HOORAH! Former Western Illinois University football star Khalen Saunders has signed a three-year, $14.5 million contract with the New Orleans Saints to further his National Football League (NFL) career.
“Leatherneck Football is incredibly excited for Khalen’s next step in his NFL career,” said WIU Football Coach Myers Hendrickson. “He has already accomplished so much, winning two Super Bowls with the Kansas City Chiefs and making a huge impact on their organization. We have an outstanding tradition here with WIU football and our alumni and supporters are very proud of Khalen. It has been a lot of fun watching his success in the NFL, and I am officially now a big New Orleans Saints fan. We look forward to following his continued success.”
Drafted in the third round of the 2019 NFL Draft, Saunders is now a 2023 Super Bowl champion with the Kansas City Chiefs. The Chiefs defeated the Philadelphia Eagles at the Super Bowl in February 38-35. He is the first Leatherneck to be drafted by the Chiefs since Jack Atcheson in 1960, and in his four years with the team, he made two Super Bowl appearances.
WIU Athletics Director Paul Bubb is proud of all of Saunders’ accomplishments.
“He has been able to follow his dream and make significant strides in his NFL career,” said Bubb. “Leatherneck Athletics is proud of all of our alumni and the career paths they are able to follow after competing at Western, benefiting from both their athletic competition, as well as their academic success.”
Saunders, a St. Louis native and FCS All-American and All-Conference athlete, completed 34.5 tackles for loss, 18 sacks, four forced fumbles and 205 total tackles in his WIU career.
***Courtesy of Western Illinois University***