FOXBORO, Mass. — Three former Boilermakers are heading home for the Super Bowl.
The Patriots have three Purdue alums — left tackle Matt Light, linebacker Rob Ninkovich and linebacker Niko Koutouvides — who are excited to play in the Super Bowl less than an hour from where they starred in college ball. Naturally, they'd be happy to play in the Super Bowl if it was on Neptune, but the Purdue factor adds a little more to the upcoming experience.
"It's pretty exciting going to Purdue and being so close to home," Ninkovich said. "It's a great feeling being that close. My parents only have to drive a couple hours, so it's pretty cool."
While it's not a true homecoming for any of them, they're appreciative of the chance to head to a familiar territory in Indianapolis. Light's hometown is Greenville, Ohio, while Ninkovich grew up in Blue Island, Ill., and Koutouvides hails from New Britain, Conn.
"I live an hour and a half away from Indy," Light said. "So I probably have about 2,000 people in my hometown that probably would love to be there that I think are family members but I'm not 100 percent sure."
It might be difficult for the Patriots to win over any neutral fans in Colts country, but the trio of Purdue alums wouldn't mind hearing from a pocket of the local crowd due to their college ties.
"Maybe we'll have our little following," Ninkovich said. "It's pretty close. It's a great school, and close to where we're going to be."