Former Georgia offensive lineman and new Steelers rookie Broderick Jones will wear No. 77 this fall in Pittsburgh.
The decision, he said Friday, was an easy one. He wants to honor former Bulldogs teammate Devin Willock, who was killed earlier this year in a car crash. Willock wore No. 77
“They told me the number was available, and I just wanted to show my respects by taking that number and letting it live through me,” Jones said, via ESPN’s Brooke Pryor.
Willock, along with Georgia recruiting staffer Chandler LeCroy, was killed in a car crash on Jan. 15. The accident came just hours after the Bulldogs celebrated their national championship win with a parade in Athens, Georgia. Willock was 20, and LeCroy was 24.
LeCroy was driving more than 100 mph when the SUV left the road and hit power poles and trees, officials said. LeCroy’s blood alcohol concentration level was allegedly about 2.5 times the legal limit in Georgia at the time of the crash.
LeCroy was allegedly racing another car that was being driven by former Georgia defensive lineman and new Philadelphia Eagles rookie Jalen Carter at the time of the crash. Carter, who the Eagles took with the No. 9 overall pick on Thursday, pleaded no contest to multiple misdemeanor charges related to the case last month. Carter has not addressed the incident publicly.
Jones, after his third season with the Bulldogs, was selected by the Steelers with the No. 14 overall pick on Thursday. The first-team All-SEC lineman was the first offensive tackle drafted by the Steelers in the first round of a draft in almost three decades.
"I just felt like my job was finished at the University of Georgia," Jones said, via ESPN. "Two national championships, SEC championship, all-SEC — I felt like I did all I could there. I feel like there was nothing left for me to do there, so it was time for me to move on to bigger and better things."