NASHVILLE, Tenn. – Tennessee Titans linebacker Akeem Ayers, guard Andy Levitre and quarterback Jake Locker are scheduled to headline the Academy Sports + Outdoor Titans Caravan on Wednesday, May 14, the third day of the team's annual trip through the Mid-South.
The day begins with a 3:30 p.m. public autograph signing in Paducah, Ky., at Shoe Carnival (3250 James Sanders Boulevard). The trio then will make a 5:30 p.m. public visit at Kroger in Hopkinsville, Ky. (1213 Skyline Drive). The day concludes with a 7:30 p.m. public appearance at the Academy Sports + Outdoors (130 S Hampton Place) in Clarksville.
Ayers is entering his fourth season since being selected out of UCLA by the Titans in the second round of the 2011 NFL Draft. Last season, the 6-foot-3-inch, 253-pounder appeared in all 16 games for the third straight season and collected 56 tackles, a sack, three stops for loss, four quarterback pressures, an interception, eight passes defensed and a forced fumble. In 2012, he led the Titans with 110 tackles and ranked second on the defense with six sacks.
Levitre is in his second year with the Titans. The offensive guard was one of the team's top targets when the 2013 unrestricted free agency signing period began. In his first campaign with the Titans, he started all 16 games at left guard. Levitre is one of only four members of the 2009 NFL Draft class to start all 80 regular season games from 2009 through 2013. The other players who have accomplished the feat are James Laurinaitis, Alex Mack and fellow Titans teammate Michael Oher.
Locker is entering his fourth NFL season. A first-round pick (eighth overall) in the 2011 NFL Draft, the University of Washington product started seven games at quarterback last season and completed 111 of 183 passes for 1,256 yards with eight touchdowns and four interceptions. Locker was placed on injured reserve on Nov. 12, 2013 after suffering a season-ending foot injury. At the time of being placed on injured reserve he ranked sixth in the AFC with a 86.7 passer rating; third in the AFC and eighth in the NFL with a 105.9 passer rating in the fourth quarter; and second in the AFC and fourth in the NFL with a 103.7 passer rating on third down. He had surgery on the ailing foot injury, and a complete recovery is expected prior to the 2014 campaign.
Academy Sports + Outdoors Titans Caravan public stops are free events that allow fans to meet players, T-Rac and the "Voice of the Titans" Mike Keith. 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, seven 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 150,000 fans.