NASHVILLE – Former Titans defensive end Jevon Kearse was inducted into the Tennessee Sports Hall of Fame on Saturday night during a banquet at the Omni Hotel in downtown Nashville.
"It's an awesome honor," Kearse said with a big smile. "I put my work in here in Tennessee and I feel like I deserve to be here in the Hall of Fame. Why do I deserve that? Because they told me that…
"It's always an honor to come back here to Tennessee and be involved in any capacity. It's always a good southern feel."
Also on Saturday night, former Titans head coach Jeff Fisher and Titans play-by-play man Mike Keith were recognized for their recent inductions as well.
Fisher was a part of the Hall of Fame's 2020 class, while Keith was inducted to the TSHOF in 2021.
Earlier this year, Kearse was informed in grand fashion he'd be inducted into the Tennessee Sports Hall of Fame. Kearse got the news during the team's playoff fan rally at 6th and Peabody in Nashville.
"When you think of the 1999 Super Bowl season of the Tennessee Titans, few players stand out more than Jevon Kearse," said Brad Willis, Executive Director of the Tennessee Sports Hall of Fame. "Jevon's play was a huge part of a Titans defense that dominated the competition for many years. As a player that started and ended his NFL career in Nashville, the Tennessee Sports Hall of Fame is proud to present him with this honor."
A first-round pick of the Titans in the 1999 NFL Draft, Kearse finished his rookie season with 14.5 sacks and six forced fumbles en route to being named AP NFL Defensive Rookie of the Year.
Kearse, named to the Pro Bowl in 1999, 2000, and 2001, played for the Titans from 1999-2003 before signing with the Eagles in free agency. Kearse returned to the Titans in 2008, and he played two more seasons with the team before his retirement.
Kearse recorded 47.5 sacks from 1999-2003 with the Titans, and he added another 4.5 in his return. In his career, Kearse racked up 74 sacks, with 52 of them coming during his days with the Titans.
"Those memories from back then, I will cherish them forever," Kearse said. "It's good to be here with my Tennessee fans, and family, sharing these memories."