Only four players in Colorado football history have received the honor of having their jersey number retired.
On Wednesday, CU announced that three of those numbers will return to circulation, as the program plans to honor Byron “Whizzer” White, Joe Romig and Bobby Anderson in a different way.
White’s No. 24, Romig’s No. 67 and Anderson’s No. 11 will now be available to CU players. Those three CU legends will be recognized with a special patch that will be displayed prominently on the front of the uniforms bearing their old numbers.
“Current players and recruits ask all the time for jersey numbers, and often the retired ones have come up,” CU athletic director Rick George said. “We explored ways we could bring the numbers back into use and believe we have found a way to do so, along with bringing attention to those who previously had them retired by the uniform patch. It should also bring a spotlight back to those three players every time a TV camera shows them head-on or a picture appears in a newspaper or on-line. The names White, Romig and Anderson will be celebrated all over again.”
Earlier on Wednesday, four-star running back Ashaad Clayton, from New Orleans, signed with the Buffs and announced on Twitter that he plans to wear No. 24 at CU.
“I’m wearing 24 in honor of my grandfather, my guardian angel,” Clayton wrote on Twitter. “It is a symbol of harmony between him and I. Thank you to the White family, (CU head coach) Mel Tucker and Colorado for this tremendous honor.”
Arguably the greatest student-athlete in CU history, White was a Rhodes scholar and the school’s first All-American in football in 1937, leading the nation in rushing and scoring that season. White went on to lead the NFL in rushing twice and was justice of the United States Supreme Court for 31 years, from 1962-93. His No. 24 was retired shortly after his senior season and to this point he is on record as the only player in CU history to wear that number.
“It will be an honor to watch number 24 in action for Colorado again,” White’s son, Charles, said.
Romig, a Rhodes scholar and two-time All-American, had his No. 67 taken out of circulation after his senior year in 1961.
“It’s absolutely fine that my number comes back into circulation, especially if it helps the program,” Romig said. “It’s an honor to be remembered.”
Anderson’s No. 11 was retired in the spring after his senior year in 1969, when he was All-American and Liberty Bowl MVP.
“Anything I can ever do to help the program, you can always count me in,” Anderson said. “My number’s been retired for 50 years, so I’ve had my day in the sun, but I will appreciate and be very proud of how it will continue to be honored.”
The other retired number is the No. 19 worn by Rashaan Salaam, the program’s only Heisman Trophy winner. CU retired the No. 19 in 2017 and announced it will remain out of circulation for a total of 19 years to recognize Salaam. The 2036 season will be the next time a Buff can wear No. 19.