Estimated read time: 2-3 minutes
PROVO — Before Kyle Van Noy was a star linebacker at BYU, and well before he won a Super Bowl with the New England Patriots, he was a high school football player at McQueen High in Reno, Nevada, taken in by an adopted family that put him on the path to NFL stardom.
Van Noy was back in Provo on Friday night, when he and his wife Marissa hosted a charity event to raise money for the Van Noy Valor Foundation at Fat Cats bowling alley in Provo. The foundation helps adopted, foster and disadvantaged children find success — a cause that means a lot for both Van Noys.
“I’m adopted, and in my wife’s family, her dad and brother are adopted,” Kyle Van Noy told KSL Sports. “We have a big heart for adoption and foster families, as well as kids who are struggling. We want to give them strength and success.”
Van Noy was a four-star recruit out of Nevada, where he led McQueen to a 14-0 record and a state championship in 2008. A four-year letter winner at BYU, he led the Cougars with 226 tackles, 62 tackles for loss, 26 sacks and seven interceptions on a defense that ranked No. 3 nationally in total defense and No. 10 in pass defense.
He was drafted in the second round (No. 40 overall) by the Detroit Lions in the 2014 NFL draft, but he was traded to the Patriots midway through the 2016 season — a trade that gave him more playing time on a Super Bowl winner.
His biggest impact on the game came in the third quarter, when he combined for a sack on Atlanta quarterback Matt Ryan for a 9-yard loss on a third-and-11 call as the Patriots rallied from a 28-3 deficit to win 35-28 in overtime.
“I don’t think you could draw anything up in a movie like it,” Van Noy said. “For what happened in Detroit, and to go and have the success like I did in New England, it was a roller-coaster ride for three months when I got traded.
“I’m speechless at it; it was so fun. To play in the Super Bowl is a kid’s dream, and to win it is even better.”
Van Noy, who still slept with his Super Bowl ring until a few weeks ago, will report to training camp with the Patriots in the coming weeks; New England opens camp July 27 with an open practice session for fans.
But for one night, visions of NFL glory didn’t dance in Van Noy’s head. There will be plenty of time for that.
“I don’t have it here; I didn’t want it to get dirty,” Van Noy said of his ring, before adding with a grin, “but it’s big and beautiful.”
Contributing: Ben Schroeder