Indiana QB Richard Lagow's non-traditional jersey number comes from sister

Richard Lagow wears No. 21 because of his soccer-playing sister. (Getty)
Richard Lagow wears No. 21 because of his soccer-playing sister. (Getty)

If you’ve ever wondered why Indiana quarterback Richard Lagow doesn’t wear a traditional QB number, wonder no more.

Lagow, who won the starting job in preseason practice, wears No. 21. So it’s easy to confuse him for a running back when he’s on the field. Until you remember he’s a quarterback, anyway.

The QB explained Tuesday why he wears 21 instead of 12, or even a single-digit number.

From the Indianapolis Star:

“My sister wore it growing up,” he said Tuesday. “It was just something I saw my whole life. When I started playing sports, I started wearing 21 to kind of be like her, I guess.”

Katherine Lagow played soccer at LSU. She wore No. 21. She helped guide the Tigers to three SEC West titles and three NCAA tournament appearances.

Katherine Lagow played midfielder and defender at LSU from 2006-2009. Richard Lagow played high school football at Plano (Texas) High School where he wore No. 21 there too.

“I feel weird wearing any other jersey,” Lagow said via the Star. “It’s unique. I like it. I don’t like having the stereotypical No. 12, 14, whatever.”

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Quarterbacks in college football can wear any jersey from 1-49, according to the NCAA rule book.

(NCAA rule book)
(NCAA rule book)

If Lagow makes it to the NFL, he’s going to have to switch numbers or switch positions. NFL rules dictate that a quarterback must wear a number from 1-19. It’s possible for a player to petition to the league office for an exception, but we also remember that the NFL is the league that doesn’t like fun.

Lagow became Indiana’s starting QB despite joining the team before the 2016 season as a transfer. After originally enrolling at Oklahoma State, Lagow transferred to Cisco Community College before he came to the Hoosiers. He’s currently 93-155 passing for 1,460 yards and has thrown 11 touchdowns and seven interceptions through the first five games of the season.

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Nick Bromberg is the assistant editor of Dr. Saturday on Yahoo Sports. Have a tip? Email him at or follow him on Twitter!