MTSU football is retiring the number of Tennessee Titans safety Kevin Byard

Of the factors that lined up to send Kevin Byard to the Middle Tennessee State football team, most were out of his control.

First, the MTSU coaching staff had the foresight to offer him a scholarship. Most of the other Division I programs — including the Power Fives — didn’t lift a finger. The closest Byard came to the SEC was Kentucky, which invited him for a visit because it was interested in him as a wide receiver, and then opted not to offer a scholarship anyway.

Whoops, eh, Great Britain?

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

“Things work out in mysterious ways.”

As Byard became an All-Pro defensive back for the Tennessee Titans, he continued to represent the university where he played for four seasons ending in 2015 and continued to give back to the Nashville area where he thrived.

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