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Friday, August 12, 2022

Jacob Copeland becomes next Florida receiver to don No. 1 jersey

Copeland will replace Kadarius Toney, who wore the coveted number last season

Jacob Copeland against UT Martin on Sept. 7, 2019. Copeland will be the latest Gator to wear No. 1 next season.
Jacob Copeland against UT Martin on Sept. 7, 2019. Copeland will be the latest Gator to wear No. 1 next season.

Florida head coach Dan Mullen doesn’t hand out the No. 1 jersey lightly. The coveted number has only been given out to the top playmakers in a tradition dating back to Urban Meyer’s tenure with Florida. Former Gators legends Percy Harvin and Reggie Nelson are some of the most notable players to sport the No. 1. 

In 2018 during his speaking tour, Mullen said, “You got to be a baller to be No. 1.” 

Since Mullen’s return to Gainesville, cornerback C.J. Henderson, wide receiver Kadarius Toney and defensive lineman Brenton Cox, Jr. have worn the number. Henderson and Toney proceeded to become first-round draft picks in the 2020 and 2021 NFL drafts.

Defensive end Jeremiah Moon uploaded a video on YouTube Wednesday showing wide receiver Jacob Copeland sporting the No. 1 jersey during the team photoshoot. Copeland will play a pivotal role in Florida’s offense this season as he tries to help Mullen replace his top three pass catchers in Toney, tight end Kyle Pitts and wide receiver Trevon Grimes. 

Copeland isn’t the only Florida player to switch jersey numbers. The Gators Uniform Tracker account on Twitter shared photos which revealed some of the number changes. 

Defensive end Zachary Carter went from No. 17 to No. 6, and linebacker Amari Burney swapped from No. 30 to No. 2. 

On offense, quarterback Anthony Richardson switched from No. 2 to No. 15. He becomes the first quarterback to wear No. 15 since Heisman winner Tim Tebow. Tight end Kemore Gamble snagged Richardson’s old jersey number after he donned No. 88 throughout his Florida career so far. Finally, wide receiver Justin Shorter dropped from his old No. 89 down into the single digits to No. 4. 

Contact Zachary Huber at Follow him on Twitter @zacharyahuber.

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