Former Arizona Wildcats tight end Rob Gronkowski will not play in his fourth Super Bowl in Houston on Feb. 5 for the New England Patriots, but the injured ever-gregarious one will certainly be in the limelight.
Tucsonan Brooks Reed, a former standout defensive end with the Arizona Wildcats and Sabino High School, returns to Houston where he played from 2011 to 2014. Reed is in his second season with the Atlanta Falcons.
Gronkowski and Reed were teammates at Arizona from 2007 to 2009. Ironically, both are second-round draft picks and the 42nd selection overall in consecutive years — Gronk in the 2010 draft and Reed in 2011.
Reed won’t attempt to tackle Gronk in the Super Bowl with Gronk out with a back injury. Their experience over the next two weeks should be interesting nonetheless. The following are some reactions after their respective teams qualified for the Super Bowl on Sunday:
One of many Gronk appearances with celebrities to come as the Super Bowl approaches …
— Donnie Wahlberg (@DonnieWahlberg) January 23, 2017
— AZ Wildcat Country (@Wildcat_Country) January 22, 2017
A message Reed from current Arizona staff member Chris Singletary, the Wildcats’ recruiting coordinator. …
— Chris Singletary (@CSing57) January 22, 2017
A vintage photo of Reed back in the day when he was a standout Sabercat …
Loos like Wes Schweitzer (Chaparral) and Brooks Reed (Sabino) are headed to a Super Bowl! pic.twitter.com/VpgvI5k5za
— AZ Varsity- Football (@AZHSFB) January 22, 2017
Gronk draws cameras and a crowd wherever he goes, even while spending time with a certain teammate. …
— Johnny Mehler (@JohnnyBangor) January 23, 2017
Who knew? Gronk has a following in Brazil.
— Boston Sports Brasil (@BostonSportsBR) January 23, 2017
Even a Phoenix TV station offered its congratulations to one of Tucson’s favorite sons.
— ABC15 Sports (@abc15sports) January 23, 2017
Reed’s motor is nonstop just like his Arizona days.
— Dov Kleiman (@NFL_DovKleiman) January 22, 2017
The Houston media is anticipating Reed’s return after playing for the Texans for four seasons before signing with Atlanta as a free agent before the 2015 season.
Coming back to Houston: Matt Schaub, Jake Matthews, Kyle Shanahan, Brooks Reed, Richard Smith, among others. Great stories all.
— John McClain (@McClain_on_NFL) January 22, 2017
— Chris Gronkowski (@Chrisgronkowski) January 23, 2017
Wouldn’t you want a twitter handle with people claiming to be your fans?
— Gronk Fans (@gronkme) January 23, 2017
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ALLSPORTSTUCSON.com publisher, writer and editor Javier Morales is a former Arizona Press Club award winner. He is a former Arizona Daily Star beat reporter for the Arizona basketball team, including when the Wildcats won the 1996-97 NCAA title. He has also written articles for CollegeAD.com, Bleacher Report, Lindy’s Sports, TucsonCitizen.com, The Arizona Republic, Sporting News and Baseball America, among many other publications. He has also authored the book “The Highest Form of Living”, which is available at Amazon.