EAGAN, Minn. — Justin Jefferson and the Vikings believe the receiver out of LSU will be pro-ready when football activities resume.
His Vikings jersey is ready now.
Jefferson had the choice of several numbers and opted for 18, a number that has significance at LSU because it was worn by former quarterback Matt Mauck, who led the Tigers to the 2003 BCS National Championship after suffering a foot injury in 2002.
Jefferson told Vikings Entertainment Network on Friday that the meaning of 18 on his college campus played "a little role" in his decision.
"Having 18 at LSU was definitely a big deal and a leadership deal, so definitely coming in, trying to be one of those leaders for the team and providing whatever to the team to make us win," Jefferson said.
LSU selects one player to wear 18 and then creates patches for other players to honor their leadership. K'Lavon Chaisson, who was selected just two spots ahead of Jefferson by the Jacksonville Jaguars on Thursday, wore the 18 jersey for the national champs in 2019.
Last season, center Lloyd Cushenberry III, a draft-eligible prospect, became the first offensive lineman in school history to be awarded an 18 jersey. Because of a requirement for jersey numbers, he wore No. 79, but his jersey featured a patch with 18 on it.
The Vikings selected Jefferson with the 22nd overall pick that was acquired in a trade that sent Stefon Diggs to the Buffalo Bills.
The move gave Minnesota that selection and the No. 25 overall choice. General Manager Rick Spielman then traded that choice to San Francisco, who moved up from 31.
At the spot that originally belonged to the 49ers, the Vikings tabbed TCU cornerback Jeff Gladney.
The Vikings announced Gladney will wear No. 20.