Did you notice who’s wearing the prestigious No. 18 jersey for LSU this season?
Better yet, did you notice who’s getting a bunch of work at first-team tailback?
Fifth-year senior Richard Murphy is one of those guys around the SEC who’s maybe been forgotten by some because he missed all but two games last season after blowing out his knee.
But within the LSU football family, he’s certainly not forgotten, which is why he’s wearing No. 18 -- an honor that goes to someone who best represents what it means to be a Tiger.
Murphy has spent his career playing in the shadows of others -- Jacob Hester, Keiland Williams and Charles Scott.
He looked like he might be on the verge of breaking out last season after a terrific spring, showing the explosiveness and breakaway speed that made him such a heralded recruit.
But in the second week against Vanderbilt, he went down with a season-ending knee injury, the second serious knee injury of his career. Murphy also tore his ACL in high school.
His resolve has been an inspiration for his teammates.
And even more valuable this season might be his ability to turn shorter gains into first downs and missed tackles into touchdowns. Murphy has that kind of ability if he’s healthy, and it’s a dimension the Tigers sorely lacked last season in their running game.
They need some big plays out of their running backs after finishing 11th in the league in rushing offense last season. In only two of their eight SEC games did the Tigers have a running back break a run of 20 yards or longer.
The 6-1, 206-pound Murphy can also catch the ball out of the backfield, so don’t forget about No. 18 when you start reeling off guys who’re going to make the plays for the Tigers this season on offense.
Murphy has waited his turn and persevered through his share of hardship.