Arizona high school unveils 'Brock Purdy Way' in honor of 49ers QB ahead of Super Bowl 58

Standing on the corner outside of Gilbert Perry High School on Thursday afternoon, current football players, in white T-shirts, huddled, shivering in the cold rain, watching workers slowly take the wrapping off a street sign.

"Go Brock Purdy," some yelled. "Yeah!!! Brock Purdy. We love you, Brock."

Then, after a few minutes, the unveiling happened. There was Brock Purdy Way next to Perry Puma Drive that leads into the high school's parking lot.

Players cheered their approval.

This was where it started for the San Francisco 49ers quarterback, blowing it up on the field his junior and senior seasons before starting four years at Iowa State, then making the most of his opportunity with the 49ers after being the last pick of the 2022 NFL Draft.

Now, Purdy is on the biggest sports stage, getting ready to lead the NFC champion 49ers against the reigning champion Kansas City Chiefs on Sunday in Super Bowl 58 in Las Vegas.

Purdy's parents already are in Las Vegas and couldn't be part of the street ceremony.

But the school principal, the Gilbert mayor and Chandler Unified School District officials, including the superintendent, were on hand, along with current Perry coach Joseph Ortiz and many of his players, braving the wet, 48-degree weather.

"It's awesome," Ortiz said about the Purdy street sign. "It's a sense of pride for our community, our football program, knowing we're one of two high schools in the whole country who will be starting the game at quarterback this Sunday in the Super Bowl. And now there's a street named after him."

Accolades have been pouring in for Purdy and the attention has never been greater on Perry in the week leading to the big game.

Purdy was among the five finalists for the NFL MVP award. He did something nobody foresaw, going from the last pick of the draft to starting in the Super Bowl in his second season. He's the first quarterback in the Super Bowl era to reach a conference title game in his first two years in the NFL. He has seized every opportunity in his life, starting at Perry, then at Iowa State and now with the 49ers.

After two quarterbacks last season ahead of him got injured, Purdy was given the job to lead the 49ers offense, and he's not looked back.

"My perspective would be the underdog perspective," CUSD Athletic Director Shawn Rustad said. "Just seeing him grind and go from a freshman football player, a freshman baseball player (at Perry), getting to the state championship game (his senior year) against Chandler High.

Shining example Brock Purdy bringing light to Arizona high school football

"Then going to Iowa State, and being third on the bench (his first year), then becoming the starter and never relinquishing it. Then, becoming the last pick of the draft, and being the third-string quarterback with the 49ers behind (Jimmy) Garoppolo and (Trey) Lance, biding his time, getting his opportunity, and then, boom. Playing in the Super Bowl. He's the classic All-American kid."

Perry Principal Heather Patterson called Purdy, class of 2018, "an amazing young man."

"None of us gathered here today are surprised by his success in the pros," Patterson said to the crowd assembled in the school's cafeteria before the street sign unveiling. "This is the same Brock Purdy we remember from high school. A strong young man with deep core values, a leader amongst his peers, a confident role model for others and one who puts his team before himself. We see the same qualities every time the takes the field for the 49ers."

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This article originally appeared on Arizona Republic: Arizona HS unveils 'Brock Purdy Way' in honor of 49ers QB ahead of Super Bowl 58