Tre'Davious White was not the bookmaker's favorite to receive the No. 18 jersey.
Jalen Mills thought it would go to Dillon Gordon or Kendell Beckwith. White's pick would've been Deion Jones.
So LSU coach Les Miles caught just about everyone off-guard when he announced the junior corner would get the traditional No. 18 LSU jersey.
“When he got it there was a brief pause," Mills said. "Because nobody was expecting it to be him.”
It didn't take long for the rest of the team to recognize White's honor though. When asked Thursday about the decision, every player praised White as the perfect player to personify the No. 18.
It's a tradition that started with Matt Mauck in 2003. The number is now awarded each season to the player that best represents LSU both on and off the field, a man of character and one of the biggest leaders on the team.
“It’s a big deal," White said. "And I plan on wearing it with class.”
A group of five people select the No. 18 recipient each year — Miles, Mauck, sports information director Michael Bonnette, equipment manager Greg Stringfellow and director of athletic training Jack Marucci.
"It’s a testament that hard work does pay off," White said. "I thanked everybody in the football operations center for seeing all that I’ve put in.”
White's the second Shreveporter to wear that number for LSU. He follows in Jacob Hester's footsteps, and the former LSU running back made sure to congratulate his hometown friend.
“He was a hard-nosed guy," White said. "He scrapped for every ball. He had the will to win. He was a great guy on and off the field. He played the game with no remorse, and that’s me too.”
The No. 18 comes with added responsibility. White said he'll have to be great on and off the field. He'll have to be a leader and take younger players under his wing.
Some might say there's more pressure on him, a brighter spotlight. White doesn't see that as a bad thing.
“I’m going to do great, and I know that because of the work I put in the offseason," he said. "I don’t worry about the expectations, because I put that pressure on myself to perform.”
One of the first congratulatory texts White got was from former safety Brandon Taylor. He's the only other LSU defensive back to get that number. He had it in LSU's undefeated 2011 season that fell one win short of a national title.
Maybe some of that same magic will flow through White this season.
“The last time No. 18 was in the secondary, LSU did some great things," White said. "We want to finish first though.”
Tre'Davious White will wear No. 18 with class
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