Local Stars in the Super Bowl

Brendan Moore, Senior Writer

The biggest football game of the year will be kicking off in a matter of days. The 54th edition of the Super Bowl will be between the AFC champions, Kansas City Chiefs, and the NFC champions, San Francisco 49ers. No, the Lions are not playing, but many players have ties to the metro Detroit area.

Kansas City quarterback Patrick Mahomes is regarded as one of the best in the league. Before he became a breakout star on the football field, he was drafted in the 37th round of the 2014 MLB draft by the Detroit Tigers. He turned down the offer and decided to continue his football career at Texas Tech. Chiefs tackle Eric Fisher was a former number one draft pick out of Central Michigan. He was originally from Rochester and attended Stony Creek High School. He made the Pro Bowl back in 2018. There are four other players from Kansas City that played college football in Michigan: defensive end Frank Clark (Michigan), offensive lineman Andrew Wylie (Eastern Michigan), quarterback Chad Henne (Michigan) and wide receiver Felton Davis (Michigan State).

San Francisco 49ers’ defensive coordinator Robert Saleh will have a big coaching role for the team. Saleh is from Dearborn and played football at Fordson High School. He later went on to play at Northern Michigan University. Saleh also had a short stint as a coach at Central Michigan. He has slowly climbed up the ranks in the NFL to become the defensive coordinator for the 49ers. Another coach with local ties, Martin Mayhew, is the vice president of player personnel for San Francisco. He was the former general manager for the Lions from 2001 to 2015. There are three players on the 49ers roster that used play for Detroit: offensive lineman Laken Tomlinson, tight end Levine Toilolo and defensive lineman Anthony Zettel. Another Central Michigan alum, Offensive tackle Joe Staley, is on the roster for San Francisco. He was a first round pick in the 2007 NFL draft from Rockford, Michigan.

Despite the continuing disappointment from the Lions, there are still plenty of Michigan natives and former Lions players to root for on Sunday.