ARLINGTON, Texas (WMC) - Getting to the Goodyear Cotton Bowl Classic is the biggest accomplishment in Memphis football history.
The Tigers have never been on a stage this big and getting to this point feels like destiny for the players who came together to make it happen.
Memphis quarterback Brady White started his college football career at Arizona State University.
"I knew that I would bounce back from injury and adversity, and for it to be Memphis … I didn't know it was going to be at Memphis,” said Brady White, Tigers quarterback.
Wide receiver Damonte Coxie was supposed to play for LSU before they pulled his scholarship after an injury. And Antonio Gibson was a junior college player who had Power Five offers. But despite different backgrounds, this Memphis team has been through twists and turns on a journey that's brought Tigers to new heights.
“People who are here at Memphis all have a story. We all have a background that's unique in a sense. Everybody that's brought here has a chip on his shoulder, which makes us collectively have one. That's why we go by ‘Memphis vs. Everybody,’” said Kedarian Jones, Tigers wide receiver.
"Forever grateful for this opportunity. For where I started to where I am now. Just a kid from Baton Rouge to playing in the Cotton Bowl. That's a blessing,” said Damonte Coxie, Tigers wide receiver.
"Things couldn't have went right, I could've gotten hurt trying to get somewhere to showcase my skills, it all played out, and to just step on the field was like, 'man we did it,” said Antonio Gibson, Tigers wide receiver. "Such a blessing and honor to be a part of this culture and program. To set the new heights with this season and be a part of this historic team."
No matter the result on Saturday, this team will forever be remembered for its program defining success this season.