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LSU safety Grant Delpit (7) runs through a drill during spring practice, Tuesday, March 12, 2019, on LSU's campus in Baton Rouge, La.

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When LSU All-American safety Grant Delpit walked into Tiger Stadium Tuesday afternoon, he heard a voice shout: "It's the new No. 7!"

Delpit turned around to see Leonard Fournette.

The former All-American Tigers running back was congratulating the new honorary bearer of the coveted No. 7 jersey, a number that Fournette wore while bolting his name repeatedly into the LSU record book.

Last Thursday, on the opening day of spring football, the LSU athletic department officially announced Delpit would be wearing No. 7, and Delpit said he's been reached out to by former Tigers who have worn the jersey, including Kansas City Chiefs safety Tyrann Mathieu.

"It's a cool experience," Delpit said Tuesday, the first day players spoke with the media during spring football.

As other LSU players trickled into the interview room, they shared the belief that the selection of Delpit for No. 7 was a no-doubter.

"Obvious choice for me," said nickel safety Kary Vincent. "I couldn't see it going anywhere else."

Delpit was one of the most dominant defensive players in the country in 2018, earning a first team All-America status with each of the five major voting parties: Walter Camp, AP, FWAA, Sporting News and the AFCA.

Delpit recorded 74 total tackles as a true sophomore, leading the Tigers with five interceptions and tying the team lead with five sacks.

"I'm proud of Grant," said outside linebacker Michael Divinity. "The progress he made from his freshman year to now. I'm happy he got No. 7. He deserves it. He's going to make that number stand out and make the guys before him happy."

Delpit said the first No. 7 he remembers watching at LSU was former linebacker Ali Highsmith, an All-American who helped the Tigers win the 2007 BCS National Championship.

Delpit was nine years old back then, and he admitted he really watched former cornerback Patrick Peterson wear the jersey from 2008 until 2010, when he won both the Bednarik and Thorpe Award.

"I just imagined myself doing the same thing," Delpit said.

Now that the honor has been received, what's Delpit's perspective for next season?

"You see a lot of guys in their junior years aren't as good as they were in their sophomore year," Delpit said. "I'm just trying to stay on the uphill path, just do what I did more last year. It may be hard, but I'm just doing everything I can do to just continue what I did last year."

This article originally ran on theadvocate.com.

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