NCAA Football: Michigan State at Ohio State

Arizona Cardinals linebacker B.J. Ojulari put together a pretty solid rookie season. He worked mostly as a rotational pass rusher off the edge, totaling 4 sacks, 5 tackles for loss, and 6 QB hits while playing 37% of the team's defensive snaps. His 13.4% pressure rate, per Tru Media, ranked just outside the top 50 among the 272 players who rushed the passer 100 times or more. 

During that rookie season, Ojulari wore No. 18, just as he did in college at LSU. Last month, though, Ojulari got a new teammate in the form of former Ohio State wide receiver Marvin Harrison Jr., whom the Cardinals selected with the No. 4 overall pick in the 2024 NFL Draft. And Ojulari gave up his jersey number so the rookie could wear it. 

"(Marvin) wore 18 in college, I wore 18 in college, and it means a lot to both of us, but we all came to an agreement to let him have 18," Ojulari said, via the team's website. "He's going to be a big part of our offense this year and he's a great guy. He approached me. He gave me a call, we chopped it up, had a good conversation. We all ended up happy. I switched to a different number. It's all good. We're all going to make plays and win games."

Rather than 18, Ojulari will wear No. 9 for Arizona next season. 

"I like the idea, because single-digit guys make plays, especially coming off the edge," Ojulari said. "Having that little bit of swag, little kids looking up to you, they want to be No. 9. But at the end of the day, your play is going to talk for you, no matter what number you're wearing."

In 2023, edge rushers Melvin Ingram, Matt Judon, Joe Tryon-Shoyinka, and Tyree Wilson were among the players wearing No. 9. That quartet combined for 14 sacks between them. It seems unlikely that Ojulari will approach that number by himself, but if he can go from just four as a rookie to matching his new jersey number as a sophomore, that would mark a nice step forward.