RICHMOND, Va. -- As Evan McPherson kick sailed through the uprights to win the AFC Championship for Cincinnati, Quinton Spain thought about what’s next in his NFL career.
“I made it," Quinton Spain stated. "I made it to the Super Bowl. It’s hard to get to the Super Bowl. It’s a once in a lifetime experience and a great opportunity.”
Spain will get that once in a lifetime experience Sunday as the Bengals’ starting left guard against the L.A. Rams.
“Once you make it to the NFL, you always want a ring and make it to the Super Bowl,” Spain explained. “It’s hard to get there.”
Growing up in Petersburg, Spain always dreamed of one day playing on an NFL team and being in the Super Bowl. The road wasn’t easy for Spain, who goes by the nickname “Mr. Undrafted,” which fuels him every day.
“It’s hard,” Spain said. “Not getting that many offers going from West Virginia, then projected in the first round, then dropped to undrafted, and then trying to make the NFL roster rookie year. Most people I feel like would have folded and quit but I just used it as motivation.”
“In our eyes, we definitely felt he was NFL bound,” Petersburg Athletic Director William Lawson III mentioned. “It’s nothing given. You have to work hard for it and he did that.”
After a standout career at both Petersburg High and West Virginia University, Spain signed with the Tennessee Titans in 2015 as an undrafted free agent. He started 48 games with Tennessee before leaving the Titans in 2019 for Buffalo on a one year contract.
Spain started all 16 games with the Bills in 2019, and was rewarded with a three-year $15 million deal. During the 2020 season, he dealt with more adversity as he was benched three games into the season and decided that Buffalo wasn’t the best fit. He would sign with the Bengals in October of 2020 and started eight games.
Along his journey, Spain never forgot his hometown of Petersburg. He has returned as much as possible to give back to a community which gave him so much growing up.
“Never give up on yourself,” Spain said. “People will doubt you and say you can’t do this or that, but just work on it. Work on stuff they say you can’t do and get better.”
“He hasn’t forgotten where he’s from,” stated Petersburg Head Football Mike Scott. “All the camps he’s come back and do for the kids and the youth league.”
Spain will join Ricky Hunley as the only players from Petersburg to play in a Super Bowl. He hopes by Sunday night, he is the first to win it.
“I’m going to really laugh hard at the world and the people who never really saw this coming,” Coach Scott mentioned. “There’s no way you couldn’t see this coming. The Daddy is going make it happen.”
“It will mean a lot,” Spain said. “That’s what we’re playing for in the league…and I get a chance to do that, my chapter is complete.”