Nashville, Tenn. (WKRN)- The Tennessee Titans wrapped up their third day in full pads on Thursday and after practice Kevin Byard did his weekly meeting with the local media. But when then wrapped up, the All-Pro safety was surprised by some familiar faces.

Byard’s former head coach at Middle Tennessee State, Rick Stockstill, and the school’s president, Sidney A. McPhee, walked out the facility doors to announce that Byard’s No. 20 was going to be retired.

“I am truly honored and blessed to have my jersey number retired at MTSU,” said Byard. “A lot of blood, sweat, and tears went into making this a reality. Thank you to my coaches, training staff, faculty members, and most importantly my teammates who all played a major role in my success during the five years I attended Middle.”

While there have been six jersey numbers retired at MTSU, Byard is just the second football player to receive the honor.

Coming out of high school, Byard has his mind set on playing in the SEC, but after plans to attend Kentucky fell through, Rick Stockstill and MTSU made it clear they wanted KB to come play in Murfreesboro.

“I’ve always appreciated the mentor, the father role that you’ve played in my life,” Byard said to Stockstill. “Listen, I played with a lot of great players at MTSU, a lot of great coaches. Obviously, I couldn’t have done it on my own.”

But it goes both ways. Byard also means a lot to Stockstill, who is still the head coach at MTSU.

“He came as a professional,” Stockstill said. “He did everything right off the field. He had an incredible work ethic. He was extremely focused on his goals and what he wanted to accomplish not only as a student, not only as a football player, but as a man.”

The ceremony for Byard’s jersey retirement is set for Sept. 30 when the Blue Raiders take on the University of Texas-San Antonio Roadrunners.