LSU has retired just two numbers in its storied history, but on Saturday at halftime against Georgia, the Tigers will add a third name to that list.
Jerry Stovall’s No. 21 will join Billy Cannon’s No. 20 and Tommy Casanova’s No. 37 as the only ones retired in LSU football history.
In an interview with LSUSports.net, Stovall simply said, “Good gracious, how lucky can a man be?”
The story of how Stovall came to wear No. 21 is interesting because he initially requested No. 20, but later learned Cannon had worn it the year before in winning the national championship, and would wear it that season while winning the Heisman Trophy in 1959. LSU retired the number immediately after that season.
Stovall became an All-SEC selection, won the SEC title in 1961, was SEC MVP in 1962 and was a Heisman runner-up and unanimous All-American.
Stovall had 1,081 rushing yards and 13 touchdowns, 452 yards and one touchdown receiving, nearly 700 yards in returns, broke the record for punting average (42.1) in as season, and picked off seven passes.
He later became a first-round NFL Draft pick and two-time all-pro.
He said he lives by a simple motto passed down from his father: “Work as hard as you can, for as long as you can, so you can become the best you can possibly be.”