For the first time, two Texas natives will face off as starting quarterbacks in a Super Bowl.
Philadelphia Eagles quarterback Jalen Hurts, who played at Channelview High School in Houston, and Kansas City Chiefs quarterback Patrick Mahomes, who is originally from Tyler and played at Whitehouse High School, have led their teams to football’s biggest game.
“I think its an amazing thing, especially being a high school coach in Texas,” Averion Hurts, father of the Eagles quarterback and head football coach at Channelview High School, told The Dallas Express.
“I’m rooting for Texas kids any time you see them on the big stage, but to be in the Super Bowl with two Texas high school quarterbacks left; that’s a great honor.”
Jalen Hurts graduated from Channelview High School in 2016, where he was a top-ten quarterback recruit and the No.1 dual-threat quarterback in the country when he committed to the University of Alabama.
He became the first true freshman starting quarterback for the Crimson Tide since 1984 and burst onto the scene with many accolades. He set the program’s record for single-season rushing yards by a quarterback and total touchdowns but lost the national championship game to Clemson.
Hurts led the Crimson Tide back to the national championship the following season but was benched in favor of Tua Tagovailoa in the title game. Hurts returned to Alabama for another season as a backup before transferring to the University of Oklahoma.
In his lone season at Oklahoma, Hurts was among the national leaders in many notable quarterback statistics, tied the program record for rushing touchdowns by a quarterback, and finished as the runner-up for the Heisman Trophy. The Sooners went to the College Football Playoff Semifinal at the Chuck-fil-a Peach Bowl and lost to eventual champion LSU.
Philadelphia drafted Hurts in the second round of the 2020 NFL Draft. He was once again a backup, this time to Carson Wentz, but got his chance as Wentz struggled in his recovery from injuries.
“It’s just made him stronger,” his father said. “He’s always been a very determined man, and he’s always been confident in his ability. He doesn’t mind working. It’s just allowed him to continue to put his best foot forward.”
The Eagles traded Wentz after the 2020 season, and new head coach Nick Sirianni named Hurts the starter shortly after that.
Mahomes graduated from Whitehouse in 2014 after starring as a football, basketball, and baseball player.
He was drafted to play Major League Baseball for the Detroit Tigers but opted to attend Texas Tech to pursue a football career.
Mahomes joined the Red Raiders after winning AP 4A Player of the Year in Texas and earning a three or four-star recruiting ranking, depending on the recruiting service.
There, he teamed up with former Texas Tech star quarterback Kliff Kingsbury, who had become his alma mater’s head coach.
Mahomes made four starts as a freshman and blossomed over the following two seasons. He finished his collegiate career third on Texas Tech’s all-time passing list with 11,252 yards and became the first Red Raider quarterback to lead the country in passing yards since Graham Harrell in 2008.
Mahomes declared for the 2017 NFL Draft after that season and was selected 10th overall by the Kansas City Chiefs, who traded up to get him. He was the second quarterback drafted that year, behind only Chicago’s Mitchell Trubisky.
Mahomes was the backup to Alex Smith in his first year in Kansas City and has now taken the Chiefs to five consecutive AFC Championship games and three Super Bowls.
This season, both Mahomes and Hurts have played their way into the league MVP conversation and have their teams one win away from history.
The Super Bowl eluded Texas quarterbacks for the first 43 years of its existence before Drew Brees (Austin Westlake) ended the drought by leading the New Orleans Saints to a Super Bowl win over the Indianapolis Colts in Super Bowl XLIV.
Several others also won the NFL Championship before it became known as the Super Bowl when the NFL and AFL merged in 1966.
Super Bowl LVII will include ten players across both rosters with Texas ties, four on the Chiefs and six on the Eagles.
The Super Bowl will be played at 5:30 pm CT on Sunday, February 12.