"He's what you want when you want someone to represent your program."
That was LSU head coach Brian Kelly at SEC Media Days, glowing about Tigers defensive end BJ Ojulari. Seemingly that speech in Atlanta was providence since Ojulari was awarded the legendary #18 jersey on Saturday.
BJ Ojulari, a preseason All-America candidate, has represented the LSU football program at a NCAA Leadership Symposium as well as participating in numerous community service events.
“The No. 18 is the player who brings all those traits of someone who leads in an extraordinary manner,” Kelly said. “The attention to detail, great focus, represents the program in a positive way in the classroom, in the community and on the field."
Ojulari, a junior from Marietta, Georgia, joins an elite list of former Tigers who have had the honor of wearing the number. Most recently, linebacker Damone Clark and kicker Avery Atkins wore No. 18 for the Tigers in 2021.
Entering his second season as s starter for LSU in 2022, Ojulari has twice earned SEC Defensive Lineman of the Week honors during his career. He’s recorded 71 tackles, 16.5 tackles for loss and 11 sacks in his previous two seasons with the Tigers.
LSU’s tradition of No. 18 began in 2003 when quarterback Matt Mauck guided the Tigers to their first national championship since 1958. Mauck, now a dentist in Denver, passed his number down to running back Jacob Hester, who went on to lead the Tigers to the 2007 national title.