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A.J. Brown and Willie Gay Jr. will face off in Super Bowl 57, but were state champs together in 2015

We discuss AJ Brown and Willie Gay being high school teammates ahead of meeting in the Super Bowl on Sunday.

Willie Gay #50 of the Kansas City Chiefs reacts as he takes the field prior to the AFC Championship NFL football game between the Kansas City Chiefs and the Cincinnati Bengals at GEHA Field at Arrowhead Stadium on January 29, 2023 in Kansas City, Missouri. Photo by Michael Owens/Getty Images

Super Bowl 57 on Sunday, February 12 has several storylines surrounding it. Chiefs head coach Andy Reid used to be the head coach of the Eagles. Travis Kelce from Kansas City will take on his brother Jason Kelce playing for Philadelphia in the first-ever Super Bowl matchup between brothers. One of the lesser-known connections between these teams is that Eagles WR AJ Brown and Chiefs LB Willie Gay Jr. not only played together in high school but won the State Championship in 2015.

Both players are from Starkville, Mississippi, and went to Starkville High School. A huge school, Starkville competed at the 6A level. Brown, a senior at the time, and Gay, a junior, led their team to the state championship. Brown had 83 catches for 1,371 yards and 13 touchdowns that season, while Gay anchored a dominant defense with 84 tackles, 17 tackles for loss and six sacks.

Brown went on to get recruited by Ole Miss. He played three seasons for the Rebels and tallied 36 total games with 189 receptions, 2,894 yards and 19 touchdowns. Brown was a second-round draft pick in 2019 by the Tennessee Titans. During the 2022 NFL Draft, he was traded to the Eagles for the 18th overall pick. Brown played in all 17 games in the 2022 regular season. He had 88 receptions for 1,496 yards and 11 touchdowns which were all career marks.

Gay played one more season and graduated from Starkville in 2016. Unlike Brown, he decided to take his talents to Mississippi State. Gay played three years for the Bulldogs and had 99 career tackles with six sacks, three interceptions and one touchdown. The Chiefs drafted him in the second round of the 2020 NFL Draft. He played in 13 games this season and had 88 total tackles with 2.5 sacks and a 47-yard pick-six.

This article can also be found in our Ultimate Guide to Super Bowl 57, presented by Frank’s Red Hot.