Before Patrick Mahomes became arguably the best player in the NFL, he was an honors student at Texas Tech University.
The Chiefs quarterback encouraged his newest fellow alumni to "go out and win your Super Bowl" during the university's virtual commencement Saturday. With the COVID-19 pandemic halting traditional graduation ceremonies across the nation, Mahomes' words applied to those beyond the 2020 graduates from Lubbock, Texas.
"I know this isn't the graduation ceremony that you and your families had envisioned but that doesn't change the outcome or all the hard work, long hours and sacrifices that you made to achieve this milestone," Mahomes said in a video message. "I know this is for sure not how you imagined spending your last days as a student. I'm sure you'd rather be hitting up Chimy's or Broadway to celebrate this day, but the world is in a different place today than it was just a few weeks ago, and as Red Raiders, we're built to persevere in difficult times.
"We've all had to take a moment and learn to adjust to these new challenges, and when the odds are stacked against us, we make a play, and I can tell you, this is going to make us all more competitive and hungrier than ever. Remember, this is still a day to celebrate -- to look back on your friends you've made, the professors who have changed your life and the memories that you will cherish forever."
Mahomes played football and baseball for the Red Raiders. He led the FBS in passing yards in 2016 before being drafted No. 10 overall by the Chiefs the following spring. In his first two full seasons, he's claimed league MVP and Super Bowl MVP. But he hasn't forgotten where he came from.
"I think it's a real neat thing that he's having an opportunity to do with Texas Tech," Chiefs coach Andy Reid told reporters Friday. "He is passionate about sports, he's passionate about Tech and I think it's a neat thing that he'd have that opportunity to do it. Pat's a pretty cool cucumber there. He's a sharp kid and speaks well so I think he'll have a nice presentation for them."
Per usual, Mahomes didn't disappoint.