The 2024 Super Bowl showcased a new wave of football talent, prominently featuring Gen Z players who have shared passion and grit on the field with their skills and determination. As we kick off Super Bowl weekend, a new class of Gen Z athletes is dominating the field. These players, brought a fresh energy and innovative approach to the game, captivating fans worldwide with their athleticism and passion for football.
Though we can get lost in the commercialism of the Super Bowl, we have to acknowledge those making an influence in the stadium. These Zillennials are utilizing their physical talents and branding themselves to become the next star athletes to watch. With their natural understanding of technology and social trends, these players have reshaped the fan-player dynamic and engaged with supporters in new ways.
Their impact extends beyond the game itself, inspiring a new generation of athletes to chase their football dreams and strive for positive change in the craft. Check out some of the notable Gen Z players hitting the field on Super Bowl Sunday.
The 22-year-old is the defensive end for the Kansas City Chiefs. Before playing in the NFL, he played college football at Kansas State. During his tenure in school, he gained several eyes on him after a stellar season freshman year.
The linebacker entered his third season with the Chiefs in 2023. Throughout his time on the Kansas City team, the 23-year-old led with 112 total tackles and 11 tackles for loss in 2021.
Ekow Boye-Doe started his career in Lawrence, Kansas, in high school, where he was named a first-team all-state performer and now serves as the Chief’s cornerback.
The Jacksonville, Florida native started out leading his school, Trinity Christian Academy, to state titles. He soon ended up at Virginia Tech, where he had a starting role. Now he’s headed to the Super Bowl.
The fourth-year defensive end entered the NFL as a fifth-round draft pick and is now about to play in the 2024 Super Bowl to represent the Kansas City Chiefs. According to stats, Danna tallied 104 tackles, 28 tackles-for-loss, and four forced fumbles across three seasons at Central Michigan before transferring to Michigan in 2019.
Starting at Clemson in 2018, the 24-year-old was known for his 46 receptions and being an all-star player. Today, Ross is the wide receiver for the Chiefs, officially in his second season playing for the Kansas team.
Pacheco is known for his speed and determination on the field. His 830 rushing yards were fourth-best amongst NFL rookies in 2022. He serves as the second-year running back for the Kansas City Chiefs.
Henry Louis “Trey” Smith III is a third-year offensive lineman for the Kansas City Chiefs. He played college football at Tennessee before he was drafted by the Chiefs in the 2021 NFL Draft.
Brandon Aiyuk is a wide receiver for the San Francisco 49ers. He played college football at both Sierra College and Arizona State and was the 49ers in the first round of the NFL Draft.
Robert Beal Jr.
Robert Erwin Beal Jr. is the defensive end for the San Francisco 49ers. After his standout senior season at Peachtree Ridge High School, the five-star recruit stayed in Georgia for college and soon joined the 49ers for the Super Bowl.
Ronald Bell is the wide receiver for the 49ers in the NFL. He started out playing college football at Michigan, was the offensive rookie of the year in 2018, and led the 2019 team with 48 receptions for 758 yards.
Ji’Ayir Brown is a safety for the San Francisco 49ers and was the first of three third-round draft picks. He gained recognition after playing college football at Lackawanna and Penn State.
Spencer Burford is the San Francisco 49ers’ football guard with a background from UTSA, where he earned the college freshman team accolades and was an honorable mention all-conference pick in 2019.
The 23-year-old is a linebacker for the 49ers and played college football at Perdue, where he gained much playing experience.
About the Author: Kenyatta Victoria is the lead writer for Essence GU, working on all things pop culture, politics, entertainment and business. Throughout her time at GU, she’s garnered devoted readers and specializes in the Zillennial point of view.