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New Orleans Saints make big trades to draft UTSA's Marcus Davenport

Davenport has roots to new home in the Big Easy

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SAN ANTONIO – The New Orleans Saints traded up 13 spots -- including giving their 2019 first-round draft pick to the Green Bay Packers -- to get UTSA’s Marcus Davenport on their roster.

Davenport made history Thursday in Arlington becoming the first No. 1 draft pick -- at No. 14 overall -- to be from UTSA.

"It was crazy because at first I couldn’t hear him," Davenport said, recalling his phonecall from Saints general manager Mickey Loomis. "I was like. 'Everybody stop. Shhh, shh, shhh.' It was crazy 'cause I’m listening just thinking, 'Yes, yes, yes. Let’s do this."

His parents, along with former Stevens high school coach Darryl Hemphill, UTSA head coach Frank Wilson, and close friends Nate Gaines and Larry Stephens, were in attendance to witness the unforgettable moment.

"It’s one of the few times I’ve seen (my father) tear up,” Davenport said. "And my mom gave me a hug. But she had to walk away and then come back to give another."

His father, Ron Davenport, was emotional over his son’s new home because he once called it home too. He said he attended high school in New Orleans before he left to attend college and eventually join the military.

And that’s not Davenport's only connection to the Big Easy: Frank Wilson was born in New Orleans and later served as the director of athletics for the New Orleans Public School System in 2004.

"My people are from NOLA," Marcus Davenport said. "So I guess this is just a blessing."

The former Roadrunner also talked highly of his alma mater and said he knows there will be more first-round picks to come.

"We’re gonna keep growing. Let’s run… we’re runners," he said.

As for all of his fans here in San Antonio, Davenport said, "Y’all know what's up. I love y'all. UTSA/SA all day.”

But looking ahead to his new home-to-be, one reporter asked if Davenport ever thought his name would be on a Saints jersey.

He smiled and said, "Actually, my dad and I, we have custom jerseys. So my name is on a Saints jersey. But I did not imagine this."

It's safe to say Davenport will now have a couple more custom jerseys to add to that collection. 

But before the cameras left Davenport to celebrate, he mentioned that a few days ago he and coach Wilson were talking.

"I just had to stop and say thank you (to him). 'Thank you for this dream, this vision. And thank you for bringing all of this together,'" he said.