Found it important to further disperse this a little bit. Here’s an open letter to UT fans from Curt Maggitt on the UT athletics website.
I know that some of the biggest questions you have had all season have been about me and how I’m doing after my injury. I’ve heard it from you around town and on social media and I’m grateful for your support and the way you’ve made me feel in my time here at Tennessee.
It’s love all across the state. When I was in Nashville recently seeing a doctor, a guy walked up to me and asked how I was doing. I couldn’t even sit in the lobby of the doctor’s office because so many people recognized me. It’s crazy, but it’s been like a childhood dream to be recognized and notable and have a positive influence and be known for the right reasons. I appreciate Vol Nation a lot.
The biggest thing I see in our fan base is the passion. Right when I was coming to school as a freshman, I walked in a basketball game and an older lady recognized me and we had a conversation where she told me she had been a season ticket holder for 40 years and she hadn’t missed a game. Here I am, a freshman coming out of high school and I didn’t know what to think.
Over time, I’ve met a lot of people like that, where it’s been 30, 40, 50 years that they have been coming to games. They can remember missing one or two games and they know exactly what game it was. There is so much passion. It’s a part of the Tennessee culture to be a Vol fan and I’ve been very appreciative of all of that support, especially through the tough times that we’ve had. Our fans deserve the best. They deserve SEC Championships, National Championships, all of that. It’s coming.
I came to Knoxville to play football and be the best football player I could be. But in the process, I fell in love with Tennessee and everything it had to offer, from the mountains to the great people to the apple butter and jelly. This is a place I will settle some day and still try to use my influence to help kids grow. Any way I can help, that’s my goal, to give back to the community.
Every fall, it’s going to be football time and I want to be as close as possible. I could definitely see myself having a very stable life here. I have a lot of passion about where I’m from and where I was raised, so the first few years I was all about going back to Palm Beach. But over the last couple of years, I’d go back home and couldn’t wait to get back to Knoxville.
My time here has not been like I first imagined, but I wouldn’t change it for the world. I’ve had a few surgeries, I’ve missed some games, but at the end of the day my relationship with God has gotten stronger through the tough times I’ve had. I’ve met a lot of people that care about me so much more than as a football player and want me to grow as a person. I think I’ve grown a lot and I’ve come to see that the ultimate goal in life is not to be the best football player. It’s about growing as a person and using your influence to impact the community around you. I feel like I’ve done a great job at that and I’m excited for the future.
This season has been extremely difficult for me since suffering my injury against Oklahoma.
The moment that the doctors told me it was not a simple strain or something like that was tough. I didn’t believe it. I thought that my body heals well, so we would see how I felt in four or five weeks. Four or five weeks passed and I said I’m ready to take the challenge on to get healthy, no matter what.
It was very tough, one of the toughest things I’ve been through because of the potential I knew we had as a team, that we still have as a team, and what I knew I could bring to the team. I feel like I shorted my team a little bit by not being out there, so that’s why I tried to do the most I could, the best I could in any way I could.
The biggest thing I learned this season is how much I enjoy being a part of the team and part of the culture and the unity we have. This is a winning culture. This season, I’ve been doing a lot of coaching and I’ve been appreciative of that.
I will continue to play football until God says “No more,” but then I’ll still use my influence the best way I can and be the best person that I can. The past few years have been great in the sense of challenging me and knocking me down and making me get back up.
Thanks for your continued support and we will see you in Tampa!