Check out Diamond Bar High School 2004 graduate, Ryan Wendell, when the New England Patriots face off against the Seattle Seahawks in Super Bowl XLIX on February 1 at the University of Phoenix Stadium.
The DBHS standout was an All-CIF Southern Section selection as a senior defensive lineman, with more than 50 tackles, six sacks, and much more.
Wendell earned the same honor as an offensive lineman his junior year. He was the Sierra League’s Most Valuable Player as a junior. Wendell’s DBHS #77 Brahma jersey is retired, and he was named to the school’s Hall of Fame.
Wendell earned a scholarship to Fresno State, was a four-year starter, and earned numerous accolades.
Wendell signed with the Patriots in 2008 as a free agent and played on the scout team before working his way onto the lineup, filling in for an injured lineman. His work ethic and proven ability has earned him a spot on the starting team with quarterback, Tom Brady.
Wendell, #62, a guard, shifted to center after rookie Bryan Stork suffered a knee injury in the first half of the AFC second-round playoff game against Baltimore. He is currently practicing as the starting center for the Super Bowl.
“Ryan worked at all the positions, all the way through the spring – center and guard,” Patriots Head Coach, Bill Belichick, said earlier this season.
“Ryan’s a really smart player. He’s one of the smartest players that we have, that we’ve had.” Belichick told the Fresno Bee this week.
At 6’ 2”, Wendell may be the smallest offensive lineman in the NFL, but he doesn’t let size stop him. He plays with superior technical skills and heart, according to his former DBHS coach, Kurt Davies.
The pro football player stops by the high school every year to talk with the team.
This will be Wendell’s second Super Bowl appearance. And you can be sure Diamond Bar High will be cheering for this hometown hero on February 1!