by: Jacqueline Bennett newsandviewsjb

It does the heart of a University of Connecticut alumna and New England Patriots fan good to scroll the the Patriots roster and under college read “Connecticut.”

As the Patriots head for Super Bowl XLVI Sunday, February 5 to take on the New York Giants in Indianapolis, they do so with former UConn football standout Donald Thomas primed to play in the position of offensive guard. Thomas represents a significant Connecticut presence with the Pats that includes two other players plus the wizard himself – Coach Bill Belichick. Quite an accomplishment for a small New England state, especially one – with the exception of UConn basketball- better known for its prominence in the defense industry, “insurance city” as its capital and where author Mark Twain penned some of America’s greatest novels.

Aaron Hernandez of Bristol racked up all kinds of awards during his high school career here in the Nutmeg State. This season with the New England Patriots, he has made seventy-nine receptions, carried for 910 yards and connected for seven touchdowns. Hernandez also has a UConn tie, his brother D.J. Hernandez was a Husky gridiron star. Yet another Connecticut presence with the Pats is Niko Koutouvides. Born in New Britain, Koutouvides attended Plainville High School and Milford Academy. Last, but far from least, is Belichick who played football at Wesleyan. During media day this week the coach said at Wesleyan he learned discipline and critical thinking skills. Now, with a little help from Connecticut, oh yes and quarterback Tom (could he be any cuter) Brady, Belichick is taking the Patriots to the Super Bowl for the fifth time.

Go Pats!