In some ways, receivers wearing low numbers are less of a new trend and more of a return to football's roots. Don Hutson of the Packers, who wore No. 14, was the first famous pro receiver. Don Maynard (No. 13), Lance Alworth (No. 19), and Fred Biletnikoff are among the other early Hall of Fame inductees (No. 25).
Today, there are still plenty of players wearing low numbers: Larry Fitzgerald of the Cardinals has worn every single NFL receptioner except for 2. Tim Dwight was one of the last players to wear it regularly before switching to high numbers (101-104). He is now in his 20s and plays basketball. David Patten had the same job with the Browns in 1995 and 1996. Todd Pinkston did the same thing with the Dolphins in 2001. Tony Gonzalez started doing it with the Chiefs in 2005. And so on and so forth. There seem to be more players wearing low numbers these days; maybe it's because they're easier to come by?
In any case, here are the most famous receivers to ever wear Low Numbers:
Don Hutson - #14
Hutson broke many long passes while playing for Paul "Dandy" Dollard at USC. He also caught 12 touchdowns in 11 games as a rookie pro player for the Packers in 1933. Hutson went on to have a very successful career, winning two NFL titles with Green Bay and leading the league in receptions four times.
It will be worn by a top player— Dave Casper (1971–73), one of just six Notre Dame players inducted into both the College and Pro Football Halls of Fame, headed this tight end group. It also featured first-round selection Derek Brown (1988–91) and Dean Masztak (1978–81).
Some athletes take their jersey number very seriously because it represents something holy to them. I had no idea how many great players wore the same numbers until I started researching for this article. For this mammoth feature, we'll list the best college football players to wear jersey numbers 1–99.
Finally, the finale. Dom Vairo captained Coach Elmer Layden's inaugural Notre Dame squad from 1932 through 1934. It will be worn by a top player— Lineman Jack Cannon (1929–311) is not only a member of the College Football Hall of Fame, but he was also the final Irish player to play without a helmet.
Highlights of My Career Don Hutson (January 31, 1913–June 26, 1997), dubbed the "Alabama Antelope," was a notable National Football League (NFL) player with the Green Bay Packers from 1935 through 1945. Many people believe him to be the first modern wide receiver. He set NFL records for most receptions in a season (147) and most yards receiving in a game (228).
Hutson was born on a farm near Tallassee, Alabama. He began his football career as a quarterback at Elba High School before moving to wide receiver. During his time at Elba, he led the team to two state championship games. After graduating from high school, Hutson attended Florida State University, where he played football for the Seminoles. In 1934, his senior year, he received national attention when he scored 14 touchdowns during one season. That same year, he joined the Green Bay Packers as a free agent and became one of the first true wide receivers in the NFL.
During his time with the Packers, Hutson set numerous records that still stand today. His 12-year career was highlighted by a remarkable period where he caught 147 passes for 2,061 yards and 20 touchdowns. These numbers still stand as records for most catches in a season and most yards receiving in a season.
After retiring from football, Hutson went on to have a successful career in business.
Sanders has since been inducted into the College and Pro Football Halls of Fame. LaDainian Tomlinson and Eric Allen were two more outstanding players who wore the No. 21 jersey. The ecstatic Gator was chosen to eight Pro Bowls and was a six-time All-Pro selection. He was voted MVP of Super Bowl XXVIII and won three Super Bowls.
It's hardly surprising that you can't think of a single NFL player that wore the number 00. The 0 and 00 jersey numbers were banned by the NFL in 1973, but not before Otto established his own legend. The Wisconsin native was a three-time All-Pro pick and three-time Pro Bowl selection.
NFL players take pleasure in the numbers on their jerseys. Those numbers are as much a part of them as their surnames, and players will always be identified with them. But who, among the league's current players, is the best at each position? Some, such as Nos. 12 and 21, include epic contests.
The top active players in the NFL by jersey number, from 1 to 99. For the 2017 season, SN selects the top NFL player for each jersey number (1–99). What's the meaning of a number? NFL players take pleasure in the numbers on their jerseys. Those numbers are as much a part of them as their surnames, and players will always be identified with them.