NASHVILLE, Tenn. — Kevin Byard was surprised, and honored.
And maybe, just a tad bit envious.
On Sunday, the MTSU men's basketball team served as the Honorary 12th Titans at Nissan Stadium. All the players on the team, including coach Kermit Davis, wore the navy blue No.31 jersey of Byard, who starred at the school.
"Now that was cool, and it was something I didn't expect at all,'' Byard said on Monday. "I haven't even been able to purchase my own jersey, and they had 20 of them. But that was really cool for me to see."
Byard said he talked to Davis in pre-game, and he was able to shake hands with the players in warm-ups at Nissan Stadium prior to the team's game against the Raiders.
Last year, Byard was in his apartment in Murfreesboro when MTSU upset Michigan State in the NCAA tournament. He was training for his upcoming Pro Day during that stretch.
"I was watching it in my room,'' Byard said of MTSU's 90-81 win over the Spartans. "I was excited."
Michigan State was the No.2 seed in last year's tourney, and MTSU was the No. 15 seed, and a big underdog.
"I think that was probably the biggest win in school history,'' Byard said. "Everyone was so happy about it. I was so proud of those guys."
On Sunday, the Blue Raiders showed their love for Byard, a third-round pick by the Titans in the 2016 NFL Draft.
Byard missed seeing Davis plant the sword in the turf at Nissan Stadium. Later, he saw pictures of the players gathered at midfield on Twitter.
"They showed me a lot of love, and I appreciate it,'' Byard said. "I want to be a good ambassador for the school… It is great for the whole program."
The Tennessee Titans take on the Oakland Raiders in Week 3 action at Nissan Stadium. (Photos: Donn Jones, AP)