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Titans Rookie Spelling Bee Champ? It’s C-O-R-E-Y L-E-V-I-N

Posted Jun 26, 2017

Titans coach Mike Mularkey surprised the team’s draft picks with a Spelling Bee earlier this month. The winner? Former Chattanooga offensive lineman Corey Levin.

NASHVILLE, Tenn. – Corey Levin might’ve been the sixth player picked by the Titans in the NFL Draft.

But the rookie offensive lineman was second to none when Titans head coach Mike Mularkey surprised the team’s nine draft picks with a spelling bee recently.

Levin, who played at Chattanooga, edged out former Western Kentucky receiver Taywan Taylor in the finals during a competition in a team meeting.

“We had a pretty lengthy spelling bee -- the guys lasted pretty long,” Mularkey said with a smile. “I had a long list of words to spell. Corey won it. He correctly spelled Todd’s last name. It was pretty impressive.”

“Todd” is Todd Toriscelli, the team’s director of sports medicine.

Levin thinks he caught a break because he’d just left a rookie development meeting where Toriscelli was a speaker.

“I guess they were probably surprised a little bit (I got it right),” Levin said. “They picked that word later on because they thought it was tough. But I got lucky, I guess.

“Taywan misspelled something and I spelled Todd Toriscelli’s last name right, so I ended up winning. So I got a point for the o-line and the offense. … Some guys were getting out on some pretty easy words. I think I got to the finals because other guys were dropping themselves out.”

Taylor, with a smile, said Mularkey caught the players by surprise.

Mularkey regularly has unique competitions for his players, on the field and off it. Last year, he had a basketball goal put on the wall in a meeting room for shooting contests.

“Coach had us studying our playbook the night before because we thought (the test) would be over installation of plays, but he caught us off-guard with the spelling bee,” Taylor said. “I wanted to be No.1, but Corey got me by a few letters. I actually think he cheated.

“But it was fun.”

Levin wasn’t successful in knocking off last year’s rookie spelling bee champ Sebastian Tretola, however.

Later in the same meeting, Tretola was called up to defend his title.

“And he defended it,” said Levin, shaking his head. “I actually misspelled the word restaurant, and he spelled it right.”

Selected 217th overall in the sixth round, Levin is settling in during his first offseason with the team. The three-time All-American and two-time winner of the SoCon Jacobs Blocking Award worked at center throughout the OTAs and minicamp after working at center and guard during the team's rookie minicamp.

Mularkey said Levin’s made progress.

“He’s doing well -- that’s a tough position to play as a rookie,” Mularkey said. “You have a lot on your plate. You are basically directing everybody where to go with protections and the run game, plus you are snapping it and you have shotgun (snaps). So he has a lot on his plate, but he is getting better.”

Levin hopes to pass another test -- on the field – when training camp begins next month. He doesn't need anyone to spell out what's at stake.

“My head was spinning in rookie minicamp (in May), trying to get all the plays down,” Levin said. “But the plays are coming together, and we’re getting used to playing with one another. It’s going a lot better.”