By JAMES MORAN | Tiger Rag Associate Editor
Christian LaCouture is getting a new number — and yeah, it’s a biggie.
LSU coach Ed Orgeron announced Monday that the senior defensive end will wear the coveted No. 18 jersey this season.
The tradition of veteran leaders wearing No. 18 dates back to 2003 and Matt Mauck, the quarterback who led the Tigers to the program’s first national championship since 1958. Mauck passed the digit down to tailback Jacob Hester, who helped lead LSU to another championship in 2007.
“The No. 18 means a lot to me,” LaCouture said via an official release. “When I found out I was getting it, I was really excited. I have been just trying to be a senior leader like the previous 18s. To be in a category with people like the previous 18s – Tre’Davious White, Bennie Logan, Brandon Taylor and all of the others is very humbling. The No. 18 signifies being a leader on and off of the field. I am really excited and can’t wait to be a leader on and off of the field next year.”
LaCouture started along the defensive line during his sophomore and junior seasons, but he missed the entirety of the 2016 season with a knee injury. Now healthy, the senior has taken part in spring football practices.
— Jacob Hester (@JacobHester18) March 20, 2017
Here’s more background from the official release:
LaCouture graduated in August of 2016 with a degree in sports administration. On the field, he’s racked up 86 tackles, 8.0 tackles for loss and 4.5 sacks during his three years at LSU. He’s played in 37 games, starting 23 times.
LaCouture joins an impressive list of previous No. 18s for the Tigers, including Mauck (2001-03), Hester (2004-07), tight end Richard Dickson (2008-09), running back Richard Murphy (2010), safety Brandon Taylor (2011), defensive tackle Bennie Logan (2012), linebacker Lamin Barrow (2013), running back Terrance Magee (2014) and cornerback Tre’Davious White (2015-16).
“I want to say a huge thank you to Coach O and his coaching staff, Jack Marucci and his athletic training staff, Coach Moffitt and his strength staff, and the previous 18s who had a part in determining this,” LaCouture said. “I cannot thank them enough for believing in me and trusting me with wearing the number 18. I cannot wait to represent that number on and off of the field this season.”