NewsChannel 9 talks with Hobart College student who will start for Tampa Bay in Super Bowl LV

Sports

GENEVA, N.Y. (WSYR-TV) — Despite Upstate New York’s love for the Bills, Giants, and Jets, there’s a good chance Geneva has converted to fans of the Tampa Bay Buccaneers for Sunday’s Super Bowl.

For his four years as a student at Hobart and William Smith, Geneva was home to now-Buccaneers guard Ali Marpet, who became the highest-drafted Division III player in NFL history.

NewsChannel 9’s Andrew Donovan, who graduated from Hobart and William Smith Colleges a few years before Marpet, was able to ask his classmate about the love being sent from Geneva.

Marpet said, “Definitely feeling the love. A lot of people have reached out, which has been great. I’m just thrilled to be representing Hobart and Geneva.”

Marpet, a native of downstate New York, graduated in 2015 just before being drafted.

“At Hobart, if you told me that [I’d be playing in the Super Bowl], I would have called BS on that. I don’t think I really saw that for myself,” Marpet said.

Marpet said that he was able to play better during pandemic restrictions because of experiences he had in Division III, notably the size of the crowds. The bleachers at Boswell Field in Geneva only hold 3,000 fans.

Some NFL stadiums had no fans this season. Others allowed only a few thousand.

He said, “You have to bring your own energy or your own juice. I’m used to that. I enjoy that. I think that actually was an advantage for me this year.”

Hobart and William Smith Colleges is offering a coronavirus-safe viewing party for students on campus during Sunday night’s game.

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