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Rookie RB Tyjae Spears Thankful for His NFL Opportunity With the Titans


NASHVILLE – The day after the NFL Draft, Tyjae Spears drove through the streets of New Orleans looking for Titans jerseys.

Spears had been selected by the team less than 24 hours earlier, and he wanted to represent his new squad at a party celebrating the development.

This week, Spears had his own team-issued jersey.

The former Tulane running back took part in rookie minicamp last weekend before joining veterans in the offseason program this week.

The Titans are scheduled to begin OTAs next week.

The 5-foot-11, 195-pound Spears looked good in the open rookie minicamp, catching a number of balls out of the backfield, and then showing off his speed – and moves – in space. He also had some nice runs after taking handoffs.

"It felt good," Spears said. "It's just a blessing to be a part of the team. It feels good, coming from where I came from. I am on an NFL team, and I am super-excited.

"All the guys I've encountered, they've been great. Every coach, they demand a lot out of you. It's a great organization, great people."

Spears, selected in the third round of the NFL Draft, ran for 1,581 yards and 19 touchdowns in 2022 for the Green Wave, averaging 6.9 yards per carry. He also caught 22 passes for 256 yards and two touchdowns. Spears had a big game in the Cotton Bowl against USC, when he ran for 202 yards and four touchdowns. He was named the Cotton Bowl MVP after the team's win.

In four college seasons, Spears ran for 2,910 yards and 31 touchdowns while also catching 48 passes for 564 yards and three scores. Spears was the 2022 American Athletic Conference Offensive Player of the Year, when he tied for the FBS lead with 21 scrimmage touchdowns.

Spears, whose locker is located right next to veteran running back Derrick Henry's locker, brushed off a number of questions about his health, specifically one his knees.

He made one thing clear:

"I feel perfectly fine – there ain't nothing wrong with me," Spears said. "I am healthy.

"I guess (my health) is a question that's always going to pop up, but I am here. And (the Titans) had a lot of faith in me to get me where they got me at. So, I am healthy and they know I am healthy."

Spears, who is from Ponchatoula, La., is fully aware he'll get to head back home to Louisiana when the Titans open the season on September 10 against the Saints.

He also knows a lot of work needs to be down between now and then, and he's just getting started.

"That is so far away," Spears said with a smile. "I am just taking it one day at a time."

Spears also knows he's thankful for the opportunity.

"Lately, I have been praying a lot," Spears added. "And the main thing I try to start and finish with is how thankful I am for being here, being a part of an NFL organization. Because I think back, and only two or three people where I am from got that opportunity. So, I am super blessed, and super appreciative."

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