Indiana natives hoping to hoist Lombardi Trophy Sunday
State of Indiana represented in Super Bowl LVlll
LAS VEGAS (WISH) — The big game is getting closer and closer.
Super Bowl LVIII in Las Vegas is just four days away. Both the Kansas City Chiefs and San Francisco 49ers are each continuing to prepare for the matchup.
The state of Indiana will be represented in the game. A pair of Chiefs players, George Karlaftis and Drue Tranquill, are Indiana natives.
Karlaftis, a defensive end, attended West Lafayette High School and played college football at Purdue University.
“The whole community back in West Lafayette is amazing,” Karlaftis said. “I got a lot of family there, a lot of friends. Purdue’s there and they’ve been amazing throughout this whole process. So, it’s definitely awesome having all that support back there and I love them.”
Tranquill, a linebacker, grew up in Fort Wayne and played college football at the University of Notre Dame.
“All these guys that played ball in Texas and Florida, they don’t respect Indiana football,” Tranquill said. “And we’re proud to put Indiana on the map and hopefully we can get more guys that continue to play at a high level because these guys, they don’t give any respect to it.”
Karlaftis knows what it takes to hoist the Vince Lombardi Trophy. He was able to do it last year with the Chiefs.
“We talked about winning one for the guys that haven’t because not too many people get to experience winning a Super Bowl trophy in their whole career,” Karlaftis said. “I always remember and talk about Carlos Dunlap. He was a veteran, 13 years in last year, and I don’t know if he’d ever won a playoff game until he got here. You do it for yourself obviously, but you also do it for the guys next to you who haven’t had that experience.”
Meanwhile, Tranquill is hoping to experience that feeling of hoisting the Lombardi Trophy this weekend. Unlike Karlaftis, he’s never had the chance to do so yet in his NFL career.
“It’s a surreal experience,” Tranquill said. “I’m trying to take each moment as it comes. This is everything you dream for as a kid. It’s everything you train for. I remember training at Carroll High School. At Notre Dame, you have those early mornings, those long training sessions, and, to see this opportunity come to fruition, we got one more. We got to win it. That’s all that matters.”