Missouri sophomore A.J. Logan is a defensive lineman and wanted a number that reflected that.
He always wanted to honor his mentor in the Tigers’ program, Lucas Vincent.
That prompted Logan to call Vincent during the offseason with a special request. He wanted to take over jersey No. 96 now that Vincent has graduated.
“I was tired of the 75, to be honest,” Logan said, referring to the number he wore the last two seasons. “I was trying to get out of the 70s. I was 77 in high school and I was done with the offensive-line numbers, so I called and pretty much asked, ‘Can I wear 96 and keep it going on in the family?’ … He welcomed it with open arms.”
Logan was paired with Vincent from the moment he walked onto campus in summer 2013 and the two forged a tight bond.
“We’ve been really close since he got here,” Vincent said. “He’s my little brother in the program, but he’s actually become like my little brother.”
Vincent was honored when Logan asked to wear his jersey number.
“It’s really cool to know that you made somebody want to wear your number,” Vincent said.
He also considers Logan a fitting heir to No. 96.
“He’s a hard worker and he’s going to be a great player for Mizzou in future,” Vincent said. “I’m excited to see what the future has for him.”
Logan’s bright future has been made possible, in part, by Vincent’s guidance.
“He’s been a good role model for me and always been there for me if I needed anything to help me out, give me advice, help me on the field, off the field,” Logan said. “It’s the least I can do, but he was excited for me to be able to take the number and do my own thing with it.”
Undoubtedly, Vincent will be paying close attention to Logan’s development.
Logan appeared in three games last season, but figures to see more action as part of MU’s defensive line rotation in 2015.
“I keep up with all the guys,” said Vincent, who even sat in on a defensive-line meeting a few weeks ago for old time’s sake. “I run into them at the (Mizzou Athletic Training Facility), because I’m still there working out and everything. I ask them how everything is going and stuff like that. … We’ve all become really close in the D-line room.”