ELIZABETHTON, Tenn. (WJHL) – A video showing 8-year old Raylan Clifton of Elizabethton opening a Christmas gift went viral after a framed photo of his favorite athlete brought him to tears.
The video shows Raylan opening a gift that turns out to be a photo of the University of Tennessee’s wide receiver Jalin Hyatt.
The surprise of the gift sparked tears of joy from Raylan.
“It was kind of surprising when I first got it,” Raylan said. “And when I first looked at it, it was like, real, real cool.”
The video got the attention of Jalin Hyatt and his family.
Then, Raylan received another Christmas surprise. He got to talk to Jalin Hyatt through FaceTime.
Raylan wanted to meet Jalin Hyatt in person at UT’s home football game against Missouri. Unfortunately he didn’t get that chance, but he soon will.
Raylan said he was “surprised, shocked, really shocked and also really excited.”
“My heart was like beating really really so fast,” Raylan said. “Like I was really really surprised that I got to actually speak to him.”
During that call, Raylan was invited to a UT Football camp on a full scholarship.
“I want to throw him a touchdown pass real real bad and I want to have fun with him and play football, like run the ball to each other,” said Raylan.
Raylan says Hyatt is his favorite player because “he catches so many passes that he scores a lot of touchdowns and I really really like that.”
His parents said that Raylan has been a Tennessee Vols Fan before he even turned 1 year old.
Raylan is very grateful for his parents gifting him the photo.
“It feels like they really, really love me and that they really wanted to give this gift to me, so that I can never forget that present or that day ever again,” Raylan said.
Photos: Justin Clifton.