A former Bullard Panther varsity football player now has a new title to his name, as Major Tennison, a member of the Bullard High School Class of 2017, was named a National Champion as a member of the Alabama Crimson Tide football team.
The special recognition of National Champions was bestowed upon the Alabama football program after the team claimed the College Football Playoff trophy last week in the National Championship Game against the Georgia Bulldogs.
In an exclusive interview with Bullard Banner News after committing to Alabama in February 2017, Tennison described the experience of paying an official visit with his family to the University of Alabama, a visit that allowed him to make his future plans official.
“For me, I felt like Alabama was a second home on all three of my visits,” said Tennison. “I felt really comfortable there and really comfortable with the coaching staff. I feel that if I can go in there and work my butt off, I can have an impact on the team in a positive way.”
Before his decision to attend and play for Alabama, Tennison verbally committed tom the University of Texas’ Longhorn football program, but rescinded the verbal commitment in the summer of 2016.
Throughout the recruitment process, Tennison had received several offers to play football for many esteemed college football programs, including Alabama, Arkansas, Colorado, Florida, Georgia, Louisiana State University, Michigan, Nebraska, Oklahoma State, Oregon, Southern Methodist University, University of Texas, and Texas Tech.
Tennison, listed as a 6-5, 245 pound tight end for the Crimson Tide, announced his commitment to the Alabama Crimson Tide football program in October 2016 via his personal Twitter account.
“I’m very excited to announce I have committed to the University of Alabama,” said Tennison, in his Twitter post. “God bless and Roll Tide!”
According the Tennison, the decision to commit to Alabama in 2016 was the result of a campus visit, which included the opportunity to watch the Crimson Tide take on the Texas A&M Aggies from the sidelines, as well as having Sunday breakfast at the home of head coach Nick and Terry Saban.
Tennison told the Bullard Banner News in an exclusive interview in 2016 after making his commitment to Alabama that he chose the Crimson Tide over two other perennial college football programs, including the Georgia Bulldogs and Michigan Wolverines.
“I just really feel the coaches at Alabama can help me prepare for life,” said Tennison, in the 2016 interview. “If I am blessed to go down the route to the National Football League, then I feel that Alabama gives me the best opportunity to showcase my skills every Saturday. It came down to choosing between Alabama, Georgia, and Michigan in my mind. All three are really great schools, and I can’t say a single thing bad about any of them. It was a very hard choice, but you get a feeling when you know what the right place and fit is for you. I really feel like I can go in to the Alabama football program, compete against the best, and make myself better every day.”
According to ESPN, Tennison was a part of Alabama’s highest-rated recruiting class this year, followed by Ohio State, Georgia, Florida State, University of Southern California, Michigan, Louisiana State University, Oklahoma, Auburn, and Clemson.
A four-star recruit and ranked as the No. 8 tight end in the country and No. 41 prospect all-around in the state of Texas when he graduated from BHS, Tennison finished his required courses early, enrolling in classes at Alabama in February 2017 and began working with the Crimson Tide football team.
According to the Alabama Crimson Tide’s statistics website, www.rolltide.com, Tennison was credited with two catches during his true freshman campaign in a total of five games played. The receptions by Tennison were split between victorious contests for the Crimson Tide, with a nine yard reception against the Vanderbilt Commodores (59-0), as well as a 21 yard catch against the Mercer Bears (56-0).
Tennison was also used by Saban and the Crimson Tide coaching staff in the team’s SEC battles against Ole Miss, Arkansas, and Tennessee, but did not record a catch in the three games.
Although Tennison did not see action in the College Football Playoffs National Championship Game for the No. 4 Alabama Crimson Tide against the No. 3 Georgia Bulldogs on Monday Jan. 8, inside the Mercedes-Benz Stadium in Atlanta, Ga., he was on the Alabama sidelines and ready to play, if called upon.
After trailing 13-0 at the halftime break, Saban elected to bench his starting quarterback, sophomore Jalen Hurts, a native of Houston, who had only completed three of eight passes for 21 passing yards, in favor of freshman quarterback Tua Tagovailoa.
In the second half of the game, Tagovailoa was able to lead the Crimson Tide effectively, allowing Alabama to go on a 20-7 run to force the contest into overtime. In the extra frame, Alabama stayed alive thanks to a field goal by Georgia, allowing the Crimson Tide an opportunity to get the ball into the end zone.
Tagovailoa’s arm proved to be the deciding factor for his team in overtime, throwing a 41 yard touchdown reception to freshman wide receiver DeVonta Smith, sealing the overtime victory for Alabama against Georgia, 26-23.
At the end of the game, the young backup quarterback Tagovailoa had finished with 14 completions out of 24 attempts for 166 yards and three passing touchdowns, as well as one interception.
On www.rolltide.com, Tennison is described as a player who “brings size and speed to the tight end position as a freshman… a highly rated player coming out of high school a season ago… [and] fills a role on the Tide offense after the loss of Miller Forristall for the season.”
The website also highlights Tennison’s selection by the Texas Sports Writers Association as a Class 4A Second Team All-State player in 2015, as well as a 2015 District 5-4A All-District selection.