NASHVILLE, Tenn. (WKRN) – The Titans floundered away an opportunity to put the Music City on display in the Super Bowl, but the two-toned blue isn’t the city’s only hope.
For those local fans wiping away tears with Titans towels and burning Ryan Tannehill jerseys (stop doing that, by the way), there is still reason to cheer on Sunday.
Three Nashvillians will suit up for the Los Angeles Rams as they not-technically host the Cincinnati Bengals in Super Bowl LIV.
Rams corner Jalen Ramsey used to rep Brentwood Academy. Wide receiver Van Jefferson was a stud at Ravenwood and Ensworth is home to tight end Brycen Hopkins.
“We’re super pumped,” said Jefferson’s high school coach William Hester. “Van is an awesome kid and to have this opportunity for him, we’re super excited to watch him.”
Hester’s relationship with Jefferson is unique as their families have remained close. He went down to Florida for the wide receiver’s senior night with the Gators and was again in the Sunshine State to see the Rams clinch a spot in the NFC Championship game.
His coach is now his fan. Although, Hester still thinks he should stick to his day job.
“I’m not a good fan. I do a lot of yelling at the TV and a lot of the stupid fan stuff – questioning everything and wanting to know this and that. It all worked out. They won and he gets to move on, but it’s super hard being a fan.”
Unsurprisingly, the Hesters are LA-bound. After 23 years, Hester has never had a former player playing in a Super Bowl. As for Cody White at Brentwood Academy, he’s had a few.
“Kids that come to camps in middle school and they’re dreaming of opportunities they’re going to be able to have and to see someone that’s close to home accomplish that, it lends a little credence to what they’d like to envision, White said. “There’s a lot of young boys that probably see that and get excited and hopefully that breeds excitement for high school football and helps all of us.”
To have multiple players from Nashville play on the biggest stage is enough to make the whole city proud.
“We have a special place. Nashville is a neat place and the football in this league is really good. Nashville has grown, so we’re getting more and more talent.”
No matter how much talent is pumped into or comes out of Middle Tennessee, it’ll be near-impossible to match the talent of Jalen Ramsey.
“I think what was incredibly apparent is, not only is he incredibly gifted — probably the best athlete I’ve ever coached just from an athletic standpoint — but he was highly competitive and I think that tends to drive people,” White said. “That’s why he’s somebody who has achieved the level he’s achieved.”
The Super Bowl is set to kick off at 5:30 pm CT on Sunday, February 13.