METAIRIE — Joe Horn would like to officially pass the torch.
Marques Colston is now the best wide receiver in New Orleans Saints history.
“I hope he breaks every record I’ve ever had,” said Horn, the former holder of the Saints’ career receiving touchdowns mark. “Anybody else I probably would have had a little problem with, but not Marques because he’s such a good person.
“He’s going to wind up in the Hall of Fame. And I don’t mean the Saints’ Hall of Fame. I mean Canton.”
Well, we’ll see.
Colston has yet to be selected for his first Pro Bowl.
But with his three scoring catches in the Oct. 7 victory against San Diego, Colston eclipsed Horn for the top spot on the Saints’ all-time touchdown receptions list with 52. He needs just three more to catch Deuce McAllister for the overall team touchdown record, with many other records in easy reach.
“When Marques got those three the other night, I was mentally hugging him from the stands,” Horn said. “I wanted to get down there and high five him.”
Now in his seventh season, Colston is on track to surpass Eric Martin as the career receiving yardage leader early next year, although more games like the nine catches for 131 yard-output he had against the Chargers might get him there by the end of this season.
Colston needs only 56 catches over the remaining 11 games to top Martin, who was with the Saints for eight years, for career receptions this season. Only teammate Devery Henderson’s 18.0 career-yards-per-reception average appears out of reach for Colston, who has averaged 14.0 in his career.
Not bad for a seventh-round draft pick out of Hofstra, a program so far under the radar the school has since dropped football.
“That’s just about like me,” said Horn, whose collegiate career ended at Itawamba (Miss.) Junior College. “But that speaks volumes about the hard work Marques has put in.
“Whenever you practice to try to be the best in the world, it shows.”
Colston’s rookie season of 2006 was Horn’s last with the Saints, one that would see him exit with 7,622 yards in seven seasons, 938 more than Colston for second on the Saints career list.
And that was with Jeff Blake, Aaron Brooks and Todd Bauman as his quarterbacks until Drew Brees’ arrival in 2006 as well.
“It helps your résumé to have a Hall of Fame quarterback throwing you the ball,” Horn said. “But Marques came in wanting to learn from everyone.
“He allowed me not just to talk to him about becoming a great receiver, but showing him, too. I think that’s what I admire most about him.”
While Colston has yet to much receive league-wide recognition since being All-Rookie in 2006, it’s worth noting since he’s entered the league, he is fourth in most touchdown receptions and eighth in receiving yards.
And while Brees has an ample number of go-to guys, it’s worth noting Colston is tied for fourth in the league in third-down receptions this season after finishing fifth a year ago.
“Marques is really just getting started,” Horn said. “A lot what determines how long you last in this league is who you are inside your heart.
“It goes beyond Super Bowls and TD catches. Marques has never forgotten where he came from.”