The Saints have agreed to terms on a 4-year deal with 3rd-round pick DT Akiem Hicks, the club announced Thursday.
Hicks was the team's first pick, albeit in the third round of this year's draft.
Hicks spent some time at LSU, where he signed out of junior college, but his stay there ended earlier than he would have liked after he became involved in an NCAA investigation that cost assistant coach D.J. McCarthy his job.
More than two years later, Hicks, a 6-foot-4, 324-pound defensive tackle, is more than back.
The Saints spoke with him only at the NFL Draft Combine before spending two hours discussing Hicks a week before taking him.
His journey back to Louisiana came via Canada, where he turned down an offer to play for the CFL's Toronto Argonauts to play for the University of Regina.
At Regina, he finished with 76 tackles, eight sacks and 13 tackles for a loss along with four forced fumbles and four pass deflections.