Kansas City Chiefs quarterback Patrick Mahomes gave a heartfelt speech Saturday as part of Texas Tech University's commencement ceremony.
Mahomes, who attended Texas Tech from 2014 to 2016 before becoming a star NFL quarterback with the Chiefs, left the graduates with a positive message, per ESPN's Adam Teicher:
"Remember, this is a day to celebrate, to look back on the friends you made, the professors who have changed your life and the memories that you will cherish forever. Whatever plans lie in front of you, I have no doubt you will go out there and show the world what it means to come from Lubbock, Texas. Go out and win your Super Bowl. Congrats, Class of 2020. I can't wait to see what you do next."
Mahomes has quickly developed into the NFL's marquee player. He was named NFL MVP in 2018 after throwing for 5,097 yards and 50 touchdowns in his first season as a starter. Then, Mahomes led the Chiefs to a Super Bowl victory last season and was named Super Bowl MVP.
The 24-year-old acknowledged the fact that the coronavirus pandemic made for a unique and unexpected graduation, but he called for the graduates to look at the positives:
"I know this isn't the graduation ceremony that you and your families had envisioned, but that doesn't change the outcome or all the hard work, long hours and sacrifices that you made to achieve this milestone. I know this is sure not how you imagined spending your last days as a student.
"But the world is in a different place today than it was just a few weeks ago. And as Red Raiders, we're built to persevere in difficult times. We've all had to take a moment and learn to adjust to these new challenges. And when the odds are stacked against us, we make a play—and I can tell you this is going to make us all more competitive and hungrier than ever."
Texas Tech set Mahomes up for success, as he threw for 5,052 yards and 41 touchdowns as a junior, which helped him become one of the top quarterbacks in the 2017 NFL draft class.
Mitchell Trubisky was the first quarterback off the board in that draft to the Chicago Bears at No. 2 overall, but the Chiefs swooped in and traded up to No. 10 overall to make Mahomes the second quarterback taken. That turned out to be a franchise-altering move and perhaps the greatest pick in Chiefs history.
Now, the Chiefs are the reigning Super Bowl champions thanks largely to Mahomes, and they are favored to repeat in 2020. If Mahomes can stay healthy, the Chiefs have a legitimate chance to be the NFL's next dynasty.