By Christie Post - email
LUBBOCK, TX (KCBD) – Former Texas Tech football player Graham Harrell is in Dallas preparing for his rookie year at Super Bowl XLV with the Green Bay Packers.
Harrell,25, said it's a dream come true to be in a place where some veteran players have waited for years to be. And even more so, it's a true homecoming for the Texas Native. Harrell was born and raised in Ennis, less than 40 miles south of Dallas.
"Being in the Super Bowl your first year is something special. For it to be the one in your home state and home town is something that's great. We're just excited to be here, hopefully we play well," said Graham Harrell, Green Bay Packers No.3 Quarterback.
And his family can't be more proud. "They're excited to be here, it just so happens they're right down the road. So it makes it that much sweeter and that much more important, the fact they are getting to go through it with me," said Harrell.
But it hasn't been this easy. "Any kid that plays football dreams about being in the Super Bowl. It really is a dream come true," said Harrell.
His career has been up and down since ranking first in NCAA history with 134 passing touchdowns and 1,403 completions at Tech. After college Harrell went undrafted in 2009 and got close to the NFL when he tried out for the Cleveland Browns. Then ended up in the Canadian Football League with the Saskatchewan Roughriders, but spent the entire season on the injured list.
"I had a blast out there. Then I had the opportunity to get back to the states so I jumped on it," said Harrell.
Harrell then signed with the Packers last May and spent most of 2010 on the practice squad. He was called up to the main team when Aaron Rodgers suffered a concussion in the Thanksgiving game against Detroit. Harrell is on the active roster and the third string quarterback. He said he's just happy to be part of the team. He could possibly be called to play in the Super Bowl if the packers need his services.
"I guess you always have to be ready. If Aaron went down and Matt went down, I think I'd be ready and perform well. You don't want anyone to get hurt, but if it came to it hopefully I'd be ready and be able to play," said Harrell.
He thanks his father, who coached him in high school, and Mike Leach, who coached him in college. Harrell said they were there to make his dreams become a reality. "He's been a huge roll in getting me where I am today and he gets a lot of credit to where I am," said Harrell.
Even if Harrell doesn't throw a single pass, he will savor the experience, and remember advice from Mike Leach. "He told me congratulations and make the most of it. And learn as much as you can, because hopefully you'll be there one day as the starter," said Harrell.
Originally the packers said only active players would be in the Super Bowl team photo. The Packers have since then moved the picture to Friday, so the entire team can be in it.
The Green Bay Packers will take on the Pittsburgh Steelers Sunday at 5:30 p.m. CST on Fox.
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