CHARLESTON, W.V.a -- WITH 100 possible numerals and more than 100 players on a college football team, duplicate jersey numbers are inevitable.
Many duplicates involve a starter and a player who has as much chance of playing as I do. But not all.
In Marshall's case, there are two No. 11s, and both players swapped numbers to get it. And both will be substantial contributors, if not starters.
Devon Smith is the offense's 11, switching from No. 33. As you probably know, he's one of three Penn State transfers on the Thundering Herd roster, and the smallest - listed at 5-foot-7, 155 pounds.
The other 11 belongs to James Rouse, of all people. I say that because he is 6-5, 268 solidly built pounds, and could repeatedly bench-press Smith for three days.
That number isn't used at D-tackle often. What possessed Rouse to ditch his former No. 92?
"I've been having a lot of injuries with 92," he said last week. "I just felt I needed to start over with a new number. No specific reason why 11, just wanted to switch it up."
As he mentioned, he would like to switch up his injury luck. The Harrisonburg, Va., native's sophomore season ended with an Achilles tendon injury; his junior year was wiped out with a herniated disc in his back.
A wretched shame, it was, as coaches and teammates alike have long been eager to see Rouse full-go. Lord willing, he will stay healthy and wreak havoc for 12 games, and then some.
Right now, he is running mostly on the backup units, but he won't get shut out of playing time. He has too much pent-up frustration to vent, and his teammates sense it.
"He's a wolf," end Jeremiah Taylor said. "Him just getting back on that field, you can see the hunger in his eyes, how he attacks the plays."
"Oh my gosh, we're happy for Rouse," said Alex Bazzie, the other first-string defensive end. "He's staying healthy, he's been taking care of his body. We all have our arms around him, so he can get going, so he can make it through the season - even so he can make it to the first game.
"He's a man among boys when he really plays."
If coaches ever put the combination of Rouse and Brandon Sparrow at tackle and Taylor and Bazzie at end, what would you have?