BATON ROUGE – Senior defensive end Christian LaCouture has been awarded the No. 18 jersey for the 2017 season, LSU head coach Ed Orgeron announced Monday.
LSU’s jersey No. 18 tradition 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 Jacob Hester, who later led the Tigers to another national title in 2007.
“The No. 18 means a lot to me,” LaCouture said. “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, a two-year starter on the defensive line, is expected to be one of the leaders for the Tigers in 2017. LaCouture missed all of 2016 with a knee injury but he’s already returned to action and has been taking part in spring drills.
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:
QB Matt Mauck (2001-03)
FB Jacob Hester (2004-07)
TE Richard Dickson (2008-09)
RB Richard Murphy (2010)
S Brandon Taylor (2011)
DT Bennie Logan (2012)
LB Lamin Barrow (2013)
RB Terrance Magee (2014)
CB 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 (Tommy) 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.”
Prior to being awarded No. 18, LaCouture wore No. 91 since joining the Tigers in 2013.