ATLANTA, Ga. – Just three days away from the big game between the Atlanta Falcons and the New England Patriots, a former Carver Tiger turned NFL all-pro is sharing his perspective on Sunday’s game exclusively with News 3. Cornerback Nate Odomes says he never imagined playing in the big game while he was in high school. The multi-sport athlete weighed 170 lbs, but many colleges passed on him.
However, after getting a scholarship to Wisconsin, where he also did track and field, becoming an All-American and All-Big Ten player, and having an all-pro NFL career, Odomes’ perspective has certainly changed from his high school days.
“I can understand what each ball player is going through,” Odomes said about playoff football and performing on the biggest stage of a football player’s career. “All the philosophies you’ve heard all season long, you have to put those into use on Super Bowl Sunday and not go out and be a cowboy for yourself.”
Odomes played in the big game four times. He says at this point, the teams are playing a strategic game of physical chess. They’ve gone through the motions and must not focus on not committing simple mistakes. Odomes says players usually react much more sharply on the field during the big game. The former NFL standout explained that before his professional dreams came true, he started working hard at home.
“Coming from Columbus, I think my family really supported me and gave me a lot of love,” Odomes said. “Not only my family and friends, but Carver High School and going to Wisconsin it was the same thing, and in my NFL career as well.”
Odomes says the key for any young athlete aspiring to the next level in their playing careers revolves around handling what’s in front of them and listening to their authority figures.
“Honoring your family members or whoever is the head of your household [is] very empowering,” Odomes said.
For the athletes already on the big stage, Odomes says there’s a lot on the line. But he says if the Falcons manage to win Sunday, the experience will make the team’s future much brighter.
“They’ll be able to relax a lot more,” Odomes explained. “The experience of going to the Super Bowl and going to that finish line, it’s something that not only they’ll never forget, but it’ll set the tone for next season coming into this new building. And it’ll be very positive for the Falcons.”