N.C. State will honor Mario Williams during Saturday's home opener against Georgia Southern.
Williams, a star defensive end for the Wolfpack in the mid-2000s, will have his No. 9 honored the same way Russell Wilson's No. 16 was during the spring game.
Williams, who plays for the Buffalo Bills but has an offseason home in Raleigh and regularly comes back in the spring to spend time around the program.
"I just love how humble he is and how he treats people," N.C. State coach Dave Doeren said.
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"He's a great role model for our players on how to act and how to treat people when you come home."
Williams' name and No. 9 will be placed alongside the other retired and honored jerseys on the west side of Carter-Finley Stadium. Like Wilson's number, Williams' number will be re-circulated and worn by future players with a "Wolfpack Legend" patch honoring Williams.
Michigan uses a similar legend system with their honored jerseys, which Doeren liked and adopted for the Wolfpack.
Doeren said Thursday that the numbers for Williams and Wilson will be used by players at their respective positions as a reward for those players.
That has led to some number shuffling. Sixth-year senior Jarvis Byrd, who is rehabbing his third major knee injury, had changed his number to 9 in the spring (because he felt like a cat with nine lives).
But Byrd is a safety and Doeren wants to reserve No. 9 for the defensive line, so Byrd will wear No. 1 when he returns from his latest knee injury, which is expected to be in October.
Walk-on defensive back Malcolm Means was wearing No. 16 in the spring but switched to No. 14.
Williams, the only player in ACC history to be taken No. 1 overall in the NFL draft, was an All-Pro selection with the Buffalo Bills in 2013, his ninth NFL season.
Williams, a five-star recruit out of Richlands, starred at N.C. State for Chuck Amato from 2003 to '05. His 14.5 sacks in '05 still stand as the school record.