There will be plenty of local flavor in the Ravens’ backfield Sunday night.
Bernard Pierce, an Ardmore native and Temple alum, is itching to put his imprint on the Super Bowl. Heading into the big game, the rookie running back has already racked up 169 yards in three playoff games.
“I can’t put into words how much that will mean to me [winning the Super Bowl]. Everyone goes through their struggles and I’ve definitely been through mine, but I’ve just rolled with the punches and kept going,” said Pierce, who finished his high school career at Glen Mills after an unfortunate brawl led to his removal from Lower Merion.
At Temple, Pierce became the school’s all-time leader in touchdowns (53) in three years on North Broad. He credits starting running back Ray Rice, a player who has been compared to Marshall Faulk, for his early NFL success.
“He’s [Rice] helped me a lot in terms of learning the playbook, being patient and just overall with changing my style of running,” said Pierce. “We compliment each other when we’re in the game. He’s quicker than me, so he can do some things that I can’t and I’m a little bigger so I can do some things that he can’t.”
Pierce also needed time to adjust to some of his other high-profile teammates, namely future Hall of Famers Ray Lewis and Ed Reed.
“When I first came in, I wouldn’t say I was star-struck,” Pierce said, “but I had a great deal of respect for those two individuals. Towards the end of the season, we developed a great bond as teammates and as friends.”
Hopefully, they can strengthen that bond with a Super Bowl ring.
“We’re here and we’re coming out to play,” said Pierce. “We’re planning to play a great game. This game is for us and all we’ve battled through this season.”