FAYETTEVILLE, Ark — Between the Kansas City Chiefs and Tampa Bay Buccaneers there is only one former Hog who is making an appearance in Super Bowl 55.
Jeremiah Ledbetter prepares to play on Bucs defensive line Sunday, five years after his last game at Razorback Stadium.
“We did it as a team, we did it as individual’s and now we’re in the Super Bowl," said Buccaneers defensive lineman Jeremiah Ledbetter.
After being drafted out of Arkansas in 2017, Ledbetter has bounced around in his NFL career. In 2020 he joined the Bucs for his second stint with the team, beginning the year on the practice squad.
“The journey has been tough, but I embrace it," said Ledbetter.
Ledbetter fought off demotion and injury to earn his call up to Tampa Bay. The 26 year-old made sure he wouldn't be demoted again, playing the best football of his young NFL career and earning his first career sack.
“Waiting for the opportunity to get on the field and show what I can do, I’ve been waiting for the moment, dreamt about it and when it came to realization it’s a blessing," said Ledbetter.
Now, five years after his last game at Razorback Stadium Ledbetter will play in his first Super Bowl on Sunday.
“It’s crazy to think about because just in the past you see other teams and waiting on your moment you think are you ever going to be there?" When it is finally here even the anticipation leading up to it is huge," said Ledbetter.
If you told 17-year-old Ledbetter this was in the cards when he first stepped onto the Arkansas campus in Fayetteville he says he wouldn't have believed you.
“The chances of going to the Super Bowl are slim to none so I probably wouldn’t have believed them," said Ledbetter.
Despite playing just his final two college seasons at Arkansas, Ledbetter said he thrives off the support of the Razorback faithful.
“Having that support system is huge, you know there are no fans like the Razorbacks, it’s a huge blessing that they are still supporting me and watching my journey," said Ledbetter.
If the Bucs win on Sunday Ledbetter vows to bring his new hardware back to where it all began.
“It’s a huge blessing to be here and hopefully we can bring that ring back to the Razorback Nation.”
Ledbetter's Buccaneers will take on the defending champion Chiefs on CBS Sunday evening.