Deebo eyeing 49ers jersey number change entering 2023 originally appeared on NBC Sports Bayarea
Deebo Samuel is pondering a jersey number change entering his fifth NFL season.
Samuel, who has donned the No. 19 since he arrived in the Bay Area in 2019, would like to return to the number he wore in college at South Carolina.
Samuel wore the No. 1 jersey for his final three collegiate seasons with the Gamecocks, including his senior year in 2018 when he logged 882 receiving yards and 11 touchdowns before being selected by the 49ers in the second round the following spring.
If Samuel made the switch — which doesn’t appear likely because he’d have to purchase the remaining stock of his No. 19 jersey per NFL policy — he would be the seventh 49ers player to wear No. 1 in franchise history.
Defensive back Jimmie Ward switched from No. 20 to No. 1 entering the 2021 NFL season when the league loosened up its jersey number restrictions for different position groups.
Before Ward, wide receiver Shawn Poindexter was assigned the No. 1 jersey in 2019 but never appeared in a game. Quarterback Troy Smith (2010), kickers Jose Cortez (2005) and Gary Anderson (1997), as well as receiver Noland Smith (1969) all wore No. 1 in the Red and Gold.
Samuel’s wish coincides with the NFL announcing players — besides offensive and defensive linemen — now can wear No. 0 beginning next season.
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Samuel also tweeted his hot take about that digit, one no NFL player has worn since New England Patriots linebacker Bryant Cox during the preseason in 2001.
For now, 49ers Faithful can continue to rock their No. 19 jerseys at Levi’s Stadium for the dual-threat wideout.
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