When the Kansas City Chiefs traded Alex Smith to Washington in 2018, it was clear they believed in second-year quarterback Patrick Mahomes as their future at the position.

Mahomes—who convinced the Chiefs to trade up to No. 10 to make sure they could acquire him in the 2017 draft—had only appeared in one National Football League (NFL) game at the time, but he impressed in his debut with 284 yards on 22-for-35 passing.

Trading Smith was a risk: The Chiefs had made the playoffs in four out of five years with him at the helm, and they went 10-6 the year they dealt him before falling in the Wild Card round.

Still, one crucial player was fully on board with Mahomes as the new starter: Star tight end Travis Kelce.

In a phone interview with Newsweek on Thursday, Kelce’s high school quarterback coach Damion Creel recalled a conversation with Kelce in the summer of 2018.

“I said, ‘Trav, is this Patrick Mahomes the dude?'” Creel, who is now the head coach at Euclid High School in Ohio, said. “He said, ‘Creel, wait till I tell you: He is the dude.’ That was before Patrick did anything. [Kelce] told me then. He said, ‘Watch out. Watch out. He’s the dude.'”

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The connection between Mahomes and Kelce quickly blossomed into a highly productive partnership. Mahomes led the team to the NFC championship in his first full-time season at quarterback, and the Chiefs won the Super Bowl the next year. Kelce finished with 1,336 receiving yards and an AP All-Pro selection in his first season with Mahomes. Earlier this year, the duo set the record for touchdowns by a duo in NFL postseason history, passing the iconic duo of Tom Brady and Rob Gronkowski.

“We always emphasize getting the ball to Travis, but passing anything that has Brady and Gronk in it is special,” Mahomes said at the time. “Those are two of the greatest players—Tom is the greatest player—and one of the greatest tight ends of all time. Those are great postseason players. To be mentioned in that and passing that, you appreciate that. It speaks to Travis and his work, being able to go out there and make plays in big games. We always emphasize getting Travis the ball.”

Patrick Mahomes Travis KelceKelce’s high school coach Mike Jones told Newsweek on Wednesday in a phone interview that Kelce’s mastery of the quarterback position in high school has made him a better target for Mahomes.

“He knows how to read the defense,” Jones said. “That’s how he knows how to sit down, he knows how to get in the gaps, he knows what Mahomes is thinking already before it happens.”

At this point, Kelce believes in Mahomes more deeply than ever. After winning the Super Bowl last year, Kelce took exception when TV hosts suggested that some critics might want to see more out of Mahomes before they include him in all-time lists.

“Just a bunch of jabronis out there man,” Kelce said. “Pat Mahomes, baby, your MVP, Super Bowl champion twice.”

The host asked Kelce if he believes Mahomes is a top-five quarterback of all time already.

“Numero uno. Number one. Number one,” Kelce said. “You’ll see it as it all unfolds. I’m calling it now, man. right now, I’m counting on my guy to be the best to ever do it when it’s all said and done, and I know he’s the best to do it right now.”

Kelce and Mahomes will have a chance to add to their legacy on Sunday evening against the San Francisco 49ers when the Super Bowl kicks off at 6:30 p.m. ET.

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