Brock Purdy and the San Francisco 49ers are headed to the Super Bowl in less than two weeks, where he’ll face fellow former Big 12 quarterback, Patrick Mahomes.
Purdy and Mahomes never crossed paths during their times at Iowa State and Texas Tech, as Mahomes’ final year in college was in 2016 and Purdy didn’t play at Iowa State until 2018.
While the two have met before in the NFL — when Mahomes’ Chiefs took down the 49ers 44-23 during the 2022 regular season — they’ve never faced off as starters, as Jimmy Garopollo was still the starter when they met on October 23, 2022.
A lot has changed since then. Patrick Mahomes’ offensive juggernaut has given way to a stalwart defense being the primary weapon that landed the Chiefs in the Super Bowl. And for Brock Purdy, being the starter for an entire season in San Francisco has made him an NFL superstar, unlike the upstart rookie who led the 49ers to an “upset” win over the Dallas Cowboys in last year’s divisional round of the NFL Playoffs.
Still, just over a year later, an interview with NBC Sports’ Peter King still reveals some of the building blocks that turned “Mr. Irrelevant” into anything but.
“[Playing at Iowa State] taught me how to be real about myself,” Purdy told King. “I learned so much just with winning and being successful and then also losing some big games. I learned how to overcome some things, believe in myself, but also not be too high when things are great, or just because you’ve lost a couple games doesn’t mean you’re horrible.”
The mindset that shaped Purdy’s time in Ames is also what’s led him to success in the NFL, and that’s no coincidence. Toughness, hard work, dedication to the process, and a lack of complacency are all things that led to success in football, and he’s had to have that over the past several years to keep moving forward.
“Honestly it was a blessing in disguise because when I came here for the NFL, I was already used to the sport being hard, and being coached hard, and it was always, ‘How can I get better?’ I think it’s allowed me to have some success,” Purdy told King.
Now, just over a year after being injured in the NFC Championship Game, Purdy and the 49ers have conquered that trophy and are now focused on the big one that awaits in Las Vegas less than two weeks from now.