DENVER (CBS4) – The Broncos offensive line has done a stellar job protecting Peyton Manning all season, and two members of that line share a special bond.
Pro Bowler Louis Vasquez and Manny Ramirez are among the small number of Hispanic players in the NFL, and they played together in college. They call each other brothers.
They both grew up in Texas, and both attended Texas Tech University.
“To have two Mexicans on the same line in college was a big thing, and now that we’re here, and we’re on the same offensive line again, but now we’re at the big show? It’s a dream come true,” Vasquez said.
Vasquez spent his first four seasons with the Chargers after being drafted in the third round. He joined the Broncos in the offseason and reunited with Ramirez, who has been here since he was signed as a free agent in 2011.
“We treat each other like brothers and we call each other brothers, so that helped me make the transition easier,” Vasquez said.
Now they are most likely the first pair of Mexican-American players to start on an offensive line together in a Super Bowl. Their buddy-buddy relationship was on full display this week in New Jersey as Ramirez and Vasquez spoke with reporters.
“We have a relationship that we built back in college. Our mothers are good friends. We still keep in contact and all that,” Ramirez said.
And they remain proud of their Mexican heritage
“Where me and Louis are today, it’s a huge blessing. We take a lot of pride in what we do and to be able to do it together (at this level) — right next to each other, at that — it just makes us even stronger as a unit,” Ramirez said.
The Broncos will play the Seattle Seahawks in Super Bowl XLVIII on Feb. 2 at MetLife Stadium in East Rutherford, N.J.