SMYRNA, Tenn. (WKRN) – On Tuesday, Wide Receiver A.J. Brown visited the sixth winner of the “Take a Titan 2 School” contest at Stewarts Creek Elementary School in Smyrna.
With the help of the entire fourth-grade class, student Ryan Strickland was responsible for getting A.J. to his school after submitting a video online.
“Here at Stewarts Creek, just like the Titans, we always believe in each other and we always dream big,” said the school’s principal, Tina Turner said.
A.J. was greeted by cheers from the entire school – more than 1,000 students – and nearby Stewarts Creek High School’s marching band. Before making his way inside, A.J. high-fived students and was given a basket of Stewarts Creek memorabilia, including a t-shirt, a hat and a blanket.
“This is crazy right now. I am glad to be here and to put smiles on kids’ faces right now,” he said.
Before heading to the gym to take part in a pop quiz against students, Ryan took A.J. by a special place inside the school – The Ginger Tucker Memorial Library. Ms. Tucker served as the school’s principal and helped open the school 14 years ago before her sudden death in 2017.
The school has since named the library in her honor.
“She was a huge Titans fan,” Principal Turner explained to AJ. “Her favorite part was the National Anthem and the players running out of the tunnels. She could always tell you what happened in that part of the game. She loved to talk about that every Monday. We miss her, and we love her, and we couldn’t think of a better way to honor her than to have A.J. and Ryan take a picture to add to our Ginger Tucker Memorial Library photos.”
“I’m just glad to be a part of it,” A.J. said. “My parents read to me when I was younger, and I believe in that. I’m just glad to be a part of this.”
After spending some time in the library, A.J. and Ryan then made their way to the gym where the entire fourth-grade student body was waiting to watch the Titan play “Are you smarter than a fourth-grader.”
After answering questions like, “Who is the school’s art teacher?” and “How many points does a team receive for scoring a touchdown?” The questions got a little trickier and required top-notch math skills, before A.J.’s team was declared the winner.
“It brings back a lot of memories [being at an elementary school]. I remember when I was a little kid and just running around and having fun in school and just enjoying the moment. It brings back memories. I’m really enjoying it and I’m glad we got a win today,” he said.
Before leaving the students, A.J. offered this advice to the fourth graders, “Believe in yourself and dream big. You can accomplish anything you want to if you put your mind to it and work hard at it.
A.J. was selected in the second round of the 2019 NFL Draft by the Titans. In 2016, he was drafted by the San Diego Padres as a centerfielder and participated in the team’s extended spring training program from 2016-2018.