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Who made that tackle? Duplicate numbers become the norm in college football

BY JAKE TROTTER Staff Writer Published: February 19, 2011

For most programs, it's impossible to not have at least a few duplicate numbers on the sidelines. Eighty-five scholarship players plus an unlimited number of walk-ons equals more players than jersey numbers.

That becomes problematic, however, when prominent players from the same team bear the same number.

Lost in the aftermath of East Carolina's Hail Mary, 51-49 victory over Tulsa last season was that the Golden Hurricane defense committed an infraction. Defensive back Trent Wilkinson and wideout Trae Johnson both wear No. 1 and both were on the field trying to slap down the Pirates' last gasp pass attempt in the end zone.

Officials didn't pick up on this, but had they noticed and the pass gone incomplete, Tulsa would have been penalized 5 yards, and East Carolina would have been given another play.

The Sooners had to make a pair of September jersey changes last year to keep something similar from happening on special teams.

First, linebacker Corey Nelson switched from No. 7 to No. 25 to keep from conflicting with DeMarco Murray on kickoff returns. Then, receiver Trey Franks changed from No. 9 to No. 2 so he could play special teams with cornerback Gabe Lynn.

The Sooners may be in for more shuffling next season.

Potential special teams contributors like Franks and Julian Wilson (No. 2), Brennan Clay and Tom Wort (No. 21) and Marshall Musil and Jamell Fleming (No. 32) all don duplicates.

Either way, best of luck keeping track of who made what tackle.

The current duplicate numbers for OU football in 2011:

2: WR Trey Franks and DB Julian Wilson

6: QB Ben Sherrard and DB Demontre Hurst

7: QB Cayden Cochran and LB Corey Nelson

9: WR Ryan Caro and DB Gabe Lynn

10: QB Blake Bell and LB Rashod Favors

11: QB Kendal Thompson and DB Kevin Bell

12: QB Landry Jones and LB Austin Box

15: QB Drew Allen and DB Lamar Harris

19: WR Justin McCay and DB Jesse Bell

21: RB Brennan Clay and LB Tom Wort

28: RB Brandon Wegher and LB Travis Lewis

31: RB Dominique Whaley and LB Daniel Franklin

32: FB Marshall Musil and DB Jamell Fleming

36: FB David Welchert and P Tress Way

43: K Patrick O'Hara and DB John Sosanya

47: TE Trent Ratterree and DB Zach Montana

77: OL Stephen Good and DT Marquis Anderson

81: TE Jarrett Brown and WR Nyko Symonds

85: WR Ryan Broyles and DE Geneo Grissom

94: K Bryce Easley and DT Torrea Peterson


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