Former Huskers Burkhead, Gerry to square off on Super Bowl Sunday

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MINNEAPOLIS -- Super Bowl Sunday will feature the New England Patriots and the Philadelphia Eagles, but it will also feature a couple of familiar faces for Nebraska fans.

This year, two former Huskers will play in football's biggest game; former Nebraska safety Nate Gerry, a rookie linebacker for the Eagles, and Patriots running back Rex Burkhead.

That means that this year will mark 25 consecutive Super Bowls that the Huskers have had a former player participate in, something that is not lost on either of this year's Nebraska representatives.

"It means a lot. Pretty strong tradition going from the University of Nebraska as well as all the other traditions they've got going so, it's special," said Burkhead. "You've got Nate Gerry with the Eagles and it shows how great the program is, to have guys continuously playing in this game and to be named one of those is a tremendous honor."

Gerry said that streak, the longest in the nation, also goes to back to what the players learn at Nebraska and the support of their fans.

"I think a lot of that comes from the support and from Nebraska that pushes a lot of us to get to the points that we're at in our lives. You know, a lot of things that we do, in football, a lot of that stuff's tough, a lot of people want to quit, but when you have a bunch of support like Nebraska it makes it a lot easier," Gerry said.

For Gerry, this year's Super Bowl is extra special, not only because it's his rookie season, but also because it's in Minneapolis, just over 230 miles from his home in Sioux Falls, South Dakota.

"Oh yeah, I mean, this couldn't have worked out any better for me, especially Super Bowl being in Minneapolis, so close to home, my family and friends can come here, couldn't have worked out any better," Gerry said.

Burkhead, in his first season with New England after spending the previous four with Cincinnati, said he's happy Gerry could start his NFL career like this.

"I'm excited for him, you know, his rookie year, being able to play in the Super Bowl, it's a neat deal for him and me as well."

As for how well the two know each other, they said they hadn't yet talked in person, but hope to do so on Sunday.

Gerry briefly touched on the current state of the Nebraska football program, saying, "I think Nebraska is in the right direction right now. I think that the city of Lincoln and the state of Nebraska deserves someone like Scott Frost and I couldn't be more happy and excited that he's coming back."

Former Nebraska defensive lineman Vincent Valentine is also a member of the Patriots, but was placed on the injured reserve earlier in the season due to a knee injury.

So, regardless of the outcome on Sunday, another former Husker will be able to call himself a Super Bowl champion.

You can watch their full interviews above.

Read the original version of this article at www.1011now.com.