( Photo / Tampa Bay Buccaneers )
Troy added another Super Bowl Champion to its list on Sunday as Steve McLendon, a defensive tackle for the Tampa Bay Buccaneers, won his first Super Bowl.
McLendon joins rare company as only nine Trojans have ever held up the Lombardi Trophy.
McLendon has been making an impact all year for the Buccaneers since he was traded from the New York Jets in week 7. He is an Ozark native and attended Troy from 2006-2008.
While playing for the Trojans, he accumulated 56 tackles, six tackles for loss, and 2.5 sacks. McLendon was an all-region selection out of Carroll High School and an honorable mention All-Sun Belt pick his senior year at Troy.
In an interview before the Super Bowl, McLendon commented on why his drive has gotten him to the biggest stage in football.
“I live by a focus-driven-life code,” McLendon said. “I have it up in my gym, and I write it every single day. It is something that has helped me in my journey and it helps you put things in perspective.
“I always tell people that I’m not that guy that was hungry for it and I’m never hungry for anything. I’m driven and focused for everything because I only have one life to live.”
McLendon also said he keeps up with Troy for more reasons than one. “I’ve always followed Troy because that is the place that gave me my start and gave me my opportunity to be where I’m at today,” he said. “I want to let every guy at Troy know that no matter where you come from, no matter where you go or however it goes, if you desire to be in this league and be in this business, pay the price of sacrifice to live in paradise.”
Before the game, Mclendon said, “Win or lose, it’s going to be emotional because I know the amount of work that I’ve put in to get here. But at the end of the day, I’m thankful for the opportunity. I want to remain humble with this and stay thankful.”