There is a lot about Emmanuel Forbes Jr. that shines. His quickness, length, instincts and ball skills are all impressive, but no feature about the rookie cornerback glimmers quite like his chains. Literally.
"They're my good luck chains. I'm really superstitious," Forbes explained. "I've never lost them. I wear them every day. I never take them off."
Beyond just giving him an extra dose of swag on and off the field, the chains hold a lot of meaning to the Grenada, Mississippi, native. The oldest of the two was given to Forbes by a very important person who shares his name -- Emmanuel Forbes Sr.
"My dad passed it down to me and hopefully I can pass it down to my son one day," Forbes said of his gold cross chain.
That chain was given to him over a decade ago, following a moment in which a young Forbes showed up clutch in a high-pressure situation on the baseball field.
"I pitched that game," Forbes said while racking his brain for the memory. "It was a championship game, and I came in to close it. I think I went two-for-four with a double…And my dad gave me the chain afterwards."
Take an inside look at Emmanuel Forbes draft party when the Mississippi State cornerback gets the call that he will be the next Washington Commander. (Photos by Kevin Snyder/Mississippi State Athletics)
From that day on, Forbes has worn the chain. Eating; showering; playing football; hanging out with Commanders fans at a daft party at National Harbor. There are only two situations in which the rookie has been caught chainless while conscious.
"I would say in college, I broke it maybe twice," he recalled. "I was lucky enough to find it. As soon as it broke, I got to looking for it on the field."
Phew. The second instance is voluntary, when he passes the chain off into very trustworthy hands.
"My jeweler makes sure I'm looking good, keeps me up to par. So, shout out to him for that," Forbes said with a smile. "I really try not to take them off, so I give them to him maybe once every two months.
His Texas-based jeweler was responsible for turning Forbes' single, everyday chain into a double. About a year ago, the jeweler sent the 22-year-old Bulldog some ideas for a second chain. Forbes' felt good about his suggestion, and with the hook of a clasp, another chain (and a second and third cross) found a home on his neck.
Both chains are the object of a sacred pregame ritual. Whenever Forbes runs out on the field, he crosses his chest and kisses them. Whether he is playing or just out in the world being a human, Forbes gains strength from the fact that the chains are a constant and always next to his heart.
"They mean a lot to me, just knowing that God always has me and is always looking out for me," he said.