3 February 2012
It is a unique connection.
Purdue meet New England. New England meet Purdue.
With three players hailing from West Lafayette, Purdue is tied with the University of Florida for the most players from one college on the Patriots roster.
Left tackle Matt Light is the longest tenured Boilermaker that will wear a Patriots uniform on Sunday.
He has blocked the blindside for Patriot quarterbacks in 153 of the past 155 regular season games.
The three-time Pro Bowler’s accolades extends back to his days at Purdue when he was a two-time All-Big Ten selection.
In his final season as a Boilermaker, Light helped lead Purdue to its first Big Ten Championship since 1967.
Light’s career at Purdue ended in 2000 and overlapped just one season with linebacker Niko Koutouvides.
Flash forward to 2011 and the two former Boilermakers have been re-united in another championship run.
When linebacker Niko Koutouvides got the call he had been waiting for this season, he was out working in his yard.
Koutouvides had been waiting for that call for two months after the Patriots cut him on Sept. 3.
The former All-Big 10 linebacker at Purdue has made the most of his opportunity to re-join the Patriots.
He is expected to play on all special teams units this Sunday while playing in his second ever Super Bowl (played with Seattle in 2006).
“You started your career here and now you’re back trying to win a Super Bowl here,” Koutouvides said of being back in Indiana. “It’s awesome. You see some similar places. You see some people you haven’t seen in a while. It’s a fun experience.”
The occasional smack talk goes around the Patriots locker room involving the three Boilermakers.
A fourth round draft pick of Seattle in 2004, Koutouvides started 32 games during his four years at Purdue.
For Koutouvides the chance to play for the Super Bowl would not have been possible without his tenure in West Lafaytte.
“The opportunity to play was there right away,” Koutouvides said. “I didn’t redshirt so I came in and actually played. The education was there. When I went there I met with the coaches and I felt like that was the spot to me.”
Posted by: Kevin Bowen
Posted in Colts Blog