Cincinnati's Coby Bryant is taking a moment to honor a Lakers legend and his namesake during the postseason, starting with the College Football Playoff semifinal against Alabama.
The cornerback will be changing his jersey number from No. 7 to No. 8 in honor of Kobe Bryant in the Cotton Bowl Classic. Growing up, ESPN reported that Coby wore the No. 24 while playing baseball in honor of the legend. Kobe, his daughter, Gianna, and six others died in a helicopter crash in January 2020.
“I was named after him for a reason,” Coby said to reporters last week. “The Mamba Mentality is what I carry on to this day.”
Coby is this season's recipient of the Jim Thorpe Award, which honors the top collegiate defensive back in the country. The cornerback said he spoke with coach Luke Fickell about the number change, adding, per ABC 9 Cincinnati, that he understood “why I was doing it.”
More College Football Coverage: