis Colts, before signing with the New Orleans Saints on October 16, 2008.

Porter's journey to the NFL wasn't filled with as many accolades.

He didn't start playing high school football till his junior season in high school, which scared off college coaches from taking a chance on the late bloomer.

But former Indiana coach Gerry DiNardo saw some potential that no one else saw, leading to the recruiting site to give Porter a zero star rating.

Porter responded to his critics, playing in his first game as a true freshman in 2004, and finishing with four pass breakups, a solo tackle, and two interceptions — the second one he returned for 96 yards and the score.

After four years with the Hoosiers and helping them bring the "Old Oaken Bucket" back to Bloomington, as well as returning them to their first Bowl game (The 2007 Bowl vs. Oklahoma State) since 1993, Porter was ready for the next level.

Once he was drafted by the Saints, he played the first five games of the season, before going down for the season with a wrist injury that landed him on injury reserve.

And now, in his sophomore season, the injury bug struck again, causing him to miss four weeks on the sidelines with a sprained MCL in his left knee, although he wasn't out for the season.

Porter returned to the field in Week 15, and his big performances in the last two rounds of the playoffs have given the New Orleans Saints their first Super Bowl championship in 43 years of existence in the NFL.