BATON ROUGE, La. — LSU football history was made when Christian LaCouture embodied the role given to him as well as Ed Orgeron could’ve ever imagined.
Back in the spring, LaCouture — a fifth-year senior from Lincoln, Neb. — was bestowed the honor of wearing No. 18, a jersey that signifies leadership and commitment in the LSU program. LaCouture was honored to hear his name attached to the number, but felt it was time for LSU to amend its tradition.
So LaCouture concocted a plan. He spoke to Orgeron about it and he also went to Jack Marucci, a member of the council who helps oversee the tradition. LaCouture figured that since Coach O was overhauling a number of LSU’s previous traditions, they might as well put a new spin on the 18 tradition as well.
Namely, LaCouture wanted LSU to have two 18s, one for offense and one for defense. And he knew exactly who the offensive representative had to be.
“When it came out, I knew it was down to me and [senior fullback J.D Moore],” LaCouture said. “J.D. is such a class act that he came and congratulated me. With Coach O coming in and shaking things up, I thought let’s shake up this tradition. He’s such an unselfish guy. J.D. has all the traits that come with 18, if not more.”
A senior from Ruston, La., Moore is a former walk-on who earned not just playing time, but a scholarship through his hard work. Moore joked that when he first arrived on campus, LSU gave him a triple-digit number, 130, and that he had to earn two digits.
So now that he gets to take over LSU’s most hallowed number, Moore can’t help but be humbled.
“It’s just a testament to who Christian is,” Moore said. “The fact that he would share such an honor with me, I was blown away. I was not expecting that. It came out of left field for me. I’m humbled by it. I think it’ll be a really strong thing for our team to have that leadership on offense and defense. I’m still in awe of the goodness of God’s plan for me.”
LaCouture said he thought of the plan pretty early on, but kept it a secret from everyone but the coaches. In Moore, LaCouture said he sees a player who pushes him every day. Even though Moore is a fullback and LaCouture is a defensive end, LaCouture said Moore is consistently alongside him, if not ahead of him in the weight room, motivating teammates by example.
That motivation isn’t lost on the coaches either. To Orgeron, Moore fits the legend of No. 18 just as well as LaCouture, or anyone.
“He walked on from Ruston High School and earned himself a scholarship,” Orgeron said of Moore. “One of the most respected people on and off the field in this room. Everything you want in a football player, he’s it.”
LSU football’s No. 18 tradition
Moore and LaCouture become the first teammates to wear 18 at the same time since 2002, the year before quarterback Matt Mauck created this tradition. Most recently, cornerback Tre’Davious White wore the number for two seasons, becoming just the third person to do so since Mauck.
Here’s a full list of all of LSU’s No. 18s.
- Matt Mauck (2000-03)
- Jacob Hester (04-07)
- Richard Dickson (08-09)
- Richard Murphy (10)
- Brandon Taylor (11)
- Bennie Logan (12)
- Lamin Barrow (13)
- Terrence Magee (14)
- Tre’Davious White (15-16)
- Christian LaCouture and J.D. Moore (17)