Two Texas born 3 star recruits will battle this Sunday in the AFC championship game with a spot in the Super Bowl on the line. One being a former college receiver while the other was a record breaking passer, both show that some roads to NFL success are not the same.
Ryan Tannehill was born in Lubbock, Texas but moved to Big Springs where he attended high school. As a three star recruit he would throw for 5,258 yards and rush for 617 yards as a senior. After redshirting in the 2007 season, he lost a Quarterback battle to Stephen McGee and Jerrod Johnson and was moved to Wide Receiver.
His first time at the position he finished with 844 yards which was only 11 yards shy of an A&M freshman record. He wouldn’t see action at Quarterback until the 7th game of the 2010 season. He would help lead victories over Oklahoma, Baylor, Nebraska and Texas on his way to earning A&M a top 25 record. In his senior season he threw for 3,744 yards and 29 touchdowns.
He was selected with the 8th pick of the 2012 draft by the Miami Dolphins. He would have an up and down career in Miami as he finished with a record of 42-46 with 20,434 yards but struggled mightily to stay healthy during his time there.
During the 2019 off season he was traded to the Tennessee Titans and replaced Marcus Mariota during week 6. After the team struggled to begin the season he led the Titans to a 7-3 record and a birth as one of the AFC wild card teams. He threw for 2,742 yards and 22 touchdowns with only 6 interceptions during his time as the starter. He led his teams to upsets of last year’s Super Bowl champion New England Patriots and another over former heisman winner and soon to be MVP Lamar Jackson and the Baltimore Ravens.
Pat Mahomes was born into a family of sports. His father Pat Mahomes senior spent 12 seasons as a Major League Baseball pitcher for the Mets, Twins, Red Sox, Cubs, Pirates and Rangers. Mahomes attended Whitehouse high school where he was a multi sport athlete. He finished his senior season throwing for 4,619 yards and 50 touchdowns. He also threw a no hitter in a baseball game where he struck out 16 batters on his way to being named Maxpreps male athlete of the year for 2013-2014. He was a 3 star recruit and rated the #12 duel threat Quarterback in Texas. He would go on to commit to Texas Tech even after being drafted in the 37th round by the Detroit Tigers out of High School.
After taking over for an injured David Webb he set a freshman record with 598 yards and 6 touchdowns. Against Oklahoma in 2016 he set a single game record for total offensive yards with 819 as well as a single game passing record with 734. That season he was named the winner of the Sammy Baugh Trophy which is given to the nations best passer. He broke multiple other school and NCAA records during his time at Tech.
He was selected with the 10th pick by the Kansas City Chiefs in the 2017 draft as the predecessor to Alex Smith. He was given the reigns to the team in 2018. He would throw for 5,097 yards and 50 touchdowns on his way to winning the NFL MVP award while also breaking multiple record.
Although his numbers this season were not as doughty as those, he still finished as one of the top players in the league. The Chief finished as the 2 seed and faced off against the Houston Texans where Mahomes led the Chiefs to victory after facing a 24-0 second quarter deficit.
Both Quarterbacks have different play styles and have taken different paths to get where they are, but Sunday all records will be even as both look to lead their teams to a shot to take claim to the name Super Bowl Champion.