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Local man plays in Sunday's Super Bowl

By Amber Roberts
Published On: Jan 31 2014 11:29:48 PM CST
Updated On: Feb 01 2014 12:06:09 PM CST
WALLACE, DUPLIN COUNTY -

Super Bowl watchers in Eastern Carolina may be a little biased when judging the referees calls during Sunday's game.

Many locals will be rooting for the Denver Broncos, because the team's linebacker, Nate Irving, is from Wallace.

Irving played football at Wallace Rose Hill High School, and according to his coaches, was a star athlete.

"Nate was smart enough and coach-able and intense enough, we always knew he was good from the first time we saw him play," said his high school coach, William Jeffers. "Sometimes he was probably his own worst critic."

But that self criticism helped Nate achieve a scholarship to North Carolina State University. While enrolled, he was involved in a  car accident when he fell asleep behind the wheel. The aftermath of the accident caused him to sit out the entire 2009 football season, due to a leg injury. However, Irving bounced back and was drafted by the Denver Broncos in 2011.

His former high school teammate, Jeremy Perkins, said he is proud of all Irving has accomplished.

"Man, it's so surreal. Just to have the opportunity to look back and say I played with that guy and now he's doing big things in the NFL," Perkins said. "It's really awesome."

The Denver Broncos will be taking on the Seattle Seahawks at 6:30 pm on Sunday. The game will be aired on FOX.