Can someone become a household name on two different occasions?
Nick Foles is that someone.
The former Arizona Wildcats quarterback has made America marvel again and Sports Illustrated has joined the ride, placing the Philadelphia Eagle on its cover for the second time.
Both occasions have involved Foles making a surprising development toward stardom.
Foles emerged in a big way as a backup of injured Michael Vick in 2013, leading the Eagles to a wildcard berth. Sports Illustrated ran Foles on its cover with the saying, “And then Nick Foles happened.”
THIS WEEK'S COVER: And then Nick Foles happened again! The Eagles' backup is now a Super Bowl starter. pic.twitter.com/bco0LuwcCR
After turbulent twists and turns in his career, which almost forced him to walk away from football, Foles is once again grabbing the headlines after replacing injured MVP candidate Carson Wentz. Only this time, Foles has helped guide the Eagles into the Super Bowl to face the New England Patriots, becoming the first Arizona quarterback to put himself in position to start in football’s grandest game.
After a stellar performance in the NFC championship game against Minnesota, Foles will grace the SI cover of the edition that hits the newsstands tomorrow. “How the Eagles’ backup plan became a Super Bowl blueprint,” reads the title.
Foles completed 26 of 33 pass attempts for 352 yards, three touchdowns, no interceptions, and a 141.4 rating in the Eagles’ 38-7 win over the Vikings. He is the first quarterback in NFL history to have a passer rating over 100 in his first three postseason starts (minimum of 30 attempts).
Foles will compete against former Arizona players Rob Gronkowski and Marquis Flowers of the Patriots in the Super Bowl. Gronkowski has also appeared on two Sports Illustrated covers.
Gronkowski was a teammate of Foles at Arizona in 2008 and 2009 although they never played together because Foles sat out the 2008 season after transferring from Michigan State and Gronkowski was out the 2009 season with a back injury.
The former Arizona player with the most Sports Illustrated covers is Luke Walton with three (including one for the now defunct Sports Illustrated on Campus edition).
The following slideshow includes all 19 covers showcasing Arizona Wildcats athletes:
In reverse chronological order:
January 24, 2018 — Nick Foles: “How the Eagles’ backup plan became a Super Bowl blueprint”
June 22, 2015 — Andre Iguodala: “Golden Ticket — How the NBA Finals turned on the matchup between Andre Iguodala and LeBron James”
March 11, 2015 — Rondae Hollis-Jefferson, Stanley Johnson and Brandon Ashley: “Arizona Wildcats — Their key: Roar on the boards”
Jan. 12, 2015 — Rob Gronkowski: “Gronked — The Pats’ party boy throttles back (sort of):
Nov. 5, 2014 — Brandon Ashley: “SI’s Final Four — Kentucky, Arizona, Wisconsin and Duke”
March 20, 2014 — Nick Johnson: “The Madness Begins — Nick Johnson and top-cat Arizona are Final Four bound”
Dec. 10, 2013 — Foles: “And then Nick Foles happened”
Sept. 3, 2012 — Gronkowski: “NFL 2012 — The Full Gronkowski”
Nov. 21, 2005 — Ivan Radenovic, Chris Rodgers, Mohamed Tangara, Hassan Adams, Isaiah Fox, Mustafa Shakur, Kirk Walters and Marcus Williams: “Can anyone stop Duke? Here comes Arizona”
July 11, 2005 — Jennie Finch: “SI throws a party — Jennie Finch will be there”
Jan. 24, 2005 — Tedy Bruschi: “Defense rules the playoffs”
Feb. 5, 2004 — Luke Walton: “Last year’s stud, this year’s scrub. Life in the real world as told by Luke Walton”
Nov. 25, 2002 — Walton and Jason Gardner: “Arizona No. 1 College Hoops”
May 13, 2002 — Trevor Hoffman: “The Secret of San Diego — Why Trevor Hoffman of the Padres is the best closer (ever)”
March 18, 2002 — Walton: “Are you ready? Everybody into the pool”
April 1, 2001 — Loren Woods: “The four keys to the Final Four”
April 7, 1997 — Miles Simon: “Cool Cat — Miles Simon leads Arizona to the NCAA title”
Aug. 29, 1994 — Bruschi, Sean Harris, Jim Hoffman, Tony Bouie and Brandon Sanders: “Rock Solid — Arizona is No. 1”
Oct. 11, 1993 — Chuck Cecil: “Is Chuck Cecil too vicious for the NFL?”