E Komo Mai: QB Marcus Mariota Welcomes High School Teammate Kamalei Correa to Titans

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NASHVILLE, Tenn. – The text messages started coming in from area code 808 early Tuesday morning, and Titans quarterback Marcus Mariota got excited.

What might've started out as a rumor ended up being true: The Titans were trading for Baltimore linebacker Kamalei Correa. The deal was announced later in the morning.

Mariota and Correa were high school teammates at Saint Louis School in Honolulu.

"I am excited," Mariota said after practice on Tuesday. "It is pretty crazy, man. It is kind of full circle. He is a couple of years younger than me. But to play together in high school and to be able to play together here at this level is something that is special. I am excited to have him.

"I think he'll do well for us, and hopefully make a difference."

Mariota said he shot Correa a text: "We're looking forward to having you, and if you need anything let me know."

"Again, I am excited to have him," Mariota said. "He is a great guy and hopefully he can make a difference for us. … Everybody is excited, and it's a privilege to have him, and have another guy from home."

The Titans hope Correa will make an impact on defense, especially rushing the passer.

Correa was a second-round pick (42nd overall) by the Ravens in the 2016 NFL Draft.

He's played in 25 career games, with four starts. His statistics include 11 tackles, one forced fumble and eight special teams stops. An all-conference performer at Boise State, Correa totaled 27 starts and 40 games over his three-year college career. Correa totaled 110 career tackles, 20 sacks, 31.5 tackles for loss and five forced fumbles for the Broncos.

Correa (6-3, 249), who has played both inside and outside linebacker in his career, has performed well for the Ravens in the preseason. Correa was coached by Titans defensive coordinator Dean Pees in Baltimore.

In Baltimore's preseason opener against the Bears, Correa played 37 snaps and finished with six tackles, three sacks, a forced fumble, an interception and two passes defended.

"I know I watched him that first preseason game and he had an amazing game," Titans safety Kevin Byard said. "I know he is going to come in and bring a lot of competition to the position, and he's going to help us win games, and that's the main thing we want to get accomplished here."

Titans coach Mike Vrabel said he's looking forward to meeting with Correa when he arrives, and figuring out where he can help the team.

"Kamalei, I think what he can do, is he's shown some versatility over the first part of his career," Vrabel said. "He has played off the ball, he has played on the ball. He's had a really good preseason and we felt like he could give us some depth at both spots, and he could help us on fourth down, give us some rush.

"We have to get him here. Dean is very familiar with him, and I am excited to get to know him, kind of see what he can handle. We don't want to overload anybody that is just getting here. Find out what he can handle, take a look at him on Thursday potentially, and then moving forward (figure) out where we see him best be able to fit us, and help us."

The Tennessee Titans take the field for practice on Tuesday, Aug. 28, 2018 at Saint Thomas Sports Park. (Photos: Gary Glenn)

TitansOnline.com looks back at the first two NFL seasons of LB Kamalei Correa, the newest Titan via trade with the Baltimore Ravens.

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