MIAMI BEACH, Fla. — Kansas City safety Tyrann Mathieu and San Francisco cornerback Richard Sherman are emotional leaders for their respective teams.
They also provide a unique perspective and insight for two former BYU defenders — Chiefs safety Daniel Sorensen and 49ers middle linebacker Fred Warner — who are preparing to play in Super Bowl LIV at Hard Rock Stadium on Sunday.
Sorensen is playing his first season with Mathieu, a two-time first-team All-Pro who, like Sorensen, is in his sixth NFL season. After four years with Arizona, Mathieu — nicknamed the Honey Badger — took his fiery leadership to Houston for a year before landing in Kansas City.
Mathieu, a captain for the Chiefs, will start opposite Sorensen in Sunday’s title game.
“It’s been fun just being around him. He’s a fantastic football player, incredibly smart and a leader not only of the DBs but the defense,” Sorensen said. “He’s great to have around, he’s got a lot of energy, especially on game day. You can really feel his passion. He gets us going.”
Sherman, meanwhile, is in his second season with San Francisco and helps anchor the 49ers secondary following seven years in Seattle. This week in particular, his knowledge and playing experience could pay dividends for the second-year Warner and other San Francisco defenders.
During his time in Seattle, Sherman played in two Super Bowls, winning one. He’s no stranger to high-stakes postseason football and making a big play when it’s needed most.
“He’s been an incredible asset to us all year, just his leadership, what he brings off the field,” Warner said. “Obviously his level of play on the field has been incredible as well, especially this late in his career. It’s great to have him on the team in a situation like this.”