Best New Orleans Saints Draft Choices From FBS Schools: Kentucky
Who is the best player the New Orleans Saints ever drafted from the Kentucky Wildcats?
From May 1 until the start of the 2016 NFL season on September 11, we’re going to list the best players that the Saints ever drafted from all 128 FBS schools, as of 2015.
Of course, there are a number of schools, including Air Force, Appalachian St., Arizona, Army, Baylor, Boise St., Bowling Green, Buffalo, Central Florida, Central Michigan, East Carolina, FAU, FIU, Hawaii, and South Alabama, in which the Saints have never drafted a player.
Yesterday, we looked at the best player the Saints ever drafted from Kent St.
Today, we spotlight the best player the Saints ever drafted from Kentucky.
When it comes to selecting the best player the Saints ever drafted from Kentucky, the choice is between defensive lineman Jon Dumbauld (1986), linebacker Joe Federspiel (1972), and linebacker Jim Kovach (1979).
The choice is going to be Federspiel, a linebacker, who played 9 years for the Saints, from 1972-1980.
For the better part of the entire decade of the 1970’s, Federspiel, a middle linebacker, was a solid force on a Saints defense that was anything but.
Selected by the Saints in the fourth round of the 1972 NFL Draft out of Kentucky, Federspiel went on to play nine years for club, starting 111 games, including five years of him starting every single game, from 1975-1979.
Since Federspiel played in an era where tackles weren’t recorded, it’s almost impossible to compare him to past, or present players, but he was one of the bright spots on the Saints’ defenses of the 70’s.
During his time in New Orleans (1972-80), the Saints never had a winning season with Federspiel on the roster, going a combined 29-88-1, including the dismal 1-15 season of 1980.
Federspiel was a consistent, solid player though, who was well-respected by teammates and opponents alike.
The 63-year old Federspiel was inducted into the Saints Hall of fame in 1993.
Federspiel played one year with the Baltimore Colts in 1981, before joining the Chicago Blitz of the USFL in 1983, where he played one year.
After retiring as a player, Federspiel worked as an umpire on SEC football officiating crews.
Federspiel, who works in the insurance industry in Lexington, Kentucky, has a son, Mike, who played for the WKU Hilltoppers.