New Orleans welcomed home yesterday with open arms – and a key to the city – at George Washington Carver High School (GWCHS) in the Upper Ninth Ward as the Pro Football Hall of Fame and Allstate Insurance Company
brought the Hometown Hall of Famer™ program to “The Big Easy.”
This marked the Hometown Hall of Famer™ program’s first outdoor event, as the school was demolished during Hurricane Katrina and classes are currently being held in modular facilities. An audience of around 200 community members, students, faculty and staff gathered under tents to honor Faulk, including special guests from the school board and New Orleans City Council.
Prior to the official start of the ceremony, Faulk took the time to meet privately with the GWCHS football team. He spoke to the team about success in life, making the right choices and being proud of their community. Faulk gave the team a chance to hear the story of his path to success and encouraged them to strive for greatness as well.
GWCHS alumnus Charles Webb welcomed the audience and spoke to how honored the school was to host this special event. Faulk’s agent and longtime friend, Rocky Arceneaux, served as the ceremony’s plaque presenter and told the audience about Faulk’s numerable off-the-field accomplishments. Arceneaux also served as Faulk’s Hall of Fame presenter when the running back was inducted into the Pro Football Hall of Fame in 2011.
Arceneaux shared a story of how Faulk thought of his high school when he was negotiating his contract with Nike, sending trucks full of Nike football gear to his alma mater and former team underscoring Faulk’s passion for his former school and community.
Following the plaque unveiling, Faulk took to the podium to address the community in attendance. Humbled and gracious for the ceremony and plaque, Faulk spoke directly to his fellow New Orleanians about the pride he carries with him for his hometown and alma mater.
“I often times step back and think about how my football career began here, in New Orleans, as a Carver Senior High School Ram and led me to becoming a Hall of Famer for the St. Louis Rams.” The community embraced Faulk’s remarks and cheered for his full-circle career.
“New Orleans has become a second hometown to Allstate with the Sugar Bowl sponsorship and now with the ‘Hometown Hall of Famer™ plaque that will live in the community permanently,” said Alex Bellow, local Allstate agent.
“We are so proud to be able to honor and the roots of his legendary career right here in the place where it all began.”
Additional event participants included Reverend Willie Calhoun, a GWCHS alumnus, Allstate’s Alex Bellow, a New Orleans agent and Brock Richards of Pro Football Hall of Fame Enterprises.
"This was our 38th plaque presentation, and like all the others it was a unique and uplifting experience for the students and the community. The Pro Football Hall of Fame is proud to honor George Washington Carver High School with ’s historic Hometown plaque” said Richards.
As a standout student-athlete at George Washington Carver High School, Faulk excelled at four different positions including quarterback, running back, wide receiver and cornerback, also lettering in track and field. Faulk began his collegiate running back career at San Diego State University where he was a three-time All-American.
Faulk was selected by the Indianapolis Colts as the second player overall in the 1994 NFL Draft. He became an instant star, rushing for 143 yards and scoring three touchdowns in his rookie debut against the Houston Oilers. Faulk finished his rookie season with 1,282 rushing yards and an AFC-leading 11 touchdowns. Faulk was named Rookie of the Year for his performance that season.
After five seasons, Faulk was traded by the Colts to the St. Louis Rams in 1999 where he helped guide his new team to a Super Bowl title in his first season in St. Louis. That year, he became the second player in NFL history to eclipse the 1,000-yard mark in both rushing and receiving. In 2000, Faulk earned the NFL’s Most Valuable Player honors after he set the single-season record for touchdowns with 26. In all, Faulk earned first-team All-Pro acclaim in 1999, 2000 and 2001, was a second-team All-Pro selection in 1994, 1995 and 1998, voted to seven Pro Bowls, and named All-AFC twice and All-NFC three times.
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