Eleven years ago, Jason Kelce was an overlooked running back recruit coming out of Cleveland Heights.
Today, the Philadelphia Eagles center can call himself a Super Bowl champion.
Sitting at a podium in Minneapolis moments after the Eagles' 41-33 victory over the New England Patriots in Super Bowl LII on Sunday night, Kelce became overwhelmed with emotion. As he reflected on his journey -- from walk-on at Cincinnati to sixth-round pick in 2011 to 2-time Pro Bowl selection to the starting center of the world champions -- the former Cleveland Heights Tiger reached the point of tears in one of the most memorable post-Super Bowl moments.
"It's hard to put into words. The last two weeks, after we beat Atlanta and after we beat -- the last two weeks after we won, I found myself in the shower crying, dreaming of this moment," Kelce said. "You work so hard your life to get here. Everything culminates.
"I can't help but think back to a quote about persistence my grandfather gave me from Calvin Coolidge. I'm not going to say it because it's a little long and it will drag on, but he gave me that quote when I was 18-years-old, when I was not getting a scholarship to play at any Division-I university. My father and mother -- my father and mother told me to stay after my dream. I've officially accomplished the best thing in this sport with a group of guys who mean the world to me.
"Really, persistence has summed up my whole career. It's summed up my whole life. Just keep going, keep on moving forward. No matter what obstacle comes in your way, just keep moving forward."
You can watch the entirety of Kecle's emotional postgame interview in the video below.