It’s been a big week and a half for new Carolina Panthers rookie Jaycee Horn. Last week, he heard his name called in the first round of the 2021 NFL Draft. On Saturday, he made a decision on which jersey number he’ll be wearing in the NFL.
Horn, the former South Carolina star, donned both No. 1 and 7 during his college days with the Gamecocks. He’ll combine the two and wear No. 8 for the Panthers this upcoming season, he announced via Twitter Saturday night.
Why No. 8? Horn said he chose the number to honor the late Kobe Bryant. The former NBA superstar wore No. 8 for the first half of his illustrious career before making the change to 24.
By choosing No. 8, Horn is also taking advantage of the NFL’s new policy which allows more positions to wear single-digit numbers.
— Jaycee Horn (@jayceehorn_10) May 8, 2021
The Panthers surprised many when they took Jaycee Horn in the first round. In doing so, they passed up other options like former Ohio State star quarterback Justin Fields.
Despite having the chance at quarterback prospects like Fields or even Mac Jones in last week’s first round, the Panthers rolled the dice on Horn, who has all the makings of being a future defensive star.
Most would advise against taking a secondary player so early in an NFL Draft. But given the way the NFL has transitioned to a pass-heavy league in just a few short years, it’s not the worst idea.
Horn will begin his rookie campaign later this year, donning No. 8, when the Panthers’ 2021 season commences.