By KEITH RYAN CARTWRIGHT
Rutherford County Schools
Ryan Strickland will turn 10 years old Wednesday.
Tuesday morning, he brought Tennessee Titans wide receiver A.J. Brown to school with him at Stewarts Creek Elementary.
Strickland and the entire class of fourth-graders – 180 of them – were selected by News 2 in Nashville to “Take a Titan 2 School.”
“I love watching the Titans and I love going to games with my dad,” Strickland told News 2 host Silvia Castaneda, during a Facebook Live event in the moments before Brown was greeted by the entire student body of more than 1,000 students. “I think my friends would be excited for a Titan to come to school.”
Strickland was right.
They were excited.
After exchanging high-fives with as many students as possible and meeting Strickland and Stewarts Creek principal Tina Turner, Brown took part in a special tribute to the late Ginger Tucker, former principal who passed away two years ago, and then participated in a “Are You Smarter than a Fourth Grader?” quiz bowl in the gymnasium.
The entire visit was streamed by News 2 on Facebook Live.
Brown, a second-round pick out of Ole Miss, is in his rookie season. Earlier this season, he had a breakout game in a 24-10 win over the Atlanta Falcons when Brown caught three passes for 94 yards and a pair of touchdowns.
In addition to posing for photos and signing autographs, Brown gave Strickland a signed ball and personalized a Titans flag for the youngster. In return, Strickland gave Brown a Stewarts Creek shirt, hat and blanket.
While visiting the Ginger Tucker Memorial Library, Brown shared a childhood memory of his own.
“My parents read to me when I was young,” Brown recalled. “I’m just glad to be a part of (today’s event).”