Former SHU Running Back Re-Signs with Tennessee Titans

Julius Chestnut, former running back for Sacred Heart University’s (SHU) football team, re-signed with the Tennessee Titans on March 13.

Chestnut was a three-time All-Northeast Conference (NEC) running back, finalist for the Walter Payton award, 2018 Offensive Rookie of the Year, and an All-American at SHU. All these accomplishments helped grab the attention of the National Football League (NFL) scouts, prompting Chestnut to declare for the 2022 NFL draft after his senior season.

“It’s a blessing, now there’s another opportunity for me to change my life and show the world what I can do,” said Chestnut. “I’ve been dreaming of playing in the NFL my entire life and once I got the opportunity, I knew I had to go for it.”

Chestnut is thrilled to get another opportunity to play for the team that signed him as an undrafted free agent after he went undrafted in the 2022 NFL draft.

Mark Nofri, the head coach of SHU’s football team, coached Chestnut for all four years and has enjoyed seeing him get an opportunity in the NFL.

“Julius had such a great career at SHU and had huge numbers nationally for his position,” said Nofri.

“He’s a hard worker and loved his teammates, we knew after his freshman year he had a lot of talent.”

DeAndre Byrd, a graduate student and athlete at SHU, spent all four of his undergraduate years playing football for SHU, and is a very close friend of Chestnut.

“During our 2020 COVID season, Chestnut had a breakout year, rushing for nearly 1000 yards in five games,” said Byrd. “This was the same year he was nominated as a Walter Payton award finalist. From there on, he captured the attention of a lot of NFL teams.”

In last season’s second preseason game with the Titans, Chestnut had a breakout performance, finishing with 13 carries, 98 rushing yards, and 2 touchdowns against the Minnesota Vikings.

Chestnut’s preseason performance awarded him with a spot on the Titans 53-man roster to open the 2023 season, but unfortunately in week three, he was placed on Injured Reserve with a hamstring injury and missed the rest of the season.

“I’ve been working hard to get back, rehabbing and everything,” said Chestnut. “My goal right now is just to focus on being healthy for this upcoming season.”

Nofri is impressed with the impact that Chestnut has had in the NFL so far and was happy to hear that he re-signed with the Titans.

“I think he has done a great job of earning a spot on the 53-man roster. I was happy to see the Titans want him back even after his injury this past fall,” said Nofri. “If you know Julius and how hard he works and cares about football, it doesn’t surprise me.”

Chestnut is motivated to come back stronger and overcome any other challenges in his way.

“I want to show the world that my injury meant nothing,” said Chestnut. “I’m back for who I am and I’m feeling better.”

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