Tennessee State’s Christion Abercrombie announces Titans’ fifth-round NFL Draft pick, a childhood friend

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(Photo: Tennessee State University)

Life just seems to keep getting better for Christion Abercrombie.

The Tennessee State University linebacker, who suffered a life-threatening injury in a football game against Vanderbilt last season, stood before millions of viewers at the NFL Draft in Nashville on Saturday and announced the fifth-round pick for the Tennessee Titans – his high school friend.

The Titans selected D’Andre Walker, a linebacker from the University of Georgia, with the 168th pick on the last day of the NFL Draft.

Abercrombie, who is from Atlanta, and Walker played youth football together while growing up in Georgia.

Abercrombie called Walker after making the pick, according to the Titans.

“It was amazing, man,” said Walker of talking to his friend. “It was a blessing for the both of us.”

Calling Walker’s name in the Draft, and talking to him, are among the good moments Abercrombie has had since the Sept. 29 brain injury many thought he would not survive.

But his mother, Staci, maintained her faith, and urged others to pray, and believe that her son would get better.

“We’re expecting a miracle,” she said at a news conference a few days after Christion underwent brain surgery. “Each day is a battle. But he’s a strong young man. He’s fighting. We just have to continue to pray.”

Something miraculous started to happen. Gradually, Christion’s condition began to improve. He recently completed therapy sessions at the Shepherd Center in Atlanta, and he said he’s gradually regaining his memory. He shares his mother’s strong faith.

“Believe in God, because without Him, nothing is possible,” Christion said.

TSU Athletics Director Teresa Phillips said Christion is “touching a lot of folks’ lives,” including hers.

“It really changed me because I’m more of a pessimist than an optimist,” Phillips said. “Many times we speak about miracles, but I don’t know if folks really believe they occur. However, when things like that happen, when you witness it, I believe our maker really tries to help us get something out of it.”

A GoFundMe has been set up to help Christion and his family. To donate, visit www.gofundme.com/tennessee-state-univ-athletics-dept.

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