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Nick Foles has bolted from the shadows of a career as a backup quarterback and staked his claim as a superstar, just maybe not with Philadelphia.

The guy who was originally drafted by the Eagles, traded three years later and almost out of football two years later -- OK, it was only four days before the Eagles grabbed him, but in those four days Foles considered retiring and pursuing his dream of becoming a minister -- is now the Super Bowl MVP after passing for three touchdowns to beat the unbeatable New England Patriots 41-33 in just his sixth start after taking over for the injured Carson Wentz.

This is a guy who had offers from better basketball schools than he did football coming out of Westlake High in Austin, Texas. If that school sounds familiar it is because that's where Drew Brees also played -- and where University of Arkansas, Fayetteville Coach Chad Morris won two state championships, but he was hired there after Foles graduated.

Getting basketball offers from Georgetown, Baylor and Texas -- which apparently had little interest in the three-star quarterback -- probably explains why he effortlessly caught a touchdown pass, becoming the first quarterback to throw and catch touchdown passes in the Super Bowl.

We won't go into how when Patriots quarterback Tom Brady went out for a pass he looked more like a dead horse on roller skates than the G.O.A.T.

In high school, Foles committed to Arizona State, but apparently the Sun Devils' jets cooled and his offers were Michigan State, Duke, Louisiana Tech, Ole Miss and Rutgers.

Which sort of makes the case for a buddy in Texas who says quarterbacks are falling from the trees in that state.

Foles signed with Michigan State, then transferred to Arizona after one season.

He redshirted, became the starter in the third game of his sophomore year and passed for 10,011 yards and 67 touchdowns in his career. Foles was a highlight film for a team that went 19-19 during his three years, but the Eagles made him the 88th pick of the 2012 NFL Draft.

Off and on during those first three years with Philadelphia it was argued he was the quarterback of the future, but on March 10, 2015, he and a future draft choice were traded to St. Louis for Sam Bradford, who had missed the entire 2014 season with a torn ACL.

The Eagles went 7-9, Chip Kelly was fired before the season ended and Bradford was traded to Minnesota, where he started in 2016 but suffered an injury-riddled 2017 and missed the NFC Championship Game.

The Vikings were three point favorites over the Eagles in that game, partly because it was Foles' fifth start and the pressure, it was believed, had to get to him. Instead, he remained Cool Hand Nick, completing 26 of 33 passes for 352 yards and 3 touchdowns in the 38-7 shellacking of the Vikings.

The final chapter of this season, but most likely not of Foles' career, was winning the Super Bowl. He did so with grace and dignity.

He had his wife beside him as soon as the game ended, along with their baby girl. Tori Foles is a former volleyball player at Arizona, where they met. He talks openly about his religious convictions, but then so does Wentz, who is recovering from knee surgery.

There will be a competition between the three-star recruit Foles and no-star recruit Wentz, who played for North Dakota State. Most likely Wentz, who grew 9 inches between his freshman and senior years in high school, will be the starter, but some team next season will need a quarterback who laughs at pressure and wins games.

Sports on 02/07/2018

Print Headline: Overlooked Foles worthy of newfound shine

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