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Saints Flashback, Where Are They Now: Fullback Ray Zellars

Photo by Al Bello/Allsport/Getty Images

Ray Zellars played fullback for the Saints from 1995-1998. Growing up, he was more than just a fullback, playing 6 different positions in his younger football days.

Zellars prepped at Oliver High in PIttsburgh, spreading his talent all over the field. Ray played quarterback, tailback, linebacker, cornerback, punter, and kicker. He led the Oliver high Bears to a city league championship in 1991, catching the eyes of the top college football programs around the Country, including Notre Dame.

Zellars signed with the Fighting Irish, replacing Hall of Famer Jerome Bettis. He started at fullback in 1993 (Notre Dame ranked #1 that season) and 1994, putting together a resume that impressed coach Jim Mora and the New Orleans Saints.

New Orleans drafted Zellars in the 2nd round (44th overall), plugging him in at fullback. At 5’11, 233 pounds, he was a bruiser who embraced contact.

When Mike Ditka took over as head coach in 1997, he utilized Zellars as a ball handler.

 

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Ray enjoyed his best season that year, starting all 16 games and rushing for 552 yards and 4 touchdowns on 156 carries, while catching 31 passes for 263 yards. It was also the most healthy season of his playing career.

Zellars’ physical style of running led to various injuries, both at Notre Dame and in the NFL.

He started 7 games the following season, his last in the NFL.

Following his playing career, Zellars stayed close to the game, becoming a coach, eventually joining the staff at Oliver High. He remains in the Pittsburgh area, currently serving as the running backs coach at Duquesne University.

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