Deebo Samuel

Deebo proud to embody himself, son with 49ers jersey change

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A big piece of Deebo Samuel’s past and present will accompany the 49ers wide receiver on the field next season. 

Back in March, the All-Pro receiver announced on Instagram that he would wear No. 1 beginning in 2024 after five seasons as No. 19, while the 49ers shared that the name on the back of his jersey would change to Samuel Sr. after his son Tyshun Samuel Jr. 

Samuel, speaking to reporters for the first time since on Tuesday, addressed why he decided to make the change and what it took to get it done.

“It was good,” Samuel told reporters. “That was the only number I ever wore in my life, so I always wanted to go back.” 

Samuel notably wore No. 1 during his four-year spell at the University of South Carolina, as well as at Chapman High School and in the 2019 Senior Bowl.

And although it took five seasons to get it back, Samuel shared how years ago he made a serious attempt to get it from former 49ers teammate Jimmie Ward, who leveraged his seniority over the wideout's efforts to claim No. 1 back in 2021.

“Actually, I offered Jimmie some money not to wear it the year that he wore it, and he wasn’t going for it,” Samuel added. “He just sold it to Stefon [Diggs], but whatever.”

In April, the Houston Texans’ star wide receiver Diggs reportedly paid Ward $100,000 to wear No. 1, which he wore during his college days, like Samuel. 

The 49ers might have gone without a No. 1 during the 2023 NFL season, but now they’ll have that and a Samuel Sr., who will fly up and down the field representing more than just himself. 

“It was cool to get the number back and, you know, get the Samuel Sr. on the back of my jersey,” Samuel said. “Kind of representing me and my son.”

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