Posted by Jerry Hinnen
Tennessee's run-of-the-mill 24-0 victory Saturday over Middle Tennessee State wasn't the sort of game that anyone, even Volunteer fans, would likely remember for very long. But that was before Derek Dooley revealed how the Vols came by their lone field goal and three successful extra points.
The kicker in question, redshirt freshman walk-on Derrick Brodus, had never played a down of college football before Saturday and grew up a soccer star in nearby Maryville. He wasn't even part of the Volunteer's gameday roster and wasn't even listed on the depth chart. Which is why he wasn't even at Neyland Stadium an hour before kickoff--he was alseep on his couch preparing to watch the Vols take on the Blue Raiders on TV.
“Oh, he was definitely asleep,” said Brodus's friend Daniel Sullivan. “We’d just been sitting there all day, watching some football and some soccer.”
It was about that time -- an hour before kickoff -- that regular Tennessee kicker Michael Palardy was ruled out for the game with an injury suffered during the week in practice and backup walk-on Chip Rhome hurt himself in warm-ups. Result: "an APB out for Brodus," as Dooley put it.
"We had to make a call to the frat house," Dooley said. "This is no lie. We called the frat house and had a policeman go get him."
"I was just laying on the couch, and people came in, and I didn't know what was going on," Brodus said. ""I thought I was having a dream."
If it had been a dream, it was an awfully good one: Brodus went 3-for-3 on extra points, hit a 21-yard field goal to end the first half, and received a game ball. Monday he was named one of two Vols' special teams players of the week.
Not bad for a guy who wasn't even planning on watching the entire Tennessee game; Brodus admitted he and Sullivan's plan was to watch the first half of the MTSU game and then go out with some friends to watch LSU and Alabama.
"I mean, we’re 100 percent Vols, through and through,” Sullivan said. "But Bama-LSU ... I mean ... that’s basically the national championship, you know? You gotta watch that."
Not if you're on the Neyland field living out your dream, you don't. Here's video of Brodus's post-game comment to the press:
For more on the story, we recommend this highly detailed account by Wes Rucker at GoVols247, which includes the immortal Dooley quote "I told the coaches, ‘Hey, an intoxicated Brodus is better than nobody. Get him. Just get him here, and we’ll do a breathalyzer.’"
Video HT: Sportsgrid.