MTSU soccer returns Tennessee Titans’ Kevin Byard safety number

Of the factors that led to Kevin Byard being selected to the Middle Tennessee State football team, most were beyond his control.

For one thing, the MTSU coaching staff had the foresight to offer him a scholarship. Most other Division I programs — including the Power Fives — didn’t lift a finger. The closest Byard came to was the SEC in Kentucky, who invited him to visit because they were interested in him as a wide receiver, and then decided not to offer a scholarship anyway.

Whoops, eh, Britain?

“I wanted to be with the SEC,” Byard said. “…But when I knew that wasn’t going to work, MT was always there.

Middle Tennessee State University head football coach Rick Stockstill hugs the Tennessee Titans' Kevin Byard as the announcement is made of Byard's collegiate number at MTSU after a Titans practice at Ascension Saint Thomas Sports Park Thursday, April 4. August 2022, in Nashville, Tennessee to withdraw.

“Things are developing in mysterious ways.”

Since becoming an All-Pro defenseman for the Tennessee Titans, Byard has continued to represent the varsity, where he played for four seasons through 2015, and continued to give back to the Nashville area where he thrived.

One of the best and most popular players in Blue Raiders history has become one of the Titans’ best and most popular players, making the following decision as simple and obvious as it is justified:

MTSU retires Byard’s #20 jersey number.

He becomes only the second MTSU football player to receive this honor, alongside 1960s quarterback Teddy Morris, whose No. 14 was retired.

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