The Philadelphia Eagles drafted Marshall defensive end Vinny Curry in the second round of the 2012 NFL Draft. The Eagles have quite a few good defensive linemen, so some of the premier common numbers were already taken, including the No. 99 that Curry wore in his college days with the Thundering Herd. When Curry picked his initial number for the Eagles, he chose No. 75, as some legends have worn that number such as Deacon Jones and "Mean" Joe Greene.
"There are some great pass-rushers who have worn No. 75," Curry told the Herald-Dispatch.
Curry didn't realize it carried a very significant meaning to an entire community, however.
When Curry arrived back in Huntington, West Virginia, he realized the true meaning of the number he chose. Seventy-five people passed away in the tragic Marshall plane crash in 1970. After that realization hit Curry, he won't let go of the number.
"When I realized that was the actual number of people who died in the plane crash, it just made it more important to me," Curry told the Herald-Dispatch, "I was like, 'Wow, now I know why that number stuck out to me.' "
Being from New Jersey and playing at Marshall, Curry knew of the plane crash that killed all 37 players on the Marshall football team and most of the coaching staff as the team returned from a game in North Carolina. "I realized that it would mean a lot to everyone, too," Curry said. "So, when the Eagles called me earlier this week and asked if I wanted to change it, I said, 'Nah, I'll stick with No. 75. I realized how it was going to affect the whole community here. So, I am going to try to live up to wearing that No. 75 and perform like I know how to perform."
Curry was a fan favorite at Marshall, and this latest gesture is only going to endear him even more so to the Huntington community.