Music can unite crowds and even teams, and the Tennessee State University football team isn’t exempt. Learn more about the team’s singing tradition after each practice thanks to their talented coach in the article by Mike Organ at the Tennessean below.

Eddie George is relying on more than his experiences as an NFL player as the coach of Tennessee State’s football team.

He’s also leaning on his acting career, which included a stint on Broadway and appearances in several television movies and shows.

The former Tennessee Titans All-Pro running back took eight years of voice and singing lessons during his acting career and now has his players trying to carry a tune in an effort to bring his team together.’

After each spring practice, George has his players gather on the sideline. He selects one position group to step to the front to lead the team in singing the alma mater.   

“I learned through singing it’s a vibration; getting in the right pitch, the right harmony,” George said. “When you’re an ensemble it brings you together. You’re always striving to get in tune with one another. That’s one thing that I’ve preached since I got here; to be in tune as one.”

Will singing together help the Tigers, who were 5-6 in George’s first season in 2021, play better? George hopes so. If not, at least they’ll sound good when they sing.

“If anything we’ve accomplished something as a team in that we’ve learned the song acapella,” George said. “We may not sound great yet but we’re still striving for that. It has allowed us to collectively come together to accomplish something no matter how big or how small or how mundane it is.”

Chayil Garnett, a transfer from Auburn, has already proven to be the best quarterback in spring practice. He’s leading the first-team offense and also wants to be the best singer.

“I’m getting there; I’m trying to be the best even though I’m not really a singer,” said Garnett, who started the last game last season against Mississippi State. “I like that we’ve implemented that in spring practice. Last year we didn’t really treat the song with much honor and respect. Learning it is a good way to make everybody buy in and it’s giving us an edge about being at Tennessee State.”

Along with Garnett, George said some of the best singers are former Cane Ridge stars Jahsun Bryant, a middle linebacker, and Devon Starling, a running back.