Former Bastrop High Parade All-American Randall had the opportunity to work out for the team he has always rooted for Thursday.
Randall Mackey has always wanted to play for the Saints. With the NFL Draft less than two weeks away, Mackey worked out for his longtime favorite team Thursday afternoon.
“If I could pick a team, I would sign with New Orleans,” said Mackey, who grew up in nearby Port Sulphur, before moving to Bastrop as a sophomore in the aftermath of Hurricane Katrina.
Mackey, who played quarterback until being utilized as a wide receiver/running back as a senior, auditioned as a receiver for the Saints.
“I worked out as a wide receiver,” the 5-10, 195-pound Mackey said Thursday night. “I thought it went pretty good.”
Of course, Mackey wouldn't be too disappointed to be picked by someone other than the Saints when the NFL holds its annual draft April 25-27.
“The Saints are supposed to call me back and let me know something,” Mackey said. “I haven't talked to any NFL scouts, but my agent has been calling around. Right now, I don't know what to expect. I hope I get drafted, but if not, I'll go as a free agent. I guess I'll just have to wait and see what is going to happen.”
Mackey also worked out for NFL scouts at Ole Miss' recent Pro Day.
“I did good on Pro Day, but I didn't run as good as I wanted to,” Mackey said. “I ran a little better (Thursday) on my 40 time, though.”
Mackey has worked out for NFL teams strictly as a wide receiver. However, the Canadian Football League champion Toronto Argonauts took a look at his passing skills.
“Nobody's asked me to throw besides Toronto,” Mackey said. “I'm getting some interest from Canada, but I'm going to wait and see what happens with the NFL.”
Mackey says he would be open to another position change.
“Aw yeah, no doubt,” Mackey said when asked if he would be receptive to the idea of moving back to quarterback, “but as of right now, I'm playing wide receiver.”
Mackey arrived at Ole Miss following a stellar junior college career at East Mississippi Community College. As a senior, Mackey led the Lions to their first Mississippi Association of Community and Junior Colleges state championship in school history.
His three-year stint in Ole Miss was a roller-coaster ride.
After redshirting in 2010, Mackey played in nine games, strating six. He threw for 1,112 yards with seven touchdowns and six interceptions, ranking sixth in the SEC in passing yardage and eighth in total offense. Though Mackey had a respectable year, the Rebels struggled to a 3-10 record, setting the stage for a coaching change.
Hugh Freeze replaced Houston Nutt as the Rebels' head coach and Mackey was moved to wide receiver in the spring.
Splitting time between wide receiver and running back, while taking an occasional snap, Mackey was chosen as Ole Miss' Most Valuable Senior in voting conducted by the coaching staff. Drawing nine starts in 13 games, Mackey caught 25 passes for 346 yards (26.6 yards per catch) and a touchdown, while rushing for 325 yards and four scores on 79 carries. He also completed 3-of-6 passes for 59 yards and a TD.
Mackey's touchdown catch, a 27-yarder from fellow former EMCC standout Bo Wallace, helped the Rebels to a 14-0 first quarter lead en route to a 38-17 victory over Pittsburgh in the BBVA Compass Bowl. The victory enabled Ole Miss to close out the season with a winning record at 7-6.
“My time at Ole Miss was kind of crazy,” Mackey said. “I had my share of good times and bad times at Ole Miss, but at the same time, I kept my head up.”
One of Mackey's college highlights came when he received his degree in Criminal Justice from the University of Mississippi in December.
“I'm glad to have the degree to fall back on,” Mackey said. “I majored in Criminal Justice because I wanted to learn about the law. There's a lot you can do with a criminal justice degree. You can go into law enforcement, work for the government — just about anything.”
For now, Mackey is more interested in pursuing a professional football career.
“I'll go back to Ole Miss for another week and keep working out,” said Mackey, who has spent the majority of his offseason time in Oxford. “Then I'll wait and see what happens.”
Joining the Rams early in his sophomore season after his home was destroyed by Katrina, Mackey went 35-0 as a starter while helping Bastrop to three straight Class 4A state championships in 2005, '06 and '07. He was named to the Parade All-America team as a senior.