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Mike (Pops) Adams, CEHD alumnus, went to the Super Bowl.  A 10-year National Football League veteran who led the University of Delaware to the 2003 national championship, made his first Super Bowl appearance playing for the Denver Broncos. Adams graduated  in 2004 with a degree in human services, education and public policy.

“Not only was I the first person in my family to graduate college, I was only the second to graduate high school,” Adams said, “and I couldn’t have done it without all the support I received at UD.” 

After graduation, Adams was signed by the San Francisco 49ers, where he played for three years.  He then went to the Cleveland Browns for five years and became a Denver Bronco in March 2012.

Through it all, Adams never forgot where he came from.  In addition to supporting charities through the NFL, he started a foundation called Rising Stars with his childhood friend Gerald Hayes, an Arizona Cardinals’ linebacker for eight years.

“Rising Stars supports the kids back home in Paterson,” Adams said. “We want to help them overcome the negativity in the streets.  We help them build self esteem through football camps and mentoring, we provide backpacks full of school supplies and offer scholarships for post-secondary education.”

Super Bowl XLVIII was held on Sunday, Feb. 2, at MetLife Stadium in East Rutherford, N.J., less than a 20-minute drive from Adams’ hometown of Paterson, N.J.

To learn more about Adams’ personal journey at UD and his Rising Stars foundation, visit UDaily, Bronco bucks poverty.