CLEVELAND — St. Ignatius High School has countless alumni who have played major college and professional football, but the Wildcats have never had a former player hoist the Lombardi Trophy after a Super Bowl victory.
However, former Wildcats quarterback Brian Hoyer has a chance to change all of that on Sunday when the New England Patriots take on the Los Angeles Rams in Super Bowl LIII at Mercedes-Benz Stadium in Atlanta.
“It’s exciting for all of us at school, all of us that have been here a while,” St. Ignatius football coach Chuck Kyle said in an exclusive interview with WKYC.com.
“Brian certainly has made a great career for himself in the NFL, and of course, when you make that step, there’s one team that’s going to be happy at the end of the year, and that’s the Super Bowl Champion. Brian’s been in it before, but he doesn’t have that championship ring yet, so we’re all hoping for him.”
Hoyer turned a standout career at St. Ignatius into a scholarship to Michigan State University, when he went on to complete 500 of his 896 attempts (55.8 percent) for 6,159 yards and 35 touchdowns against 23 interceptions.
Following his career with the Spartans, Hoyer went unselected in the 2009 NFL Draft. However, that proved critical in his career development, as Hoyer was able to pick the best situation possible for his professional success, the Patriots.
Hoyer is in his 10th NFL season and fifth with New England.
“Now, he’s back with New England, and I hope his experience here has helped him develop the idea of, ‘Okay, you’re the backup quarterback. You have a job to do every week. You better be ready to go in because something could happen,’” Kyle said.
“Brian’s been very good about this. He’s done a tremendous job of going over to the other side of the field and being the scout quarterback against their defense and preparing them for the game each week. He’s unselfish that way, and he learned that here.”
This will be Hoyer’s third trip to the NFL’s grandest stage, as he twice backed up Patriots quarterback Tom Brady in the Super Bowl, first in Super Bowl XLVI against the New York Giants, and then, against the Philadelphia Eagles in Super Bowl LII last February.
And should the Patriots be victorious this time around, Kyle will be proud to see Hoyer reach the pinnacle of success in the NFL.
“He’s the only one we’ve ever had actually play in the Super Bowl. We’ve had guys on teams that made the playoffs, but we haven’t had anybody take the Lombardi Trophy yet. Needless to say, St. Ignatius High School, we’re pulling for the Patriots, that’s for sure.
“That would be fun to see, wouldn’t it?”