Chris Curry, Damone Clark chosen to wear No. 18, JaCoby Stevens takes No. 7 for LSU this season

Senior safety JaCoby Stevens has been chosen to wear the coveted No. 7 jersey for LSU this season Photo by Chris Parent

Sophomore running back Chris Curry and junior linebacker Damone Clark will wear the coveted No. 18 jersey for LSU this year, head football coach Ed Orgeron announced to the team on Friday evening.

Also, safety JaCoby Stevens, who returned this year for his senior season, will wear the coveted No. 7 jersey worn by player regarded as the team’s top playmaker. Safety Grant Delpit wore No. 7 last year and it originally awarded this season wide receiver Ja’Marr Chase, who recently opted out of the 2020 season to prepare for the 2021 NFL Draft.

Curry, who is in his third year with the Tigers, has patiently waited his turn in what has been a loaded LSU backfield since his arrival on campus in 2018.

The redshirt sophomore from Lehigh High School in Lehigh Acres, Fla., has played in 18 games with one start during his career. His lone start came in LSU’s national semifinal win over Oklahoma in the 2019 Peach Bowl as he filled in for an injured Clyde Edwards-Helaire and rushed for 90 yards on 16 carries in helping the Tigers to a 63-28 win over the Sooners.

Clark, a native of Baton Rouge and a product of Southern Lab, has played in 28 games with three starts during his career. Clark, who will start at middle linebacker for LSU in 2020, has 51 career tackles to go with 4.0 tackles for loss and 3.5 sacks.

Both players join an elite group of No. 18s at LSU, a tradition that was born in 2003 when quarterback Matt Mauck led the Tigers to their first national title in football since 1958. Mauck’s No. 18 became 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.

After his final season at LSU, Mauck passed the No. 18 jersey down to running back Jacob Hester, who later led the Tigers to another national title in 2007.

Most recently, center Lloyd Cushenberry and linebacker K’Lavon Chaisson wore No. 18 a year ago, leading the Tigers to a 15-0 mark and the national championship. Cushenberry is now the starting center for the Denver Broncos, while Chaisson was a first round NFL Draft pick in 2020.

Stevens, a preseason All-Southeastern Conference selection and a three-time winner of SEC Defensive Player of the Week in 2019, is the undisputed leader of the Tigers – both on and off the field. Stevens, who is LSU’s nominee for the Good Works Team and the Wuerffel Award this year, is a playmaker on the field, on pace to graduate with his degree in December and is active in many community service endeavors off the field.

“What this number means to me is to be complete – to be a complete person on and off the field,” Stevens said. “That’s how my parents raised me. To be a complete person in everything I do whether it’s in football or in life. I can go on and on about wearing this number and what it means to me. It’s a huge honor.”

Stevens wore No. 7 on his high school football team and while playing AAU Basketball. Stevens said the No. 7 has always been his favorite number because of former LSU All-America Patrick Peterson.

Here’s a complete list of the former players to wear No. 18

Year(s)                  Player (Position)

2001-03                 Matt Mauck (quarterback)

2004-07                 Jacob Hester (running back)

2008-09                 Richard Dickson (tight end)

2010                       Richard Murphy (running back)

2011                       Brandon Taylor (safety)

2012                       Bennie Logan (defensive tackle)

2013                       Lamin Barrow (linebacker)

2014                       Terrance Magee (running back)

2015-16                 Tre’Davious White (cornerback)

2017                       Christian LaCouture (defensive line)

2017                       J.D. Moore (tight end)

2018                       Foster Moreau (tight end)

2019                       K’Lavon Chaisson (outside linebacker)

2019                       Lloyd Cushenberry (center)

2020                       Chris Curry (running back)

2020                       Damone Clark (linebacker)

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