Former University of Arizona tight end Rob Gronkowski helped lead the New England Patriots to a 28-24 victory over the Seattle Seahawks in Sunday's Super Bowl XLIX in Glendale, Arizona.
"I started my college career out at the UA, so it's extra sweet to win this in the state of Arizona," Gronkowski told the Arizona Daily Star. "To win the Super Bowl down the street from where I went to college is really cool. I've come so far since I went to Arizona as an 18-year-old. I just worked my tail off to get to this point."
Gronkowski, 25, played for the Wildcats in 2007 and 2008 after connecting with former UA star Donnie Salum. He missed his junior season in 2009 because of back surgery and was selected in the second round of the 2010 NFL Draft by the Patriots. In Sunday's game, he finished with six receptions, 68 yards and a touchdown, scored less than a minute before halftime on a 22-yard pass from quarterback Tom Brady.
Former UA players have 44 overall appearances in the Super Bowl. Gronkowski joins Tedy Bruschi (Patriots), Antonio Pierce (New York Giants) and Michael Johnson (Giants) as Wildcats who have won NFL championship rings.
(Photos courtesy of Arizona Athletics)