Super Bowl

Born and Raised in the IE, Rams' Eric Weddle Returns With a Bang After Two Years Out of NFL

Students at his alma mater think he will be the key to a Super Bowl Sunday win in 2022 at SoFi Stadium.

NFL: DEC 29 Cardinals at Rams
Icon Sportswire via Getty Images

Safety Eric Weddle came out of retirement and made a major impact, helping the Rams win the NFC Championship game by leading the team in tackles.

The veteran defender has ties to the Inland Empire, where high school students couldn't be more proud that he's representing.

Weddle retired in 2019. When the Rams signed him once again, it appeared at first it might have been for insurance -- a "just in case." Sunday proved that to be dead wrong. He led with nine tackles, helping the Rams take the win.

It's no surprise that the 37-year-old was the leading tackler for the Rams during the NFC Championship game -- at least not to the varsity football players at Alta Loma High School.

"It's definitely inspirational for a guy like me who's heard about him my whole life," student Nick Pasquarella said.

Pasquarella is a senior, and a safety for the Braves football team; the same team Weddle played for as a high school student back in the early 2000s.

"I wanted to be a safety and they told us about a great guy named Eric Weddle that came through the process, so I wanted to be just like him," Pasquarella said.

Others are amazed by Weddle's grit and determination during his NFL career. He first played for the Chargers and then the Ravens, and briefly for the Rams in 2019.
He then came out of a two year retirement a few weeks ago to help the Rams defense in the playoffs.

"He plays at such a high level. He has such an intelligence of the game and that is just an inspiration for me to get better," student Randy Bennett said.

Alta Loma coaches say Weddle showed early on that he had incredible talent and tenacity.

"He had a different gear once he stepped on the field and always a fierce competitor," defensive coordinator Jeff Kettle said.

The type of ferociousness is what the players and coaches at Alta Loma believe will ultimately deliver a Super Bowl championship.

"It's always cool to see veterans come back and light it up especially Eric Weddle because he is a name around here. It's always cool to see him do those type of things. It's awesome," student Jake Samuelson said.

And theres no doubt if the Rams do win, Weddle will be a major factor.

"Go get one for us," Pasquarella said.

After Sunday's game, Weddle told NBCLA he's been waiting 15 years for this moment and he can't wait for Super Bowl Sunday.

Contact Us