EAST RUTHERFORD, N.J. (AP)Rookie wide receiver Jalin Hyatt seemingly wasn’t satisfied exceeding training camp expectations for the New York Giants.
The third-round draft pick put a little more pressure on himself on Wednesday, changing his jersey number from 84 to 13. For those not familiar with Giants’ receiver history, that’s the number Odell Beckham Jr. had with New York in five-year, highlight-filled stint.
“I was a fan when I was young watching him,” Hyatt said Wednesday. “High school, college, and now being here, but just with the jersey number, it’s just one of those things I wanted to start my own legacy. I like low numbers, and if I had to choose a number it’d be 11 (for Super Bowl-winning quarterback Phil Simms), but it’s retired here, so can’t go with that one, so 13 would be the next option.”
Beckham stunned the league as a rookie out of LSU. He had 91 catches for 1,305 yards and 12 touchdowns in 12 games. He was the fourth rookie in NFL history to have at least 1,300 receiving yards in a season, and the only rookie to have at least 90 receptions and 10 receiving touchdowns in a season.
Who can forget the one-handed touchdown catch while falling back that he made against Dallas in November 2014.
Hyatt hasn’t had a catch like that either in training camp or the preseason. The former Tennessee star has consistently gone deep in practices and he caught a 33-yard touchdown catch against Carolina in the second preseason game.
In his final season with the Vols, he had 67 catches for 1,267 yards and 15 touchdowns, including five in a game against Alabama.
Hyatt said he spoke with some of his teammates before making the switch and he said most of them told him to go ahead.
Quarterback Daniel Jone s likes Hyatt, noting he has worked hard on the field and knows the playbook.
“I think he’s made a ton of progress and worked really hard to do it. So, a large credit to him and how he’s gone about his work,” Jones said Wednesday after practice. He’s made a tremendous amount of progress showing up throughout camp making plays.”
Beckham was traded by the Giants to Cleveland in 2019 and spent almost full three seasons with the Browns. He played for the champion Los Angeles Rams in 2021 but tore his ACL in the Super Bowl. He missed the 2022 season and is now with the Baltimore Ravens.
Several other players also changed numbers after the cut to 53 on Tuesday. Recently acquired linebacker Isaiah Simmons went from 46 to 19; first-round pick Deonte Banks is now wearing 25 instead of 36; edge rusher Boogie Basham, who was acquired in a trade with Buffalo on Tuesday, is 45 and rookie defensive back Gervarrius Owens went from 31 to 39.
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