Patriots Captain David Andrews To Play First NFL Game In His Home State

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New England Patriots center David Andrews is back home this weekend, but not for a family visit. The football star is in Atlanta to play against the Los Angeles Rams in the Super Bowl, but this should all be familiar territory for Andrews. He was born and raised in Georgia, and this game marks the first time he’s played an NFL game in his home state.

According to Boston.com, Andrews actually went to school less than 25 miles from the Mercedes-Benz Stadium in Atlanta, where he’ll be playing on Sunday. Andrews, who grew up in Georgia, even dreamed of making his home state famous — he longed to play for the Georgia Bulldogs. That dream became a reality his junior year of high school, when he was officially asked to join the team.

After four seasons with the Georgia Bulldogs, Andrews was part of the 2015 NFL Draft. He was not selected during the process, but just when it seemed he wouldn’t be getting any offers, Andrews was signed by the New England Patriots just after the the conclusion of the final selection in the draft process.

Four years and three Super Bowls later, Andrews has cemented himself as an integral part of the record-breaking team. However, he has yet to play in his home state since joining the Patriots — and that will all change this Sunday.

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Atlanta here we come

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While Andrews has never played with the New England Patriots in his home state, he’s already faced off against local favorites, the Atlanta Falcons, on two occasions — including one Super Bowl. Although he’s playing for the Patriots, Andrews has a lot of love for the place he called home, where much of his family still lives.

Andrews has been enjoying covering his old stomping ground this past week in preparation for the big game, but he hasn’t been overly sentimental about his return home. He reminded fans that, for him, this isn’t a vacation, but a very important part of his job and career.

“I’m really not going home,” Andrews said during an interview on Wednesday at Gillette Stadium. “I’m going to work.”

There may be another reason Andrews wasn’t overly enthusiastic about heading back to Atlanta, and that may have to do with the training grounds the Patriots relied on before the Super Bowl. According to CBS Boston, Andrews and teammate Sony Michel were far from thrilled with practicing on the grounds of Georgia Tech University. The two, who attended the University of Georgia, had a major college rivalry with Georgia Tech — one that still lingers to this day.

For his part, coach Bill Belichik was not sympathetic about their issues, preferring to focus on the game ahead rather than past rivalries.

“The Georgia guys are not thrilled being at Georgia Tech,” Belichick said in an interview. “But that’s all right. They’ll get over it.”