At Texas A&M, there is a longstanding tradition known as "The 12th Man." It was created in honor of E. King Gill, who was a student at the University in 1922 and was called down from the press box during a game to fill in as a reserve for the Aggies when they were short on players. Gill didn't play in the game, but because of his readiness and willingness to help the Aggies, Texas A&M students to this day always stand for the entirety of every football contest in case they are needed.
With all due respect to Texas A&M, there is a new home for the 12th man (and it's not Seattle) -- The University of Tennessee.
After an unexpected series of events, Tennessee student Derrick Brodus went from the frat house to football field.
Volunteers starting kicker Michael Palardy injured himself during the week leading up to their game against Middle Tennessee State. The coaching staff thought they could make due with back-up kicker Chip Rhome, until he pulled a muscle during pre-game and was ruled out of the contest. Out of options, Vols football coach Derek Dooley had to think outside the box -- and the stadium -- and contacted Brodus, a University of Tennessee student who wasn't even attending the game.
"We didn't have a kicker," Dooley told GoVoltsXtra. "And we had to make a call to the frat house. This is no lie. We called the frat house and had a policeman go get him."
Once he got to the stadium and suited up, Brodus knocked in three extra points and a 21-yard field goal.
Brodus, a talented soccer player, walked on to the Vols' practice squad as a kicker, but was never expected to participate in games.
"He suits up and nails three extra points and a field goal, so he gets the game ball," Dooley said during the post-game press conference. "I'm proud of him."
Tennessee defeated Middle Tennessee State 24-0.