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Wingo to Wear No. 18; Campbell Awarded No. 7 for Football

Wingo to Wear No. 18; Campbell Awarded No. 7 for Football

BATON ROUGE – Defensive tackle Mekhi Wingo will wear No. 18 for LSU this year and offensive tackle Will Campbell has been awarded the No. 7, head coach Brian Kelly announced on Saturday.

Kelly presented the No. 18 and No. 7 jerseys to Wingo and Campbell on the field in Tiger Stadium following Saturday’s practice.

“The number 18 has great historical significance with our program,” Kelly said. “It’s a number that has national championship significance with Matt Mauck wearing it in 2003 and leading LSU to its first national title since 1958. He passed it on to Jacob Hester who won a national championship in 2007.

“It’s worn by a player who represents the traits and spirit associated with a successful program and that’s Mekhi.”

Wingo quickly established himself as a leader for the Tigers on and off the field after transferring to LSU prior to the 2022 season. Last year, he earned third-team AP All-America honors as well as being a member of the SEC Football Leadership Council and a nominee for the AFCA Good Works Team.

He also was one of three players to represent LSU at SEC Football Media Days in July. In May, Wingo was one of 11 LSU players who traveled to Africa as part of the program’s first Study Abroad initiative.

“This means a lot to me and I want to thank BJ (Ojulari) for showing me how to properly wear this number,” Wingo told the team after practice. “I’m going to play my heart out and represent this number and all those who have worn it before me the right way.”

Ojulari, a second-round draft pick of the Arizona Cardinals last April, wore No. 18 during the 2022 season helping the Tigers to the SEC Western Division title.

Campbell, a native of Monroe, was a day 1 starter on the offensive line for the Tigers in 2022, becoming the first true freshman in school history to be the everyday starter left tackle. He capped his rookie season earning second-team All-SEC honors as well as being a Freshman All-America.

“The (number) 7 has an interesting history that starts with Patrick Peterson,” Kelly said when presenting Campbell his jersey. “He was an outstanding player. Prolific playmakers have worn (number) 7. I wanted to take a spin and make it about Louisiana. That’s my spin. This year we wanted to highlight the group that doesn’t get much notoriety. We went with Louisiana bred Will Campbell. I like the significance of the left tackle because he is a playmaker who must protect the quarterback every play.”
Campbell thanked Kelly, the staff and his teammates after being presented his No. 7 jersey.

As an offensive lineman, the rules of college football prevent Campbell from actually wearing the No. 7 jersey so instead his No. 66 jersey will be accompanied by a No. 7 patch.

Outside of Billy Cannon’s retired No. 20 jersey, the Nos. 18 and 7 are two of the most iconic LSU football numbers and have been worn by some of the all-time greats in school history.

LSU’s No. 18 (since tradition started in 2003)
Matt Mauck (2003)
Jacob Hester (2004-07)
Richard Dickson (2008-09)
Richard Murphy (2010)
Brandon Taylor (2011)
Bennie Logan (2012)
Lamin Barrow (2013)
Terrence Magee (2014)
Tre’Davious White (2015-16)
Christian LaCouture (2017)
John David Moore (2017)
Foster Moreau (2018)
K’Lavon Chaisson (2019)
Lloyd Cushenberry III (2019)
Chris Curry (2020)
Damone Clark (2020-21)
BJ Ojulari (2022)
Mekhi Wingo (2023)

LSU No. 7 (since tradition started in 2008)
Patrick Peterson (2008-10)
Tyrann Mathieu (2011)
Leonard Fournette (2014-16)
DJ Chark (2017)
Grant Delpit (2019)
Ja’Marr Chase (2020)
Derek Stingley Jr. (2021)
Kayshon Boutte (2022)
Will Campbell (2023)