Tampa Bay Buccaneers: The legacy of number 40

Mike Alstott, Tampa Bay Buccaneers, (Photo by Al Messerschmidt/Getty Images)
Mike Alstott, Tampa Bay Buccaneers, (Photo by Al Messerschmidt/Getty Images) /

Draft pick Devin White wore number 40 in college and looks to continue that trend for the Bucs. White will be great player, but has some big shoes to fill.

In the 2019 NFL Draft the Tampa Bay Buccaneers selected inside linebacker Devin White with the 5th overall pick. Regardless of peoples’ opinions on who to take, the Bucs’ ship is tied to Devin White and that is absolutely not a bad position to be in. White is an unbelievably talented player, proving this fact at the combine and on the field for Louisiana State. His speed and athleticism will surely make the loss of former linebacker Kwon Alexander significantly easier to bear.

In addition to his play, Devin White is an easy player to love based purely on his personality and demeanor. Last night in the Draft, White had a massive smile on his face the entire time, and is so clearly excited to play in Tampa, which is a fact that should surely not be undersold. White even proudly told Deion Sanders that he is bringing all of his horses with him to Tampa. As far as emotions go, White seems sold on being a Buccaneer.

Devin White will bring the pressure every play, and will make a difference on the Buccaneers defense from day one. As a large contributor in one of the hardest conferences in college football, White will not be caught off-guard by the weekly battles with the other teams in the NFL. White wore number 40 for LSU, but there was another player for the Buccaneers who wore that number, and he casts quite the large shadow.

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Mike Alstott is widely regarded as one of the best Buccaneers players in the team’s history. He played all eleven years of his career with the Bucs and was a Super Bowl winner, a First Team All-Pro selection three times, and was elected to the Pro Bowl 6 times. From these awards alone Alstott is one of the most successful Buccaneers players of all time, short of only the Gold Jacket (and the case for that is not closed yet).

As far as stats go, Alstott played more like a running back than the modern perception of a fullback. Over 158 games in his career Alstott rushed for 5,088 yards and had 2,284 receiving yards, not to mention 71 total touchdowns. The A-Train played every down with passion and grit. There were no snaps taken off, and his only goal was to be the best player that he could be because he loved football and he loved the Tampa Bay Buccaneers.

Number 40, while not common, is a special number to the Buccaneers. That number represents great passion and a love for the game of football. Mike Alstott has left a legacy that is hard to follow, but not unattainable. The hope is that this year’s first round pick has the capacity to leave a similar impression on the Bucs organization. To wear a number like this builds expectations, but White is ready to live up to them.

While at the combine, White was asked if he would contact Alstott about the possibility of wearing the number 40 and if he wanted it. White replied, “Whatever I need to do. Been 40 all my life. Gotta have it.” (via @Bucs_Nation)

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Devin White has the ability and the character to wear number 40 while following the pristine example that was laid out before him. With White on the team, the legacy of number 40 has the chance to live on for the Buccaneers for years to come, on the back of yet another great man both on an off the field.