Rashad Fenton grew up in the shadow of Hard Rock
Stadium, once played youth football on the field and 10 years later, competed as a rookie cornerback for the Kansas City Chiefs in Super Bowl LIV on Feb. 2.
“It means a lot to be here,” Fenton, 22, said Jan. 27 before a sea of reporters and cameras during Super Bowl LIV Opening Night at Marlins Park. “The dream is now real. You can’t ask for anything better.”
Fenton was raised in Miami Gardens, five blocks from the NFL landmark where his parents took him to see the Miami Dolphins play and where he worked at the concession stands.
Fenton said when he was 12, he learned to play hard and tough as a cornerback with the North Dade
His Pop Warner team once played on the stadium field, where he leveled another player.
He got another tackle in football’s biggest game, and at a very important time.
Fenton was credited with just one tackle in the Super Bowl, but it was during a big play.
He chased San Francisco 49ers quarterback Jimmy Garoppolo out of bounds on a third-down stop in the fourth quarter, which forced a punt that set the Chiefs up to start their 21-point rally in the game’s final six minutes.
The Chiefs were down 20-10 at the time and went on to score the final three touchdowns of the night.
They won the game 31-20 and the Super Bowl, for the first time in 50 years.
“It’s unbelievable, man,” Fenton told WFOR-Ch. 4 after the game while standing on the confetti-covered field. “God is good. God is great, man. Like never before.
“Only a higher power could enable this type of special moment to come to life,” Fenton said.
Fenton then looked toward the stands where, while in high school, he spent Sundays during Miami Dolphins games.
“I used to work right there making pizzas man, for the customers and the regular people coming here to watch,” Fenton told the TV station. “Now they were here watching me and my team, our team. Kansas City Chiefs, man. We’re the world champions. I’m forever grateful to be a part of this.”
Chiefs coach Andy Reid talked about Fenton during the week before the game, calling him a “great” player.
“He sacrifices everything in practice and on the field,” Reid said.
Fenton had dreamed of playing for his hometown team someday, but the Chiefs took him as the 201st overall pick in the sixth round of the 2019 NFL draft.
The 5-11, 188-pound player attended Miami Norland
Senior High School,
Miami Carol City Senior High School and the University of South Carolina.
During interviews at Marlins Park, Fenton said he had not been nervous about playing at home.
“I lived 10 minutes away from the stadium so I’m familiar with the surroundings,” he said. “If the game was played elsewhere, I probably would be nervous.”
On the day that it counted, if Fenton was nervous, it didn’t show.