Who should LSU choose to wear No. 18 in 2018?
One ritual of LSU’s preseason camp has become the selection of the player granted the honor of wearing jersey No. 18.
The No. 18 became distinctive when it was worn by quarterback Matt Mauck from 2001-03, especially when he led the Tigers to the national championship as a senior in 2003. Then number then went to fullback Jacob Hester, who wore it four seasons and helped lead LSU to another national championship in his senior season in 2007.
LSU has said that Mauck’s number has “become synonymous with success – both on and off the field – as well as a selfless attitude that has become the epitome of being an LSU football player.”
In other words, it’s a pretty significant honor for a player when his teammates single him out for succeeding on and off the field while being team-oriented.
Each year now, the LSU team selects which player, regardless of class or position, will wear No. 18 in recognition of his demonstration of the qualities displayed by Mauck during his career.
Since Hester wore the number, it has been handed to TE Richard Dickson (2008-09), RB Richard Murphy (2010), S Brandon Taylor (2011), DT Bennie Logan (2012), LB Lamin Barrow (2013), RB Terrence Magee (2014), DB Tre’Davious White (2015-16) and DT Christian LaCouture (2017).
— Jacob Hester (@JacobHester22) March 20, 2017
With LaCouture’s graduation after last season it’s time to select the next recipient of No. 18.
As the Tigers prepare to report to camp in less than two weeks, here’s a look at a few players, in order, who figure to be the strongest candidates to wear No. 18 during the 2018 season:
CB Greedy Williams
Williams is a wild card because the honoree is usually an upperclassmen who has a track record spanning multiple seasons, but Williams had an exceptional freshman season in 2017. He earned a starting position, led the SEC with six interceptions and is generally considered one of the top cornerbacks in the country going into his sophomore season.
It would be an upset if Williams were chosen, but his impact on a program that calls itself “DBU” in such a short period of time warrants inclusion in the conversation.
DT Rashard Lawrence
He’s one of the most important players at a position that could be the strength of the team. He’s also coming off a sophomore season in which he had to fight through injuries. Despite missing two games and being limited in several others, he was still a team leader and was voted a permanent captain last season.
LB Devin White
If the choice were made solely on performance last year and expected impact this year, White would be hard to beat and he will be a strong contender. He was the team’s MVP as he averaged more than 10 tackles per game as a sophomore last season. Like Lawrence, he was a team leader and permanent captain. He’s on pace to graduate next May.
TE Foster Moreau
Like many who have worn No. 18 in recent years, Moreau has distinguished himself through perseverance and hard work. He arrived as a three-star recruit and was used primarily as a blocker as a freshman. But he has grown consistently within the program, becoming a valuable blocker and receiver who is poised to be a team leader in 2018. He’s scheduled to graduate in December.
Stay tuned for the Tigers’ selection.