“I know this isn’t the graduation ceremony that you and your families had envisioned, but that doesn’t change the outcome or all the hard work, long hours and sacrifices that you made to achieve this milestone,” Mahomes said in his remarks, which lasted less than two minutes. “I know this is sure not how you imagined spending your last days as a student.
“But the world is in a different place today than it was just a few weeks ago. And as Red Raiders, we’re built to persevere in difficult times. We’ve all had to take a moment and learn to adjust to these new challenges. And when the odds are stacked against us, we make a play — and I can tell you this is going to make us all more competitive and hungrier than ever.
“Remember, this is a day to celebrate, to look back on the friends you made, the professors who have changed your life and the memories that you will cherish forever. Whatever plans lie in front of you, I have no doubt you will go out there and show the world what it means to come from Lubbock, Texas. Go out and win your Super Bowl. Congrats, Class of 2020. I can’t wait to see what you do next.”
Mahomes, who played briefly for the school’s baseball team, was the quarterback at Texas Tech from 2014 through 2016 before he entered the NFL draft and was selected by the Kansas City Chiefs in the first round in 2017. He was the NFL MVP in 2018 and was the MVP of Super Bowl LIV.
Since leaving Texas Tech, he has been a supporter of the Red Raiders in all sports and went to Minneapolis last year to watch the men’s basketball team in the Final Four.
“He is passionate about sports,” Chiefs coach Andy Reid said Friday. “He’s passionate about Tech. I just think it’s a neat thing that he’d have that opportunity to do it. Pat’s a pretty cool cucumber and he’s a sharp kid and speaks well so I think he’ll have a nice presentation for them.”
Alex Smith gave the commencement address at his alma mater, Utah, in 2014 when he quarterbacked the Chiefs. Earlier this month, twin brothers Shaquill Griffin and Shaquem Griffin, who both play for the Seattle Seahawks, delivered the commencement speech to the Class of 2020 for the virtual graduation ceremony at Central Florida.
Texas Tech’s graduation ceremonies, which are normally held at the school’s basketball arena, were moved to a virtual format because of the coronavirus pandemic.