Here's how a Tennessee defensive back will honor a slain Knoxville teen

If you watched this year's ESPY Awards, you no doubt were moved by the story Zaevion Dobson. The 15-year old Fulton High School student and football player died in December 2015 while jumping in front of stray bullets to protect friends in Knoxville. Dobson's family accepted the Arthur Ashe Courage Award on his behalf, but his legacy will live on this fall thanks to Tennessee safety Todd Kelly Jr.

Though they differ in ages and went to different schools, Kelly, also a Knoxville native and the son of Vols star Todd Kelly, knows the Dobson family. According to 247Sports, he and Evan Berry found out the news of Zaevion's death shortly before the Vols' Outback Bowl game against Northwestern. Kelly wanted to wear No. 24 (Dobson's number at Fulton) for the game to honor his life but the team wasn't able to arrange the switch in time.

This fall, however, Kelly will wear No. 24 for the entire season.

"I think it's very important, just showing how his legacy lives on," Kelly said, via 247Sports. "But I like I said before, it's not about me. It's about him. He was just a kid that loved football and wanted to do anything he could to be on this next level, no matter what or where he (would be) at college. So being from Knoxville, I know him really well, and I feel like wearing 24 just shows his legacy and his impact on the country.

"My decision to wear No. 24 is all for Zaevion. Everyone knows he's not here with us anymore, but his legacy lives on. He's a kid from Knoxville that loved the game of football, so wearing this No. 24, I feel like his legacy still lives on on the football field."

CBS Sports Writer

Chip Patterson has spent his young career covering college sports from the Old North State. He's been writing and talking about football and basketball for CBS Sports since 2010. You may have heard him... Full Bio

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