When Maurice Jones-Drew played his college ball at UCLA he was known as Maurice Drew and wore the number 21. To understand completely you need to dig a bit deeper. Maurice Jones-Drew spent most of his childhood living with his grandparents while his mother worked multiple jobs to provide for MJD and his sister. He developed a special bond with his grandfather, Maurice Jones, who served as an inspiration to him. Tragically, his grandfather died of a heart attack while attending one of his UCLA football games during his junior year. Maurice Jones-Drew was devastated and the Bruins asked if there was anything they could do for him. He wanted only one thing, for them to stitch “Jones-Drew” on his jersey as a tribute to his grandfather.
After three years at UCLA Maurice Jones-Drew entered the NFL draft in 2006. Jones-Drew figured his sparkling college career warranted a high draft pick. The rest of the NFL did not agree and cited his 5’7” height as the reason why he would not succeed in the NFL. MJD dropped into the second round watching other running backs such as Reggie Bush, Laurence Maroney, Joseph Addai and LenDale White were selected before him. With the 60th pick in the draft the Jacksonville Jaguars finally selected Jones-Drew. Because all 32 teams in the NFL passed up on drafting him Maurice Jones-Drew now wears the number 32 on his jersey. He uses it as motivation — a reminder of the mistake that all 32 teams made.
The name on the back reminds him where he came from and the number reminds him where he’s headed.