MURFREESBORO — Sometimes a memory of someone who has passed away can live on in ordinary things.
For wide receiver Zack Dobson, part of MTSU's signing class on Wednesday, that is the No. 24.
Dobson is coming off a season where he wore the No. 24 to honor his brother Zaevion, a 15-year-old Knoxville teen who was killed in a drive-by shooting while shielding three girls in 2015.
Zaevion also wore No. 24 while playing for Fulton High School.
While Zack Dobson was being recruited, current MTSU freshman receiver Ty Lee agreed to change jersey numbers so Dobson could wear No. 24 starting in the fall. Lee caught 63 passes for 699 yards and nine touchdowns in 2016.
“I asked him (Lee) and Coach (Rick Stockstill)," Dobson said. “He could’ve just kept his number, but he didn’t and I really feel like MTSU is my family.”
And that is exactly how Stockstill wants Dobson to feel.
“He’s a kid that’s already been through a lot,” Stockstill said. “And I just want us to be an extension of his family.”
It should be noted that Dobson was also the 24th commitment on MTSU’s big board on Wednesday.
“It felt amazing,” Dobson said. “(Zaevion) is with me every step of the way.”
Dobson knows when he gets to Murfreesboro, he’ll have to earn his spot on the field despite being the highest-rated high school signee in MTSU's 2017 class, according to 247Sports' composite rankings.
But he’s eager to hop in offensive coordinator Tony Franklin’s offense.
“I’m a flashy guy and I love the offense they play in,” Dobson said. “It’s fast, and I see what guys like Ty (Lee) and Richie (James) can do out of the slot.
“I can do what they do just as well.:
Dobson’s has also made ESPN multiple times displaying his dynamic skills.
He hopes he can put on a show for MTSU fans in the next four years.
“Oh I’m going to be doing that in college,” Dobson added. “I just want to make history.”