In the City of Brotherly Love, Derek Barnett felt the love Thursday night during the first round of the NFL Draft. The former Tennessee star was greeted with a huge ovation from the home crowd after being drafted by the Eagles with the no. 14 overall pick.
More than 75,000 fans, many dressed in Eagles green, packed the parkway surrounding the draft stage. When the Barnett pick was announced, they erupted in cheers.
"I'm just happy they didn't boo," Barnett said of Philly's notoriously harsh fans following the pick. "It's pretty cool that I can just go right up the road so I can get to work."
Barnett set the Tennessee record for sacks in a career with 33, passing the great Reggie White. That's a stat that has not gone unnoticed this week in Philadelphia, where White also starred as a pro.
But after feeling the pressure of chasing White's sack record at Tennessee, Barnett isn't fazed.
"I spent the past three years in Knoxville," Barnett chuckled. "He's a pretty big deal there, too.
It was a dream night for Barnett, who grew up in Nashville and was a standout at Brentwood Academy before heading to Knoxville. But now the real work begins.
Barnett is just getting started on his football journey.
"I'm excited to go to work," Barnett said. "I'm all about helping the team win. I want to win a championship here."
That's a statement that's music to his new fans' ears.
Can you feel the love?