The Washington Post

O.J. Atogwe switches to No. 20 out of respect for Sean Taylor

(Photos from Day 1 of Redskins training camp can be found here)

Safety O.J. Atogwe had worn No. 21 his entire life, he said. But joining the Redskins and hitting the practice field for the first time with his new teammates Friday, he knew wearing No. 21 wasn’t an option.

Out of respect for Sean Taylor, the popular Redskins safety who was killed in 2007, Atogwe will instead wear No. 20.

“The man who wore it here is a very honorable man, and it was a very tragic thing that happened to him,” Atogwe said on Friday. “And it was just something that I personally believed in. Even though the number isn’t officially retired, in my heart — I’m a fan of the game and I was a big fan of Sean Taylor — and already in my heart the number was retired. So it wasn’t even a question of what number I was going to take.”

After picking up the No. 20 practice jersey reserved for him, Atogwe said it took him a while to adjust to the landscape of his new home. Thursday when he arrived at Redskins Park, he couldn’t find the field. He played follow-the-leader through the facility, getting to know his teammates on the way to team meetings.

“In time all the logistics and things of that nature will clear up and this will feel like home,” Atogwe said. “The guys have welcomed me and I’m excited about that and I’m appreciative of that.I will get to know everybody I’m a pretty personable person, and hopefully they get to know me so we can come together and get this thing rolling.”

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