Two players had an opportunity to send their respective teams to the Super Bowl Sunday night in LA when the Rams and 49ers faced off for the third time this season.
Jaquiski Tartt saw a ball go through his hands and bounce off his chest, while former TCU linebacker Travin Howard completed the play, ending San Francisco’s desperation final drive and taking his team to the Super Bowl for the second time in four years.
With Aaron Donald applying pressure to Jimmy Garoppolo, Howard crept up the line, corralling a ball off the hands of the intended wide receiver, completing an 11 point comeback for Los Angeles.
Howard starred at TCU from 2014-2017, collecting over 100 tackles in three consecutive seasons as he became the all-time leading tackler of the Gary Patterson era with 343. He was a first team All Big 12 selection his final two seasons in Fort Worth and named Alamo Bowl MVP in 2017. He had double-digit stops in 16 career games for the Horned Frogs.
Drafted in the seventh round by the Rams in 2018, Howard spent time dealing with injuries and working his way up the practice squad ranks. He didn’t get meaningful defensive snaps until this past season, seeing time on the special teams unit in 2019 and not getting on the field in 2020. In 2021, he made his first two career starts and collected his first two career interceptions, as he has helped solidify a position group decimated by injuries. His story is one of perseverance and determination, and after years of grinding, everyone knows his name tonight.
In addition to Howard, former Frog offensive lineman Joseph Noteboom is also Super Bowl bound, though he has been dealing with injuries as well and did not play in Sunday’s NFC Championship game. Whether he will be on the field Super Bowl Sunday remains to be seen, but either way, his former coach is certainly proud:
So happy for @TravinTheGreat and Joseph Noteboom! Great pick! Greatness happens in a period of time when hard work and dreams meet! Proud of you!— Gary Patterson (@FBCoachP) January 31, 2022
Congratulations to these two Super Frogs!