Super Bowl has ties to Texoma - KTEN.com - Texoma news, weather and sports

Super Bowl has ties to Texoma

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Pottsboro native Justin Lawler Pottsboro native Justin Lawler

POTTSBORO, Texas -- Sunday night was the biggest night of the year for football fans, but it was an even bigger night for Texoma's football fans featuring Pottsboro native and Los Angeles Rams linebacker Justin Lawler. 

At 24 years old, Justin Lawler is the only Pottsboro native to play in the NFL and the biggest football game of the year. 

"God has blessed Justin," said Lawler's aunt, Jamie Sampson. "Not just to win and play football"

 "It's just a dream that Justin has always had and he's always kept working at that steadily and just hoping for the very best to come from it," added Justin's grandmother Pat Dumitru. 

Lawler started the path to achieving his dream in April of 2018, when he was drafted by the Los Angeles Rams. 

"To do that at such a young age and contribute to a team is a big deal," said Justin's former teammate Nate Taylor. "Even if it's just on special teams." 

Taylor said he's seen first-hand the hard work and dedication Lawler has and the sacrifices he's made for the sport he loves. 

"You can't teach that." said Taylor. "It's just the mentality you get from growing up in a small tight-knit community like this and working your way up from the bottom." 

Those who have watched Lawler grow up say it's not just his talent that's gotten him to this point. 

"I think he puts things in the right order," said Lawler's friend, Sonya Watkins. "It's God first and then family, and I think that's why he's been so successful." 

Taylor tells us Lawler's path to becoming an NFL player serves as a teachable moment, both on and off the field. 

"It just shows you to keep pushing," said Taylor. "Whatever you put your motivation and hard work to, whether it's football or your daily job -- if you put your full effort to it -- you can get to where you want to go." 

It's that successful mindset that's given the Pottsboro community something to be proud of. 

"From the bottom to the top, everybody is super proud that we have an NFL player," said Sampson. 

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