the Italian issue

since they walk out the door and never know what the day may hold.” By the time he was in seventh grade, it was apparent to family and coaches alike that McAllister’s talents and strong athletic genes would lead him to don an athlete’s uniform instead of a marshal’s. “I never played PeeWee Football,just played in the yard and around the neighborhood, but everyone was saying I could be pretty good if I concentrated on sports,” says McAllister, with understated modesty. He earned the nickname “Deuce” from one of his coaches in middle school. “I wore the number two back then, and my coach also said I always reminded him of David ‘Deuce’ Palmer, the great Alabama player who played in the NFL. I guess the name just stuck,” recalls McAllister. By his early high school years, it was clear he could attend college on an athletic scholarship. A standout athlete at Morton High School, in a town of the same name east of Jackson, McAllister lettered in track, basketball and football, and was an honor roll student from kindergarten through his high school graduation. He was student body president his senior year and finished fifth overall in his graduation class. “I played all kinds of sports, and basketball was my favorite,” says McAllister. “I had my heart set on playing basketball in college, but it was apparent to everyone around me that the path as an athlete at the university level and possibly beyond would be easier in the sport of football. No NBA team wants 6’2” point guards that were my size.” McAllister was awarded a football scholar- ship to the University of Mississippi where he earned a degree in criminal justice, with a minor in English, and where he had a record- breaking career as a Rebel at the running back spot.McAllister is the only player in the history of Ole Miss to record three seasons with at least 1,000 all-purpose yards and fin- ished his college football career with records for carries (616), yards gained (3,060), rush- ing touchdowns (36), total touchdowns (41), points (246) and 100 yard games (13).Those statistics earned the running back the 1999 Conerly Trophy, an award given annually to the best college football player in the state of Mississippi by the Mississippi Sports Hall of Fame. Not a bad set of stats for a fellow who loved playing basketball more.

A New Calling by Mary Beth Romig + photo by David Thompson

W hen Deuce McAllister filled in for Hokie Gajan as the color commentator at the New Orleans Saints football game late last season on WWL Radio, he did not know that as a result of tragic circumstances he would be sitting in that seat full-time, next to long-time play-by-play announcer Jim Henderson. In fact, if you asked McAllister as a young boy where he thought he would be at this stage in his life it would be wearing the uniform of a United States Marshal.

Born Dulymus Jerod McAllister in Jackson, Mississippi, and raised much of his young life in the nearby town of Ludlow, the football star turned entrepreneur turned radio person- ality grew up in a family with a rich tradition in law enforcement and military service. “I have cousins that are state troopers, detectives and sheriffs, and some who served in the military overseas and back here at home,” he says, adding, “I have such great respect for all those people, especially



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