ROCK HILL, SC (WBTV) - Rock Hill may be one of the few cities in America that has 2 hometown heroes playing in Super Bowl 53, but not only are they playing in the game, they are on the same team.
New England Patriots wide receiver Cordarrelle Patterson and cornerback Stephon Gilmore both hail from Football City USA but went to rival high schools. Patterson was an All State receiver at Northwestern and Gilmore was an All State quarterback at South Pointe.
“We’ve competed all our lives and now that he is my team mate, I was very happy for that,” said Gilmore at Super Bowl Opening Night on Monday.
Back in 2008, the Stallions beat the Trojans in the South Carolina AAAA Division 2 state title game.
“I still talk trash to him and tell him we beat them in the state championship,” said Gilmore. “It’s all fun and games.”
Both guys have done well for themselves in the NFL.
Gilmore was a first round draft pick by Buffalo in the 2012 NFL Draft after a stellar career at the University of South Carolina.
After 5 years with the Bills, Gilmore was signed by New England as a free agent in 2017.
For his career, Gilmore has 18 interceptions.
Patterson was a first round draft pick by Minnesota in 2013 after leaving the University of Tennessee early.
After 4 season with Minnesota, Patterson was signed as free agent by Oakland in 2017.
Patterson came to the Patriots after being traded from Oakland back in March of last year.
“I never thought in a million years I would be playing for the Patriots,” said Patterson. “Playing with Tom Brady and coach Bellichek, it’s a crazy experience. I wouldn’t trade it for anything because look where I’m at right now.”
For his career, Patterson had 10 career touchdowns as a wide receiver including 3 this year from Brady.
But Patterson has stuck in this league as one of the best kick returners in the game. For his career, he has 6 kickoff returns for touchdowns including one this season.
Both guys want to win their first World Championship but the focus now is soaking in the experience of being at the pinnacle of football.
“You got to enjoy every moment like it’s your last,” said Patterson. “Go out and have fun, make sure you smile a lot and enjoy the experience.”
“It’s just hard to get to this position," said Gilmore. “Not too many times you get to the Super Bowl so you have to take advantage of your opportunity.”
Super Bowl 53 is this Sunday and you can watch it on WBTV.