On the day LSU football players reported for preseason camp, senior tight end Foster Moreau was perhaps a little happier than most of his teammates to begin a long, hot month of practice.
Moreau was awarded the traditional No. 18 jersey for LSU this season, the team announced Friday night.
Moreau, a Jesuit High graduate, started all 13 games at tight end last season. He finished fourth on the team in receptions (24) and yards (278).
Moreau was a Class 5A all-state tight end at Jesuit, where he helped lead the school to its first state championship in more than 50 years in 2014.
Moreau represented LSU at Southeastern Conference media days this summer, and he was the last player to sign with the school’s 2015 recruiting class.
He is the second tight end to earn the honor. Richard Dickson wore the number in the 2008 and 2009 seasons.
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The No. 18 tradition took root in 2003 when quarterback Matt Mauck helped the Tigers win their first national championship in football since 1958. When his college career ended, Mauck handed the jersey to fullback Jacob Hester, who eventually helped LSU win another national championship in 2007.
Since then, the tradition — or as Hester often calls it, the "One Eight Club" — has included nine additional members (four on offense, five on defense) that were "synonymous with success both on and off the field," as LSU puts it.
Hester was the player who handed the number off to Dickson, and the former fullback tweeted his support for Moreau on Friday night.
“Foster Moreau is everything you want in an 18,” Hester tweeted. “He’s fought his way to the top from the day he walked on campus. Great choice for the 2018 season!”
Defensive lineman Christian LaCouture and fullback J.D. Moore both wore No. 18 last season, the first time the first time two players wore No. 18 in the same year.
Former All-Americans Tre'Davious White and Bennie Logan wore No. 18, and four other No. 18s were drafted into the NFL.
Sometimes the No. 18 goes to a superstar like Hester or White. Other years, it is given to so-called "program players" — stalwarts like Moore, a former walk-on, or a consistent player like Dickson, who holds school tight end records for receptions (90), yards (952) and touchdowns (10).
LSU begins practice at 4 p.m. Saturday.