NASHVILLE, Tenn. –** Tennessee Titans safety Michael Griffin, cornerback Jason McCourty and outside linebacker Brian Orakpo headlined the Academy Sports + Outdoor Titans Caravan on Tuesday, May 5, the third day of the team's annual trip through the Mid-South. The Caravan stopped Tuesday in the communities of Fort Campbell and Clarksville.
The Titans trio began the day with a stop at the Fort Campbell PX that is open to the base community, but closed to the general public. The Caravan then continued with a public autograph signing at the Academy Sports + Outdoors in Clarksville.
Griffin, a two-time Pro Bowl selection, was selected by the Titans in the first round of the 2007 NFL Draft. The most tenured Titans player started all 16 games last season and finished second on the team with 115 tackles and tied for second on the squad with two interceptions. He also collected a career-high three sacks, a career-best seven tackles for loss, five passes defensed and three quarterback pressures. In 2013, he started 14 games at safety and ranked third on the team with 106 tackles, while registering an interception, a stop for loss, five passes defensed, two forced fumbles and a fumble recovery.
McCourty, a two-time defensive captain, is heading into his seventh NFL season. Last season, he started all 16 games at cornerback for the third consecutive season and led the team with three interceptions and 13 passes defensed. In 2013, he ranked second on the squad with 16 passes defensed. After a four-year career at Rutgers University, the Nyack, N.Y., native was selected by the Titans in the sixth round of the 2009 NFL Draft.
The Titans entered the 2015 NFL free agency period looking to add pass rushing talent from the outside linebacker spot in their 3-4 defensive alignment. The club found just that when they signed three-time Pro Bowler Orakpo as an unrestricted free agent on March 13. The 6-foot-4-inch, 257-pounder arrives in Tennessee having registered 40 career sacks and 156 quarterback pressures in six seasons (2009-14) with the Washington Redskins. The University of Texas product was originally drafted by the Redskins in the first round (13th overall) of the 2009 NFL Draft.
Academy Sports + Outdoors Titans Caravan public stops are free events that allow fans to meet players, T-Rac and cheerleaders. Posters are provided at no cost to all Caravan attendees for autographs, and photos are encouraged. Public stops generally last one hour.
Titans Caravan began in 1998 as a small effort to spread goodwill through the region. Today, nine full-time staffers travel with Titans players and T-Rac through the Mid-South on a specially-decorated motor coach. Since 1998, the Caravan has made over 800 stops and allowed the team to interact directly with an estimated audience well in excess of 200,000 fans.
*ABOUT ACADEMY SPORTS OUTDOORS: *Academy Sports + Outdoors is a premier sports, outdoor and lifestyle retailer with a broad assortment of quality hunting, fishing and camping equipment and gear along with sports and leisure products, footwear, apparel, patio sets, barbecue grills and much more. The $4 billion company operates 193 stores throughout Alabama, Arkansas, Florida, Georgia, Indiana, Kansas, Kentucky, Louisiana, Mississippi, Missouri, North Carolina, Oklahoma, South Carolina, Tennessee and Texas, where the company is based. The Academy Sports + Outdoors philosophy is to deliver an unparalleled shopping experience by providing convenience, offering a broad selection of quality products, delivering exceptional customer service and selling the right stuff at everyday low prices. For more information about Academy Sports + Outdoors visit academy.com, facebook.com/academy, twitter.com/academy, pinterest.com/academy, youtube.com/academy and instagram.com/academy.
Jason McCourty, Brian Orakpo and Michael Griffin join the Academy Sports + Outdoors Titans Caravan for stops at Fort Campbell and Clarksville. (Photos: Susanna Nickell)