A champion from Fairfax County, Virginia, will see his dream come true when he suits up this weekend for Super Bowl LIV.
Justin Skule, an offensive tackle for the San Francisco 49ers, is originally from Clifton, Virginia, and played for the 2013 Centreville High School Wildcats team that won the Virginia 6A state championship.
Sunday, he’ll suit up for an even bigger game, and told WTOP it’s a great feeling.
“Yeah it’s surreal, you grow up watching the Super Bowl every year, you’re sitting down watching the commercials and the game and everything and then, to actually be here now, it’s a pretty surreal feeling,” Skule said.
To top it off, Skule gets to play in the big game in his rookie year in the NFL. After a four-year collegiate career at Vanderbilt, the 6-foot 6-inch, 315-pound lineman was selected in the sixth round of the 2019 NFL Draft with the 183rd overall pick.
Sixth-round picks don’t typically get to start in their first year, but Skule stepped into some big shoes earlier in the season when he filled in for injured six-time Pro Bowler Joe Staley, starting eight games and playing in 15 of San Francisco’s 16 regular season games.
Of course, that’s no pressure compared to Skule’s father’s job. Joshua Skule has been an FBI agent for over two decades, and since being appointed counter terrorism section chief, is sometimes pulled away from Justin’s game by an important phone call.
“I’m always curious about who he’s talking to when he takes those calls, but he can’t say,” Justin said in his official team bio. “When I’m playing a game, I obviously don’t know what’s going on with him but when I’ve been with him at my younger siblings’ games, he’ll get one of those calls, and you just know it’s important.”
Skule’s family will attend the game Sunday in Miami, and said his friends from his old neighborhood in Fairfax County, Little Rocky Run, have wished him well.
“They’ve been going nuts,” Skule said. “I’ve been receiving tons of support from the Little Rocky Run circles.”
Through the 49ers’ playoff run, Skule has mostly played special teams. If you want to look for him on the field, he wears jersey No. 67.
Skule hopes everyone will root for the 49ers.
WTOP’s Rob Woodfork contributed to this report.
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