Former Bison lineman Joe Haeg and his journey to the Super Bowl in images
Brainerd High School graduate Joe Haeg will play in Sunday's Super Bowl as a member of the Tampa Bay Buccaneers.
FARGO — Former North Dakota State offensive tackle Joe Haeg is set to play in Super Bowl LV with the Tampa Bay Buccaneers on Sunday, Feb. 7, at Raymond James Stadium in Tampa, Fla.
Haeg played for four NCAA Division I FCS national championship teams while at NDSU. The Bison also won a national title during his redshirt season.
The 6-foot-6, 298-pound Haeg, from Lake Shore, Minn., can add to his championship pedigree Sunday as Tamp Bay faces the Kansas City Chiefs for the Vince Lombardi trophy. Janet Haeg, Joe's mother, remembers her son during elementary school playing football in the yard with his friends.
“How does that happen?" Janet said. "How do you be that little boy to playing in a Super Bowl.”
Below are the images on Joe's football journey from Brainerd High School to NDSU to the NFL. He entered the NFL in 2016 when the Indianapolis Colts selected Haeg in the fifth round. He spent his first four seasons with the Colts before signing with Tampa Bay before this season.
During his sophomore year at Brainerd (Minn.) High School, Haeg measured around 6-foot-5 and 185 pounds and was the team's first offensive lineman off the bench. Haeg started at offensive tackle during his final two seasons with the Warriors.
“He wound up being an all-state tackle for me," said former longtime Brainerd assistant coach Chet Stevenson, who was the team's offensive line coach. “I thought of him as a project and I loved the way he worked and just loved working with him.”
During the 2009 and 2010 seasons, Haeg was on Brainerd teams which advanced to the state semifinals. He played for legendary head coach Ron Stolski in high school.
Haeg started in 60 games at NDSU, including two seasons at right tackle before moving to left tackle for his junior and senior seasons. He started opposite of left tackle Billy Turner during his first two seasons. Turner now plays for the Green Bay Packers. A 2011 Brainerd High School graduate, Haeg was recruited to the Bison as a walk-on.
“You’re awfully proud of a guy like that who you had a little impact on he’s been able to have the success that he’s had," former Bison offensive coordinator Brent Vigen said of Haeg. “He was intelligent. He played hard.”
Colts come calling
“Actually they were probably one of the teams most interested in me,” Haeg said soon after he was drafted. “I had an official meeting with them at the (NFL) Combine. ... I definitely knew they were a team I wanted to play for.”
Tampa Bay bound
"That was crazy," Haeg said last March on the timing of joining Tampa Bay at the same time as Brady. "We knew we had interest in the Bucs before that was officially announced. When that just came in, it was definitely an added bonus. I'm excited. It's going to be a cool atmosphere down in Tampa Bay this year."
Janet was at the NFC Championship game Jan. 24 when Tampa Bay earned a 31-26 victory against the Green Bay Packers at Lambeau Field. Janet said the final minutes of that game proved hard to believe, knowing her son was closing in on going to the Super Bowl with Brady.
"Tom Brady, who I've watched win the Super Bowl so many times on TV, that was a surreal moment," Janet said.
The Buccaneers are playing the Super Bowl in their home stadium.