Former Kentucky football player Mike Edwards is heading to the Super Bowl.
When the Tampa Bay Buccaneers and Green Bay Packers each won last weekend, punching their tickets to the NFC Championship, Kentucky football was guaranteed representation in Super Bowl LV. The question was whether the participant would be Mike Edwards or Za’Darius Smith.
After a hard-fought battle at Lambeau Field on Sunday afternoon resulted in a 31-26 victory for the Bucs, it will be Edwards with an opportunity to play for the Lombardi Trophy. In just his second year in the league, Edwards didn’t have to wait long to head to his first Super Bowl.
After helping seal the win last weekend against the Saints with his first career playoff interception, Edwards finished the NFC Championship with three tackles, two of them solo. A young member of one of the league’s best overall defensive units this season, Edwards has proved himself worthy of the third-round pick the Bucs used on him two years ago.
The Bucs will become the first team to play on their home field in the Super Bowl.
Edwards celebrated after the game along with Chris Godwin and Scotty Miller.
While favored heading into the game, Smith will have to wait for a trip to the Super Bowl. Recently voted to The Associated Press NFL All-Pro Second Team, Smith anchored the Packers defense this season.
Smith finished Sunday’s game with four tackles, two solo and one QB hit. He closes out the season with 12.5 sacks, good for fourth in the league, and will participate in the Pro-Bowl for the second consecutive season.
Edwards, who completed his Kentucky career with 317 tackles, 10 interceptions, and two touchdowns was congratulated by his alma mater following Sunday’s win.
During his senior year at Winton Woods High School in Cincinnati, he decided to pick Kentucky who was coming off a 2-10 season because he wanted to make a difference spurning offers from Wisconsin and West Virginia just to name a few.
Edwards will look to join a shortlist of former Kentucky players who have been drafted into the NFL and also won a Super Bowl when the Buccaneers face the Kansas City Chiefs in two weeks.