Back in April Ja’Whaun Bentley kept alive a nice string for Purdue football. He was the 143rd pick in the NFL Draft and he made sure it was the 21st consecutive year at least one player from Purdue was drafted. While he has missed much of this season on injured reserve, he was the starter for the New England Patriots in opening day, so he contributed this season as the Patriots made the Super Bowl tonight. That makes it the 20th consecutive season in which a Purdue player has been on a Super Bowl roster.
Admittedly, the streak barely stayed alive last year. Jason King was a member of the Patriots’ practice squad last season, but Purdue counts it in their media guide so I will count it. The Patriots have also helped keep that streak alive in a big way as they have made 9 Super Bowls in that time and each Patriot team has had at least one Purdue player.
Bentley is joined by former Purdue and LSU quarterback Danny Etling, who is the Patriots No. 3 quarterback and a member of the practice squad. Obviously Etling’s Purdue career did not end as we had hoped, but he put in two seasons and it was pretty clearly not his fault we weren’t successful.
Congrats to Ja’Whaun and Danny. Even though you’re not playing, enjoy the trip.