Atlanta Falcons rookie running back Qadree Ollison was given permission by head coach Dan Quinn to switch numbers from #32 to #30 to honor his brother who was slain back in 2017, according to ESPN’s Vaughn McClure.
Ollison’s older brother, LeRowne Harris, wore the #30 as a youth league standout players back in Niagara Falls, New York, and died at the age of 35 when he was shot three times in a gas station parking lot.
Quinn approached Ollison with the idea of the number switch when the number became available following the release of fullback Ricky Ortiz, who was waived with an injury settlement.
“They’ve got to call and ask the league, but [Quinn] said it shouldn’t be a problem,” Ollison said. “A number is a number, but this means a little bit more to me. It’s going to be really nice to have that. It’s going to be exciting for everybody, just wearing that number and what it represents to me and my family.”
Ollison’s teammate Devonta Freeman wears #24 in honor of his late aunt who died at the young age of 24 due to a heart attack, and Freeman can relate to Ollison.
“I definitely respect it, for him to represent his brother like that,” Freeman said. “Everything I do and when I perform, it’s about my family, my auntie, and success for generations.”
Ollison may have to wait up to 7 days for the league to approve the number change, so he may not be wearing it when the Atlanta Falcons kick off the 2019 season on Sunday against the Minnesota Vikings.