The incoming draft class of the San Diego Chargers have their new jersey numbers, now they will have to earn their stripes. Rookie camp is already underway and the eager new breed are busily taking in classroom and practice time with their position coaches.
Here are the numbers that will be next to their names in your program this year:
TE Hunter Henry-86
The number is fitting since Henry will be the next man up once Chargers legend and future Hall of Famer Antonio Gates steps away from the game. Gates wears 85.
Center Max Tuerk-62
ILB Joshua Perry-53
ILB Jatavis Brown-57
P Drew Kaser-6
FB Derek Watt-34
Here’s hoping Watt wears this number better than the last player to don it, the paycheck-stealing Donald Brown.
G Donavon Clark-63
As for your first-round pick, defensive end Joey Bosa rocked the number 97 with pride on his way to becoming the best player in college football.
Alas, that number is already spoken for by Jerry Attaochu.
To whom much is given, much is expected. A tall burden comes with being a top draft pick. Joey Bosa was the first non-quarterback to come off the board in the NFL Draft. No one expects more from him than he does for himself. Bosa already welcomes lofty comparisons due to the eerily identical combine stats to J.J. Watt.
As a constant reminder of that expected greatness, he has chosen the same number as Watt: 99.
It takes a special kind of player to wear the number 99. Not just any player can rock that number. Cordarro Law wore 99 for one season and now he’s gone. Igor Olshansky was the last Charger to wear it before Law. Game changers wear 99. Watt, Warren Sapp, Dan Wilkinson, Jason Taylor, Kawaan Short, Seth Joyner, Pepper Johnson, Marcel Dareus, Mark Gastineau and Cortez Kennedy are just a sample of the natural born killers behind the legacy of the 99.
Wear it well, Mr. Bosa.
The Greg One