Rutgers Football 2022

KANSAS CITY, MISSOURI - JANUARY 29: Isiah Pacheco #10 of the Kansas City Chiefs reacts during the first quarter against the Cincinnati Bengals in the AFC Championship Game at GEHA Field at Arrowhead Stadium on January 29, 2023 in Kansas City, Missouri. (Photo by Kevin C. Cox/Getty Images)

Isiah Pacheco and Michael Burton already share the bond of Kansas City teammates who will make their debut in the biggest football game of the year, on the grandest stage in all of sports.  And here is another link that bonds the two together: They are both from Rutgers University.

On Sunday the two Rutgers teammates will join a select group of Scarlet Knights to play on football’s biggest stage.

24 former Scarlet Knights have suited up for Big Game Sunday, including — most recently — Devin and Jason McCourty, Logan Ryan, Tim Wright, Jonathan Freeney, Mohamed Sanu, Sebastian Joseph-Day, and Clark Davis. Davis played with Cincinnati in last year’s contest.

How Pacheco and Burton got here is even more intriguing.

Burton was a fifth round selection by Detroit in the 2015 draft. He has since played professionally for five different teams, with Kansas City being his latest stop.

As a Scarlet Knight, Burton was scouted and recruited to Rutgers by Head Coach Greg Schiano back in 2011, and played four years in Scarlet and White, including three years under head coach Kyle Flood.  Mostly a fullback, Burton ran for 401 yards in his career.

In many ways Burton and Pacheco connect two different era’s of Rutgers football in the Kansas City backfield.

Pacheco is the most recent Rutgers alum to play in the pros. He was drafted in the seventh round, and wasn’t expected to have the impact he has had this season — especially with Clyde Edwards-Helaire entrenched as the starter when the season began. An injury to Edwards-Helaire opened up an opportunity for Pacheco and he has run with it, literary. Pacheco led Kansas City in rushing yards with 830 yards and five rushing touchdowns.

In the postseason he has run for 186 yards and was a key cog in K.C.’s win over Jacksonville in the second round of the playoffs.

Will Pacheco and Burton make their way to the winners circle come Sunday night? We’ll know soon enough.