He’s extremely grateful that folks in Massachusetts have become Chiefs fans and pulled for him the entire way.
Leominster’s Noah Gray has a chance to capture his first Super Bowl when the Kansas City Chiefs face the Philadelphia Eagles on Sunday at 6:30 p.m. EST.
Gray, a 6-foot-3, 240-pound tight end for the Chiefs, sees regular action as Travis Kelce’s backup.
The second-year pro racked up 28 catches for 299 yards and a touchdown in the regular season and caught a pass in playoff wins over the Jacksonville Jaguars and Cincinnati Bengals.
The local ties are strong.
Gray, 23, was born in Laconia, New Hampshire, grew up in Gardner, and attended Leominster High School. He started as a wide receiver for the Blue Devils, shifted to quarterback, then moved back to wide receiver as a senior and earned all-state honors.
He was a three-star recruit who earned offers from Duke, Army, Temple, New Hampshire, and Toledo, and he chose to attend Duke.
He took it to the next level at Duke.
After starring with the Leominster Blue Devils, he did the same with the Duke Blue Devils.
He missed only one game during his time at Duke and left as the all-time leader in receptions among tight ends. Gray earned second-team All-American honors in 2019 and represented Duke at the 2021 Reese’s Senior Bowl.
The Chiefs took a chance on him.
Kansas City took Gray in the fifth round, with the 162nd overall pick, in the 2021 NFL Draft. He caught seven passes over 16 games as a rookie and expanded his role this season.
Naturally, targets are limited with Kelce at the forefront, but Gray has delivered whenever he’s gotten the opportunity.
There’s a slight chance the Chiefs could use him as a quarterback on a trick play Sunday. He also could be their third-stringer if Patrick Mahomes and Chad Henne were to somehow both get injured.
He grew up watching the Patriots win Super Bowls.
Gray said it’s always been a dream of his to play in the Super Bowl, per the Sentinel & Enterprise‘s Nick Mallard.
“It’s very surreal. I grew up watching every Super Bowl with my dad, who was always a huge Patriots fan,” Gray said. “They were either in the Super Bowl every year or at least contending to be there. Seeing New England play at such a high level for such a long time was inspiring.”