Hometown champion: THS welcomes Super Bowl-winning alumnus

By NEAL WAGNER / Managing Editor

ALABASTER – When he began playing football at the young age of 5, Thompson High School alumnus Brandon King couldn’t imagine what the future held for him. In June, he will receive a piece of jewelry signifying the pinnacle of football success: A Super Bowl ring.

In fact, when he was playing for the Thompson Warriors before graduating in 2011, he had a different goal in mind.

“Back then, my ultimate goal was to play in the SEC. Growing up in Alabama, that’s like the ultimate goal,” King said. “Honestly, I never imagined I would make it to the (NFL) or get a Super Bowl ring.”

After graduating from THS, King attended Highland Community College before transferring to Auburn in 2013. From Auburn, he signed on to the New England Patriots’ practice squad before being added to the team’s active roster as a defensive back in October 2015.

He contributed in several games during the Patriots’ run to the 2015 AFC Championship game, and saw even more playing time during the 2016 NFL season, including a key block to set up a 98-yard touchdown run in the 2016-2017 NFC Championship. He also saw special teams action in the Patriots’ Super Bowl LI victory over the Atlanta Falcons in February.

His thoughts on playing at the highest level in the National Football League?

“It wasn’t really any different playing in the Super Bowl. There were a lot of games leading up to that,” King said. “Going through two full seasons where there’s intense competition every week, instead of being shocked to be playing in the Super Bowl, it was like any other game.”

To honor Alabaster’s hometown champion, THS held a pep rally in King’s honor on March 16, during which Alabaster Mayor Marty Handlon presented King with a proclamation in his honor.

“It’s a Cindarella story, and we are so proud of his accomplishments,” Handlon said. “He is truly a difference maker.”

“This is not just a football story, this is a story about a man who had goals and who set out to achieve those goals,” THS Principal Dr. Wesley Hester added.

King shared an inspirational message with the school’s students, encouraging them to never stop pursuing what they are passionate about.

“You are going to go through so many things in your life where you are going to fail. But at the end of the day, it doesn’t matter what negative things people say about you, you’ve got to keep the positive in your life,” King said. “You can do anything you want to. Keep striving and take advantage of every opportunity you have in life.”