EAST LANSING, MI (WLNS) – Bennie Fowler’s dad was uncertain of his sons’ future in football. He wasn’t even second string in his youth league.
“And he was behind two other guys. One of them plays for the Detroit Lions right now, so he was the third string quarterback, but every time he got in the game and they gave him the ball, he would actually score a touchdown” said Bennie Fowler’s father.
Bennie played basketball in high school at Detroit Country Day, until the football coach got a look at him, but Coach Dan MacLean wasn’t the only one.
“I think his teammates also put some pressure on him and said ‘hey you could really help us and you can do things on the football field you would be surprised and be so helpful on this team’ and I think that resonated with Bennie,” said Coach Dan MacLean.
Predictions proved to be true, when Bennie set foot on the gridiron.
“I can’t remember the exact moment but everyone on our team was excited because of the potential Bennie brought. He was such a threat that any time he touched the ball he could go all the way and score.”
Bennie had a few setbacks, including injuries that caused a lot of recruiters to back off, but not Mark Dantonio.
“If you ask his mom, she would of wanted him to go to Indiana, but he had a criteria going into the whole scenario,” said Bennie Fowler Sr.
A criteria that included being closer to home.
“He went up to camp day up at Michigan State and they did some testing with him and he just was off the chart” said Coach MacLean.
“Coach Dantonio made Bennie feel very welcomed. He went above and beyond to let him know that he wanted him to be a part of the Spartan family, so he made the decision to go there”said Benny Fowler Sr.
Bennie’s college decision really paid off, his final game was a win in the 2014 Rose Bowl.
Once his college career ended, Bennie sure wasn’t done with the sport he has come to fall in love with. The undrafted wide receiver spent the 2014 season on the Denver Broncos practice squad. His strong performance earned him a spot on the main roster.
“Watching him take the field just brought tears to my eyes. We always talk about dreaming big, go for the big ideas, and therefore you have to say whatever the top of the profession is that’s what we’re gonna shoot for and now he’s there,” said Fowler Sr.
“Of course when one of your players makes it to the NFL, we were on high alert. We knew and we were all pushing for him to make the team and do the things that he did,” said Coach MacLean.
Any kid dreams of playing in the NFL, but a Super Bowl? That’s usually a pipe dream. Now it’s Bennie Fowler’s reality.
“It’s incredible, especially a dream come true, it’s kinda a surreal feeling. It’s hard to get to this level, it’s hard to even get to the Super Bowl and the fact that I get the chance to play the Super Bowl and kinda the way our season has gone, ya know, nothing has been easy this season,” said Bennie Fowler.
And Bennie isn’t just taking up space with the Broncos, he came up with arguably the biggest catch of the season in the AFC playoff game against Pittsburgh.
To this day when Bennie is on the field, his dad still get’s butterflies in his stomach.
“I still get nervous. I felt like I played the game the other day, I was exhausted ha, ha, ha,” said Bennie Fowler Sr.
So this Sunday, when his dad gets to watch him play in Super Bowl 50, multiply that excitement times ten.
As for Bennie:
“Just take it all in, soak it all in. Just because how great this event is, the most watched sporting event in the world. Definitely want to bring Super Bowl trophy back to Michigan, make my family and my friends proud and for Michigan State.”