Photo by John Connor Coulston//Managing Editor
On Friday night, Middle Tennessee State University safety Kevin Byard became the latest Blue Raider to be selected in the NFL Draft.
The former MTSU safety was selected with the first pick in the third round (No. 64 overall) by the Tennessee Titans, one of the five teams that worked out Byard on campus prior to the draft.
— Kevin Byard (@KB20_Era) April 30, 2016
Byard began his collegiate career in the 2011 season, and now closes out his MTSU career by becoming the fifth player under Blue Raider head coach Rick Stockstill to be taken in the NFL Draft.
Late Friday night, Stockstill took to Twitter to congratulate Byard.
Congrats 2 Kevin Byard and the Titans! Great player but better person! #E.A.T..T
— Coach Stock (@CoachStock) April 30, 2016
Past Blue Raider standouts also chimed in to congratulate Byard as well, notably from current Indianapolis Colts linebacker Erik Walden.
Walden was selected in the sixth round of the 2008 NFL Draft, and will now face Byard and the Titans twice a year.
Congrats to @KB20_Era on being drafted to the Titans. You got to see us twice a year lil bra lol . Good luck and stay blessed #BlueRaiders
— Erik Walden (@E_Ninety3) April 30, 2016
Blue Raider fans, many who are also supporters of the Titans, also reached out to Byard to wish him good luck on his NFL journey.
“I told y’all so”… is an understatement! My bro @KB20_Era is living his dreams! Congrats on being a Tennessee Titan!
— Evan Ward (@_Tony_Toni_Tone) April 30, 2016
KEVIN BYARD HAS BEEN DRAFTED BY THE TENNESSEE TITANS!!!!
— The Blue Zoo (@_BlueZoo) April 30, 2016
Definitely buying a @KB20_Era @Titans jersey!!!! #TrueBlue
— Mitch Casey (@iceflyer101) April 30, 2016
Even a former beat writer for the Blue Raiders tweeted at Byard to cheer him on.
Big huge shoutout and congrats to @KB20_Era on getting drafted by the @Titans tonight. Guess I’m gonna have root for them now. #MTSU
— Will Borthick (@willborthick) April 30, 2016
Overall, fans of the Titans, or Blue Raiders, are pleased that Byard is staying local as he pursues a starting spot for the Titans.
It’s pretty safe to say the #Titans earned new fans tonight and some are making the trip back with the Kevin Byard selection. #PickLocal
— FloydFaithful (@FloydFaithful) April 30, 2016
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To contact Sports Editor Connor Grott, email firstname.lastname@example.org or follow him on Twitter at @Connor_Grott.