San Francisco 49ers tight end George Kittle and Kansas City Chiefs linebacker Anthony Hitchens were teammates at Iowa briefly and come Feb. 2 they will be matching up against each other on the biggest stage in sports – Super Bowl LIV.
Kittle was a freshman tight end when Hitchens was a starting linebacker. He told the San Jose Mercury News that it was Hitchens who got the better of him on the field at the time.
“I’m looking forward to block the Iowa linebackers, [Ben] Niemann and Hitchens,” he said. “Hitch used to bully me in practice when I was on scout team in Iowa, so I’m going to give it back to him a couple times.”
Kittle started his tenure at Iowa in 2013 while Hitchens was a senior. Kittle didn’t get much playing time at the point while Hitchens was the top defensive player and was among the leaders in tackles in the Big Ten Conference.
Kansas City Chiefs inside linebacker Anthony Hitchens addresses the media at a news conference Wednesday, Jan. 22, 2020 at Arrowhead Stadium in Kansas City, Mo. The Chiefs will face the San Francisco 49ers in Super Bowl 54. (AP Photo/Charlie Riedel)
Kittle and Niemann were teammates from 2014 to 2016. Kittle’s senior season was 2016 and he turned pro months later.
The Niners selected Kittle in the fifth round of the 2017 NFL Draft. The Dallas Cowboys selected Hitchens in the fourth round of the 2014 draft. He then signed with the Chiefs in March 2018. Kansas City signed Niemann as an undrafted free agent before the 2018 season and appeared in 30 games in two seasons.