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Evan Royster Explains Number Change

Posted by Andrew Walker on September 3, 2012 – 4:17 pm

Evan Royster said he felt like “a new man” Monday at practice, as the Redskins prepare to take on the New Orleans Saints in both team’s 2012 season opener.

Royster was practicing for the first time in uniform No. 22 Monday. He wore No. 35 for most of his rookie season in 2011 (he wore No. 25 for part of the preseason before switching to No. 35).

The No. 22 is nothing new to Royster. He wore that number when he became Penn State’s all-time leader in rushing yards.

But, all kidding aside, Royster said Monday the decision to change his number really had no significance. He said he jumped at the opportunity to wear No. 22 when its former occupant, cornerback Kevin Barnes, was traded to the Detroit Lions.

“It was just a number in the 20s that opened up, and it just happened to be the same number I wore in college,” Royster said.

Royster said his favorite number is 24, which he wore as a standout at Westfield High School in nearby Chantilly, Va.

That number is currently worn by Redskins safety DeJon Gomes. Would Gomes consider swapping numbers with Royster?

“Hey man, money talks,” Gomes said with a laugh after practice Monday. “Money talks.”

Though Gomes was kidding, he said he wears No. 24 for a specific reason: it was the number of a teammate on his junior college team that had passed away.

“In all seriousness, when I first came here and saw I was No. 24 I was kind of excited,” Gomes said. “I was actually going to ask for No. 24. … So, I wore 24 to represent him. It has a definite meaning.”

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