Trey Flowers is known in New England as No. 98, but long before he was a Patriot, he was an Eagle, rocking No. 88. And after this week, Trey will always be No. 88 at Columbia High School in Huntsville, Ala.
Trey went back to his alma mater on Wednesday to speak to students, and during the ceremony, his former high school retired his jersey to honor their Super Bowl champion.
In an interview after the visit, Trey said it was a great feeling to be honored by Columbia High School.
"It's definitely something special to be able to go back to your school and have your jersey retired," he said.
While the ceremony was a humbling moment, Trey also brought the laughs. Trey was almost beat in a foot race with a student, and as they dashed across the gym, the entire school went nuts. Though he joked on Twitter after that his shoe choice made it closer race than expected, it further drove home the point of the day that Trey was once sitting in those same stands. It just takes dedication and drive to follow your dreams, he said.
The things he learned at Columbia High School, he said, helped set him up for success in college and again in the NFL.
"Being able to learn and grasp basic concepts at Columbia High School, I had a 4.0, so just understanding how to study, how to prioritize your time, because you know I was balancing sports and academics," Trey said. "Once I got to college, I wouldn't say fairly easy, but I understood what it took to be a scholar and an athlete."
And returning as a Super Bowl champion certainly helps prove this hard work, even in high school, pays off.