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Oregon product Kayvon Thibodeaux wants to see himself wear No. 5 in the pros after an elite run as the Ducks’ premier pass-rusher sporting the signature number.
Thibodeaux was the fifth pick in the 2022 NFL Draft by the New York Giants, where he aims to translate his success from college.
In order to don the specific number, Thibodeaux had to seek out negotiations with veteran Giants kicker Graham Gano in order to buy the No. 5 jersey.
Gano proved that 12 seasons in the League taught him how to do business after reportedly scoring $50,000 from the rookie for the jersey number.
The kicker ultimately relayed the money to his charity of choice, titled “Puppies Behind Bars.”
The charity “provides service dogs for wounded war veterans and first responders, in addition to explosive-detection canines for law enforcement.”
It was a deliberate choice for Gano, whose military background embedded in his family fuels his acts of giving.
“When he said he was willing to give to that, I can be No. 9 and maybe in 10-15 years when he retires and I’m still kicking, I can get No. 5 back,” Gano told the Giants media.
“The opportunity to give to something is exciting, and the number is obviously very special to Kayvon,” he added. “While it is special to me as well, there’s a whole lot of meaning in that No. 5 to him. I just wanted to be a good teammate and also be able to support others throughout the whole process.”
In the end, Gano got to return to his signature No. 9 look from his days as a Carolina Panther, Thibodeaux got his throwback to Oregon, and pups were saved along the way.
Both Gano and Thibodeaux look to also save the Giants from another losing season in 2022-23.
Follow along on Twitter: @AlejandroAveela