Meaning of Football Jersey Numbers

The numbers football players wear actually do mean something. Why? Primarily to help the referees know if someone is allowed to be doing whatever it is that they are doing. For example, in order to catch the football (be an eligible receiver), you must have a number allowing you to do that (as well as be in a position on the field to do so too).

Here are the recommended numbers by position in college football.

meaning of jersey numbers in football

Johnny Manziel – former Texas A&M – Wearing #2 as a QB

Meaning of Football Jersey Numbers by Position:

1-9 Quarter Backs / Kickers / Punters
10-19 Quarter Backs / Wide Receivers /Kickers / Punters
20-29 Running Backs /Corner Backs / Safeties 
30-39 Running Backs / Corner Backs / Safeties
40-49 Running Backs / Tight Ends / Corner Backs / Safeties
50-59 Offensive Linemen /Defensive Linemen / Line Backer
60-69 Offensive Linemen / Defensive Linemen
70-79 Offensive Linemen / Defensive Linemen
80-89 Wide Receiver / Tight End
90-99 Defensive Linemen / Line Backer

These numbers indicate the primary position of the player if he plays more than one.

These ranges are required in the NFL (professional) but are only requested in the NCAA (college).

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