KNOXVILLE, Tenn. (WATE) – They say big things come in small packages, and that remains true as the littlest fan of the Tennessee Volunteers may also be the most supportive.

If you have been to a Vols game over the past few years, you have probably noticed one animal getting a lot of attention. Sinan the Squirrel, along with his owner/dad Saed Awad, bring plenty of joy and amazement wherever they go.

Awad said that his companionship with Sinan happened purely by fate. A friend of Awad discovered Sinan in their backyard just a few days after the squirrel was born, and Awad was recruited to nurse Sinan back to good health. A few months later when Sinan was finally ready to be released back into the wild, Sinan’s affinity for Awad had grown to the point where he did not want to leave his side.

“We tried to release him many times and he didn’t want to go. I started taking him with me everywhere because I didn’t want to leave him alone with my cat in the house. I think that’s how he became more familiar with people and not afraid to be around people,” said Saed.

One afternoon, Saed took Sinan to the marina in Oak Ridge. That is where the duo met members of the University of Tennessee rowing team who gifted Sinan with a mini UT cap. A few months after that, Sinan and Awad attended their first Volunteers football game. Because of the love that Sinan received from spectators, Awad decided to make attending tailgates and games more of a regular occurrence.

“I was more about basketball than football until I got Sinan. I started getting into football more, learning the names and numbers of the [University of Tennessee football] players, and knowing when the games would be,” said Awad. He continued, “We do the whole tailgating thing until the game starts. Sometimes we go into [Neyland Stadium]. It just depends on his mood.”

In addition to being seen at the games, you can also catch Sinan and Awad at other public events around the area. Awad jokes that Sinan has taken over his identity to the point where restaurants will put down Sinan’s name for the order instead of his. He said that Sinan’s cool demeanor has made him quite the local celebrity.

“We have something to do every weekend. All the kids love to see him. I even have people message me the day before [a game] asking how they can meet and take pictures with him. I wasn’t very social before I got Sinan, but he’s helping me with that because we’ll just have random people stop to talk to us. He’s helped with how I interact with people and how I handle social media. He’s just a loving little thing,” said Awad.

Sinan and Awad hope to get a sponsorship where they will be able to document their travels to every state. They hope to visit one of the main college campuses in each state, but, of course, Sinan would be sporting his UT apparel. Right now, Sinan shirts are available at the University of Tennessee campus store.

As of today, Sinan has more than 38,000 followers on Instagram and over 116,000 followers on TikTok. You can follow Sinan’s journey on one of these social media platforms. But if you would like to meet this little guy in person, you will likely find him cheering the University of Tennessee athletic teams on to victory.

The rendition of “Rocky Top” you heard in the story was composed by William Wright. To learn more about this award-winning composer and his upcoming performances, you can head to William’s website for more information.