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Number changes begin roster shakeup

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With freshmen on campus and summer workouts beginning, Brian Kelly’s 2016 football team is beginning to take shape. And while it’s hardly the type of news that moves the meter, a few returning Irish football players will be wearing different numbers than the last time we saw them.

Blue & Gold’s Lou Somogyi got his hands on the jersey changes. They are:

Asmar Bilal, No. 22 (previously 27)
Shaun Crawford, No. 20 (previously 14)
CJ Sanders, No. 3 (previously 9)
Equanimeous St. Brown, No. 6 (previously 86)
Devin Studstill, No. 14 (previously 13)
Nick Watkins, No. 7 (previously 21)
Brandon Wimbush, No. 7 (previously 12)
Dexter Williams, No. 2 (previously 34)
Malik Zaire, No. 9 (previously 8)

If we’re really digging deep into these changes, the only move that’s really interesting is Zaire’s move from No. 8 to No. 9. That number was taken by Sanders last year (on offense, Jaylon Smith had it previously) and Mike Heuerman previously.

The other moves feel logical, the result of a young player getting a chance to select a number they liked after a player departed from the program. Sanders and St. Brown took over jerseys from Amir Carlisle and KeiVarae Russell respectively. Williams takes Chris Brown’s number and Crawford takes over for C.J. Prosise. Studstill’s move likely comes because Tyler Luatua returns to the program and both could participate on special teams.