Will Smith hands out Saints superlatives

July, 2, 2012
7/02/12
4:34
PM ET
Will SmithChris Graythen/Getty ImagesSaints defensive end Will Smith is the one that called Jonathan Vilma a nerd -- not us.
You know the New Orleans Saints headlines on the bounty scandal, followed by the NFL’s case, and more than likely, formed a firm opinion whether you think the Saints were the pain-for-payers, or the unjustly accused.

These days, it’s hard to find shades of gray among the black-and-gold. Take a closer a look, though, at the boys behind the bounty-hunting headlines and you’ll find a roster that isn’t unlike a diverse high school class, populated by nerds (hello, No. 51), oddballs (really, No. 97?), cool kids (see: Brees, Drew) and pretty boys (see: Thomas, Pierre – you might find him at a mirror near you).

As the Saints attempt to regroup, Playbook asked the co-longest-tenured Saint, defensive end Will Smith, an eight-year veteran and former Pro Bowler, to assign his teammates the type of class superlatives we’d find in yearbooks. Meet the Saints, according to one of their own.

BIGGEST NERD: Jonathan Vilma. He’s always talking about getting honor roll in college, Academic All-American and all of that nerdy stuff. But I’ll give him this: Like any good nerd, I don’t think I’ve ever seen him make a mistake on the field.

CLASS HEARTTHROB, ACTUAL: Marques Colston, but he’s real laid-back with it. All the girls want to meet him, but he doesn’t give them the time of day. I think he has a girlfriend.

CLASS HEARTTHROB, SELF-PROCLAIMED: If we’re talking self-proclaimed, it’s Sedrick Ellis. He keeps talking about some magazine article that voted him as the No. 1 Saint that girls want to date. Now, none of us have any clue where he read this, who voted or how the poll was conducted, but he insists it’s true. We’re still searching for this magazine.

CLASS BULLY: It used to be Carl Nicks (now with Tampa Bay), from our O-line. He was always messing with you, trying to push you around. Like, every day after practice, without exception, he’ll jump you in the lunch line. Nobody ever said anything. We can wait.

THE PRETTY BOY: Pierre Thomas. After games, he’s in the bathroom for a half-hour, minimum, just fixing his hair, messing with his clothes and staring at himself.

THE NEXT STEVE JOBS: Zach Strief, our right tackle. He’s opened up a few businesses and has lots of advice on that stuff. Back in college, he created a few inventions that he still gets residuals from. I don’t think I’ve ever seen him without a suit, like he’s a lawyer or something.

MOST POPULAR: Drew Brees. He gives you the Tom Cruise feel – just a smooth, laid-back guy. Everybody gets along with him.

MOST LIKELY TO JOIN THE CIRCUS: Lance Moore is a character. He looks so calm, but suddenly he’s doing crazy stuff, like dancing the Stanky Leg at practice. But our weirdest dude is probably Jeff Charleston, from Washington. He’s a great guy, but he has a uniqueness about him and he comes across as someone you’d see in the circus. Like, the other day, he was pounding this organic goat milk. Goat milk? Who does that?
Sam Alipour is a Senior Writer at ESPN Magazine and contributor to ESPN and ESPN.com. Contact him at sam.alipour@gmail.com and on Twitter.

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