As a kid, Titans quarterback Vince Young looked up to Steve McNair.
On Wednesday, McNair's two young sons looked to Young as their father figure.
As part of "Dear Dads Breakfast" at St. Paul Christian Academy, Young surprised the children when he showed up at their house early Wednesday and took them to the Pancake Pantry.
Other students and their fathers also accompanied Young and McNair's children, Trenton and Tyler.
McNair was shot and killed July 4.
"It was a great, great gesture,'' said Julie Dilworth, admissions director at the school. "All the kids had been talking about the dads' breakfast and (Trenton and Tyler) were wondering what was going to happen with them.
"They were thrilled … the boys came to school with huge smiles on their faces.''
Even before McNair quarterbacked the Titans from 1995-2005, he was close to Young. They met through McNair's uncle, Young attended McNair's football camps as a youngster, and he even called the elder quarterback "Pops."
At McNair's funeral in Hattiesburg, Miss., Young looked into the crowd and told 11-year-old Trenton and 5-year-old Tyler they could count on him. The children also visited training camp at Baptist Sports Park as Young's guests.
"Those are my boys,'' Young said Wednesday. "I wouldn't say it was to pay anyone back; it was just out of love. Steve would do it for me. He pretty much did it for me when I was growing up. I have a history with the boys and I want to do anything I can. I am their big brother.''
Young gave jerseys and autographs to several St. Paul children. The breakfast is usually held on the school's campus in Green Hills, Dilworth said, but because of construction the students were given permission to dine elsewhere and arrive at school later than normal.
St. Paul has 401 students in grades ranging from junior kindergarten to sixth grade.
"It was a surprise, and just to see the excitement on their faces, it's a great feeling,'' Young said. "We had a good time eating pancakes. I had an omelet.
"Overall they are doing cool, doing good. Just talking to their mom, I think they are going to be all right. I am always going to be here for them, always.''