Brian Urlacher becomes one of New Mexico’s most famous athletes

Brian Urlacher, The Road to Canton episode gives you an intimate look at New Mexico’s most famous football player as he prepares to go into the Pro Football’s Hall of Fame. 

His name can be found in various places throughout the small town of Lovington. That same small town also witnessed his rise to greatness and was put on the national stage.

Before he became a football star, he was just another kid living life in a small town. 

Van Tate: What do you remember about your childhood?

Urlacher: I love Lovington. There’s not a lot to do there, you know that. It’s either you’re doing sports or you’re working. 

Even with an all American collegiate career and NFL Hall of Fame career, it is a game at Lovington High School that stands out the most in Urlacher’s mind. 

“We are 13-0 going to a state championship game. It’s in Lovington. There had to be 8,000 people at the game, maybe 20,000. By the time I’m 50, it will be 25,000.”

As the Lovington High School football program started to advance, so did Urlacher. However, none of his teammates were progressing as rapidly as he was.

Urlacher starred on offense, defense and special teams. With hopes of getting a college scholarship, he put those skills on display at a Texas Tech football camp.

“So I went to Texas Tech football camp for receivers and quarterbacks. There were like 500 kids there and I was the ‘Most Outstanding Camper,’ so I’m thinking alright they are going to offer me a scholarship,” Urlacher said. 

Even though he wanted to go to Texas Tech, they didn’t have a scholarship for him. 

“I didn’t know what else I would have to prove. I knew I wasn’t the fastest guy out there, but I also knew I was tall. I was also decently athletic back then and was probably going to keep growing,” Urlacher said.  “It didn’t bother me that much honestly because I still got a scholarship. My goal was to get a scholarship. I accomplished that goal and it went from there.”

This pivot moment would open the door for Urlacher’s successful football career. Texas Tech’s loss would also become a big gain for the University of  New Mexico. 

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