Former North Carolina A&T defensive star Mac McCain has signed with the New Orleans Saints, per an announcement by the team on Thursday. McCain comes to the Saints after a stint with the Carolina Panthers last season.

According to SaintsWire, the Saints have waived cornerback Faion Hicks, a previous backup from last year's practice squad. Consequently, they require someone to cover snaps during training camp next month. To get playing time on the team McCain will have to compete against some of the Saints other talented defensive backs.

During his time at North Carolina A&T, he played in 20 games, accumulating 113 tackles (66 solo), 8 interceptions, 22 pass breakups, and 30 pass deflections. He also amassed 374 interception yards in his career and was a candidate for the Buck Buchanan Award in 2019. Additionally, McCain is the grandson of Franklin McCain from the Greensboro Four. This group, made up of four students from North Carolina A&T, participated in the historic 1960 Woolworth lunch-counter sit-in protest—a pivotal moment in the Civil Rights Movement.

McCain was not selected in the 2021 draft but signed with the Denver Broncos as an undrafted free agent, later joining the Philadelphia Eagles after being waived. McCain made his Eagles debut in week 3 against the Dallas Cowboys, playing 13 special team snaps in the 41-21 loss. Interestingly, he was also part of the team in the Eagles' 21-18 defeat to the Carolina Panthers in week 5. The match included another ex-Aggie, the Panthers' defensive lineman Darryl “DJ” Johnson Jr.

McCain got released by the Eagles on November 9, 2021, then came back officially on a reserve/future deal on January 18, 2022. He remained on the roster throughout 2022 and participated in their Super Bowl 57 game against the Kansas City Chiefs. Among the active Super Bowl lineup, he and his teammate Javon Hargrave were two of the four HBCU alumni.

McCain looks to make an impact on a team and become the next big NFL star out of North Carolina A&T. He spoke about his desires to succeed at the NFL in a pre-draft interview with the Washington Post back in 2021.

“I’ve been overlooked my whole life or put on the back burner,” McCain said. “But every time I got an opportunity, I capitalized on it. I know when that one NFL team gives me a chance, I’m going to get everything I came for out of it.”